Social and Human Service Assistants Career Center

Social and human service assistants can work in a large variety of environments—nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals and halfway houses, among others—and play many roles in a community. They may organize and lead group activities, counsel clients or run food banks and emergency fuel programs, for example. The work, while satisfying, can be emotionally draining. Understaffing and relatively low pay may add to the pressure.


None, but many who begin as human services assistants progress to become licensed counselors or family therapists.

Entering the Field:

Many employers offer basic on-the-job training, but most prefer previous experience. Certificates or associate degrees in subjects such as human services, gerontology or one of the social or behavioral sciences meet many employers’ requirements. Employers prefer applicants with some post-secondary education.

Career Changers:

If you have proven leadership ability, especially from paid or volunteer experience in social services, you are a good candidate for a leap into this field and are likely to be given autonomy in your work. Employers prefer applicants with some post-secondary education. Any degree or credential in psychology, human services or counseling special populations will give your employment chances a boost. Many people who previously worked helping customers in sales or retail decide to try this career field.

Find online degrees for Psychology and Human Services now. >>


Source for salary and growth data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information on a career as a social or human services assistant, salaries, and job prospects visit: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Social and Human Services Assistants.

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