Agencies & Organizations You Can Work With After Graduation
Once you have your Bachelor or Master’s degree or higher in a Human Services related field, you will want to find employment and there are a wide variety of agencies you could work for. Of course you will also have the option in some circumstances to start your own private practice if you have licensure in Psychology or Social Work for example.
For most occupations, you will end up working for an employer of some sort. Below are highlighted a few key agencies at the State and Federal level that employee Human Services professionals. There are a great diversity of potential jobs within these agencies especially the extremely large ones who have everything from research scientists, to administrative assistants and public relations officers. If you research each agency you will find that they have a plethora of jobs available. Although many of them are located primarily in the Washington D.C. area, quite a few have regional and branch offices throughout the country and various tribal areas.
The Federal and State governments are the largest employer of Human Services professionals in the country and also brings with it tremendous financial backing not found in any other sector of Human Services. If you prefer to work within highly structured agencies that are well funded and have broad missions and agendas, you may wish to seek employment in one of these State or Federal agencies.
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The agencies are described and a short list of a few potential jobs based on degree level is provided. All degrees are assumed to be relevant to the agency and within the greater Human Services sphere such as: Human Services, Social Work, Sociology, Counseling, Childhood Education, Business Administration and Psychology.
In certain cases specific degrees and experience are required to meet eligibility requirements. You will want to use this as a guideline only and for specifics you should contact your regional branch of the agency you are interested in working for to get more information. If you are interested in working for the government, then you may want to consider some of the following agencies:
Department of Human Services
This agency works to administer federally funded programs at the local level such as Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP formerly Food Stamps) as well as Medicare and Medicaid. The Department of Human Services also oversees a variety of additional tasks and state programs such as Child Welfare, Aging and Disability Services, the Employment office and a variety of other tasks. In many states the Department of Human Services is the largest government organization within the state and creates a wide variety of jobs from entry level, to skilled labor and management. While you will be paid by your state and considered a state employee, you will often be working within Federal guidelines to distribute assistance to those qualified. Every state has a Department of Human Services
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Eligibility Worker, Application Screener, Call Center Specialist
Potential jobs if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Child Welfare, Case Manager, Social Services Manager
Administration on Aging
This is a Federal agency that works on the issues related to the elderly and aging at the Federal level. There have several departments including research components, regulatory components, policy components and also direct care components. While the Administration on Aging is based in Washington D.C. they also have regional offices that support the work of the administration at the local and regional levels to help insure that the Administration on Aging’s goals is met. Due to having a multi-regional presence the Administration on Aging has job opportunities in a number of locations.
Potential Jobs with a Bachelor’s degree: Elder Care Information Specialist, Administrative Assistant.
Potential jobs with a Master’s degree or higher: Senior Advisor to the Administrator
Administration for Children and Families
The Administration for Children and Families works to advocate the sociological and economic prosperity of children, families, individuals and communities by empowering families and individuals to become economically independent. The Administration for Children and Families also works to promote the creation of supportive communities that help create a safe nurturing environment for children and families. By creating partnerships within tribal, state and local providers, the Administration for Children and Families works to create solutions to barriers that are preventing families from economic independence and communities from becoming more inclusive and family positive.
One of the main purposes of the Administration for Children and Families is to help streamline and improve access to services through positive reforms. Another focus of the Administration for Children and Families is to help vulnerable communities and populations such as the disabled as well as refugees and migrant workers. By focusing on creating children, families and communities that are economically secure, safe and healthy, the Administration for Children and Families works to promote the health and independence of children and families. As a Federal agency that is based in Washington D.C. with regional offices the Administration for Children and Families has many job opportunities.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Administrative Assistant
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Head Start Program Specialist, Management Analyst
Agency for Health Care Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) works to improve the safety, effectiveness, efficiency and overall quality of Healthcare within the United States to ensure that citizens enjoy high quality, safe healthcare throughout the country.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s main job is to sponsor and conduct research that it then shares throughout government and society in order to help citizens make educated choices to help with the improvement of healthcare in the country. As the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is a healthcare and research focused agency the majority of its jobs will be for those who have an educational background in healthcare or science. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is centered in Rockville, Maryland.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Laboratory Research Assistant
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Clinical Researcher, Public Relations Specialist
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a Federal agency that works to study pathogens and prevent the likelihood of large scale outbreaks of communicable diseases. Through the study of past epidemics, population trends, human behavior and diseases themselves in order to understand the nature of the spread of disease. By understanding the nature of a disease itself coupled with human behavior the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gains insight into likely channels through which the disease might spread.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also works to create novel vaccines to both diseases that currently have vaccines and also those that have historically been untreatable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also works to study other non-pathogen related Public Health concerns such as obesity in America. With an $8.8 billion dollar budget the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the federal backing to take its mission very seriously and deliver some of the most cutting edge Public Health initiatives on the planet.
While much of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is built around scientific research and laboratory work, there are also public relations officials and numerous office workers. There are also behavioral scientists who work to better understand human behavior both for the study of disease transmission and also to understand how people might react in panic if there were an outbreak of a deadly disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Information Technology Specialist.
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Behavioral Scientist, Computer Scientist, Public Health Advisor, Nurse
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Working in partnership with state governments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the federal agency that oversees and administers the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also acts in a regulatory capacity to ensure that standards from the Health Insurance Portability and accountability act are met. It also works to make sure that a certain quality of standards is met for long term health care facilities and clinical laboratories.
The main focus of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is on the administration of Medicare and Medicaid and therefore the majority of its jobs will be within the auspices of administering those programs. This will usually involve the oversight and analysis of state Department of Human Services to ensure that states are properly administering the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs. By reviewing the work of eligibility workers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ensures that standards are met in terms of correct eligibility decision and timely release of benefits to eligible citizens.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is headquartered in Baltimore, MD, but it has regional offices to ensure that states are reviewing Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP programs appropriately.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Health Insurance Specialist
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Management Analyst, Actuary
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The Food and Drug Administration is a Federal agency run by a presidentially appointed cabinet member and is responsible for protecting the public health through the regulation of a wide variety of agricultural and medical systems and products. The Food and Drug Administration does a wide variety of clinical testing, review of clinical findings and other research to ensure that various food, drug and medical products are safe for the public to use and consume. The Food and Drug Administration oversees and regulates pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tobacco, dietary supplements veterinary products, sanitation requirements and reproductive materials used in assisted reproduction.
A vast agency overseeing a wide variety of different products and services, the Food and Drug Administration is a very powerful agency that has a wide variety of jobs to fill within its organization. From clinical researchers, to policy analysts, statisticians, computer scientists, office managers, bio-chemists and administrators the Food and Drug Administration employs a great many different people in a variety of capacities. The Food and Drug Administration is based in White Oak, Maryland, but has regional offices throughout the country as part of its oversight duties.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Office Manager, Administrative Assistant
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Head Clinical Researcher, Healthcare Systems Analyst, Consumer Safety Officer
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
The Health Resources and Services Administration is the primary federal agency working to improve access to healthcare and health services for those are isolated, poor, uninsured or deemed medically vulnerable. The Health Resources and Services Administration is based in Rockville, Maryland, but has six bureaus and 13 offices in several states.
The Health Resources and Services Administration gives grants to a variety of agencies and non-profits who are working to help those who are medically vulnerable or uninsured gain access to healthcare. For example, the Health Resources and Services Administration works with its grantees to help pregnant women, mothers and children as well as those who are living with HIV/AIDS to gain access to healthcare they might otherwise be denied. The Health Resources and Services Administration also oversees the donation of organs, bone marrow and cord blood as part of limited regulatory duties it performs. One of the main goals of the Health Resources and Services Administration is to improve health care systems and access to healthcare in rural America.
The Health Resources and Services Administration also provide compensation to those harmed by vaccines and maintains several computer database designed to help identify and prevent healthcare malpractice, waste, fraud and abuse.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Purchasing Agent
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Public Health Program Specialist, Administrative Officer
Indian Health Services (IHS)
The main mission of the Indian Health Services division is to help in the delivery of healthcare products and services to members of federally recognized Tribes and Alaskan Natives. Indian Health Services division is tasked with working with tribal governments in order to increase the overall health of Native American groups within reservations in an attempt to raise the overall living conditions of tribal members through increased health and public health awareness.
Working across many states and within the border of many federally recognized tribal regions and autonomous areas, the Indian Health Services division works in partnership with state and tribal governments to administer federally funded healthcare initiatives to tribal members. While it is based in Rockville, Maryland, the Indian Health Services division has offices and hospitals throughout the country and a wide variety of employment opportunities within them all.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Rehabilitation Therapist, Eligibility Worker, Imaging Technician, Registered Nurse
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Pharmacist, Pediatrician
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The National Institutes of Health is a federal agency whose primary mission is to perform laboratory and clinical research for biomedical and health applications. With a staggering 30.9 Billion dollar budget, the National Institutes of Health is truly a vast and powerful organization.
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the National Institutes of Health has a variety of different departments, with two main distinctions as the agency is split between the NIH Extramural Research Program and the NIH Intramural Research Program. Both are responsible for biomedical research, but the Intramural Research Program is known for working to create an interdisciplinary and synergistic approach to research. The National Institutes of Health is one of the largest biomedical researching bodies in the country and accounts for nearly 1/3 of the spending in the field for the entire country. While it is primarily a medical research facility, the National Institutes of Health also has need of many different workers and technicians in order to fulfill its mission.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Administrative Assistant
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Microbiologist, Biochemist, Health Science Administrator, Head of Clinical Research
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) works to help those with mental illnesses and substance abuse increase access to preventative treatment, rehabilitative services and healthcare in order to minimize chance of additional illness, death and disability due to these conditions.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also works to help reduce the cost to society of untreated mental illness and substance abuse. Some of the ways in which the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration goes about its task is to prioritize prevention in order to help reduce the risk of mental illness and substance abuse within communities.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also works with the justice system to reduce the cost to society due to traumas associated with untreated mental illness and substance abuse. Working in a variety of reform capacities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works to help military families, enact public health reform, work to improve access to housing for homeless people who are mentally ill or have substance abuse issues and to help coordinate treatment and health information for health providers who work with these populations.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also work to improve public awareness of Mental illness and Substance Abuse issues in society. Based in Rockville, Maryland the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has offices in other regions.
Potential jobs if you have a Bachelor’s degree: Statistician, Administrative Assistant
Potential Job if you have a Master’s degree or higher: Contracts Specialist, Grants Management Specialist
There are a tremendous number of agencies at the Federal level that work in a Human Services capacity and are looking for highly skilled well educated potential employees. By joining a Federal agency you are increasing the likelihood that you will have access to large amounts of funding, job security, excellent benefits and solid retirement plans.
You also will be joining well established agencies working both on the front lines and behind the scenes to improve the country through the distribution of Human Services at the Federal level. Second to none in terms of funding and reach, Federal Human Services agencies are an excellent choice for those who want to have a high degree of structure and a clear vision and focus for their work. The variety of agencies that provide Human Services at the Federal level is such that you can find a career doing almost any imaginable position within the field of Human Services.
Learn which careers and agencies will be available to you based on the degree level and type of degree you have attained. The careers available to those who have a Doctorate in Psychology are very different from someone who has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
It is always wise before embarking on ones education to have some idea of what kind of career you would like to pursue after graduation. If you are able to determine what kind of agency you wish to work for that will give you a competitive edge as you can begin to research that agency, contact them and find out exactly what kind of qualifications they are looking for in a potential candidate based on the agency and the position you might want to fill.
As always, the more research you do and the greater depth with which you understand both your goals and the steps needed to achieve those goals, the further you will go in manifesting your career goals into reality. You will find a wide variety of useful materials, research and databases on this website that can help you in clarifying your goals and understanding what you need to do to achieve them. You may wish to review our other articles on careers, which you can find here.
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