Health and Human Services Career Outlook

The umbrella terms Health and Human Services cover a vast array of careers that service human beings. The common denominator between these diverse jobs is that they are there to provide a crucial service to people who are in need of help whether due to a crisis situation or due to chronic conditions. Some careers act in a preventative manner working to either alleviate or prevent chronic or crisis conditions.

These fields of health and human services cover jobs from Psychology, to Nursing, to Social Work and even Correctional Treatment Specialists. Whether one is helping a family to receive government assistance as an Eligibility Worker administering Federal programs, or working to prevent an epidemic as a Public Health Educator, the common thread is that you are working to help improve the lives of your fellow community members in a way that empowers them to make positive lifestyle decisions. The three main distinctions in Health and Human Services are crisis intervention, treatment of chronic conditions and macro level concerns.

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In crisis interventions the goal is to ensure that immediate needs of the client are met. Whether this is finding shelter, determining eligibility for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP formerly Food Stamps) or helping the client to leave a dangerous environment in favor of a safe one, the goal is to immediately address the critical needs of the client.

This can be done in a variety of ways and may involve medical treatment in addition to providing for the basic needs and safety of the client. Some examples of careers that focus on the goal are:

  • Triage Nurse
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Ambulance Driver
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Child Welfare Case Manager
  • Domestic Violence Counselor
  • Disaster Relief Worker
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • Suicide Counselor

Careers that focus on chronic conditions are addressing the long term needs of the client and helping to ensure that the client is able to become self-sufficient over the course of treatment. This can occur within a mental health context such as Psychology, Substance Abuse Counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Work or Marriage and Family Therapy.

There are also physical health careers such as those in nursing or the Child Life Specialist who helps a child and family deal with the mental and emotional stresses of medical treatment for chronic conditions. There are a wide array of different careers that address chronic human conditions that fall under the umbrella of Health and Human Services and can include, but are not limited to the following job titles:

  • Child Life Specialist
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Child Psychologist
  • School Social Worker
  • Probation Officer
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Correctional Treatment Specialist

The final grouping of careers is for those who are tasked with overseeing large organizations and making extensive changes to their community. This will include jobs such as the Public Health Educator who works to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of hygiene and other preventative health measures such as healthy eating and other wise lifestyle decisions.

There are also those who work to change rules and laws in a community to ensure public health and safety such as Public Administrators who are elected by the public to Administrate the local government. There are also Social Services Administrators who help to steer Human Services and Health agencies to ensure that services are prompt, efficient and up to a particular standard of excellence.

There are some who work in Academia and train new generations of Health and Human Services professionals. There are also specialists who help deal with macro issues that do not happen very often, but have a massive impact when they do occur such as the Disaster Management Specialist who helps communities to deal with large scale natural or manmade disasters. Some examples of macro-level Health and Human Services Careers include but are not limited to the following careers:

  • Social Services Administrator
  • Non-Profit Director
  • Emergency Management Specialist
  • Public Administrator
  • Public Health Educator
  • Human Services Professor
  • Community Economic Development Officer

There are a great diversity of jobs that are included within the field of Health and Human Services but all hold at their core a desire to improve the lives of their fellow community members whether on the individual or macro level. This is a critical part of society and one that involves a variety of careers in a great number of organizations. If you would like more information on potential careers in Health and Human Services you will want to look at our in-depth career section.