Human Service Salaries

A career in human services isn’t for everyone, but if your passion lies with doing soul-fulfilling work in this world in the service of others and bettering the lives of individuals and communities, there’s really no other line of work to devote yourself to. Personal and professional gratification just doesn’t get any better than when you’re making a difference in the world through a career that’s focused on improving the quality of life of people in need.

Folks in this field have a true missionary spirt. They are tireless advocates for justice and outstanding examples of righteousness and integrity. Choosing a career in the human services means you’re probably looking for far more than just a paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a great number of professions in this field that offer both personal fulfillment and solid salaries. Best of all, jobs in the human services field allow for a lot of upward mobility so you’ll always have something to work towards too.

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Depending on the role and license you’re after, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services or a related area is a given, so whether you’re interests lie in public administration, counseling, social work, or emergency management, a human services degree serves as both your ticket for landing a job in the field and as a foundation for pursuing more advanced degrees in areas like social work and psychology.

Salaries for Human Services Professionals in Some of the Most Popular Jobs

Human services professionals are social workers, mental health counselors, childcare workers, sociologists, community health and outreach workers, even clergymen, and more. They work for the courts; in halfway houses, correctional facilities, community mental health centers, and family, child, and youth service agencies; in programs dealing with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging; and in settings like schools, governmental agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provided the following salary ranges representing the 50th and 90thpercentiles for some of the most popular human services careers. Keep reading to learn more about careers in human services and what you can expect to earn:

Case Worker Salary

Case workers are tasked with overseeing and protecting the well-being of children and adults through community service agencies that range from Child Protective Services to state public assistance agencies. They’re usually required to hold a state counselor’s license and most come from backgrounds in social work. Average salaries among case workers range from $35,060 to $54,230.

Learn more about case workers here.

Child Advocate Salary

Child advocates have a clear purpose, regardless of the setting in which they work: to protect the interest of the child. Usually assigned to cases through the courts or child welfare system, child advocates represent minors in legal proceedings involving child custody, welfare, or abuse. They usually hold a social worker’s license and earn an average salary of between $47,380 and $78,230.

Learn more about child advocates here.

Child Life Specialist Salary

Child life specialists are experts in the developmental impact that injury and illness have on children. Employed in both healthcare and community settings, child life specialists are usually state licensed counselors or social workers who provide services and therapies for children who have either experienced or are experiencing pain, fear, and anxiety resulting from injury or illness. Average salaries in this field range from $56,750 to $86,130.

Learn more about child life specialists here.

Community Economic Development Officer Salary

Community economic development officers work for the good of the community by identifying problems and initiating solutions related to social, environmental, and economic issues. These professionals earn an average salary of between $74,350 and $116,280.

Learn more about community economic development officers here.

Community Outreach Worker Salary

Community outreach workers serve as liaisons between community programs or organizations and the public, and their overall goal is to encourage and direct people to the particular programs and services they need. The salary range for community outreach workers is $40,340 – $68,550.

Learn more about community outreach workers here.

Crisis Intervention Counselor Salary

Crisis intervention counselors are specially trained mental health professionals who provide support services and therapies to people experiencing acute crises. They often provide their services through mental health hotlines, community agencies, schools, and humanitarian aid organizations. The salary range for these mental health professionals is $42,930 – $77,590.

Learn more about crisis intervention counselors here.

Emergency Management Specialist Salary

Emergency management specialists oversee the programs and services that provide aid and assistance to people experiencing trauma and loss due to manmade and natural disasters. Their work is generally focused on planning and implementing how aid and emergency services are distributed and coordinating the work of the volunteers, emergency personnel, and healthcare professionals who provide it. These senior-level professionals earn an average salary of between $75,590 and $141,230.

Learn more about emergency management specialists here.

Family and Human Development Worker Salary

Family and human development workers lend their talents and skills to a variety of areas, including counseling and social services, health and aging services, and child development programs, among others. Some of the common titles for family and human development workers include intake coordinators, food assistance program coordinators, crisis/hotline workers, and case managers. The salary range for these professionals is $40,360 – $68,350.

Learn more about family and human development workers here.

Grant Writer Salary

Grant writers enjoy strong salaries with just a bachelor’s degree and a deep understanding of grant writing. Their work involves writing grant proposals for nonprofit agencies and organizations that are seeking funding from governmental and private sources for events, programs, and general operating expenses. Grant writers may work for nonprofits and private companies, although many are self-employed and provide their services on a contract basis. Annual average salaries in this field range between $72,850 and $117,250.

Learn more about grant writers here.

Grief Counselor Salary

Grief counselors are generally master’s prepared, state-licensed therapists who provide counseling services to children and adults experiencing loss and grief. They often provide individual, family, and group counseling services. The salary range for grief counselors is $46,240 – $76,080.

Learn more about grief counselors here.

Health Educator Salary

Health educators are focused solely on promoting and implementing programs that teach children and adults how to incorporate healthy habits into their lives. They may be employed through schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, private companies, and more. The average annual salary range for health educators is $55,220 – $98,680.

Learn more about health educators here.

Marriage and Family Therapist Salary

Marriage and family therapists are licensed counselors focused on issues related to the family unit. The salary range for these therapists is $49,610 – $87,700.

Learn more about marriage and family therapists here.

Probation Officer Salary

Probation officers oversee the correction’s system community-supervised population, which is to say people who are on probation and/or parole. Their job focuses on providing meaningful rehabilitation and support, and comes with an salary range of $54,298 – $94,860.

Learn more about probation officers here.

Public Policy Consultant Salary

Public policy consultants are experts who study public policy and oversee public policy and community outreach initiatives related to their organization or agency. The salary range for these professionals is $122,220 – $164,210. The highest paid public policy consultants, according to mean, annual salary, work for the federal government ($127,500), followed by private companies ($128,920) and social advocacy groups ($90,280).

Learn more about public policy consultants here.

Public Administrator Salary

Public administrators, who usually specialize in areas like healthcare, labor, education, and finance, ensure the effectiveness of government policies at all levels. Their expertise is valued in governmental agencies, community organizations, and social services programs, where they consider the value of the services provided. The salary range for these professionals is $67,150 – $112,480. The highest earners in this profession are in local governmental agencies, where they earn an annual, mean salary of $89,750, followed by social advocacy organizations, at $76,160, and food and housing/emergency relief organizations, at $65,150.

Learn more about public administrators here.

Rehabilitation Case Worker Salary

Rehabilitation case workers, who are usually state licensed RNs or clinical social workers, act as patient advocates for their clients in any number of healthcare settings, ensuring they receive quality and cost-effective healthcare services. The salary range for these healthcare workers is $56,200 – $84,870.

Learn more about rehabilitation case workers here.

Social and Community Services Manager Salary

Social and community services managers coordinate and implement social services programs and the people who provide them. They handle all aspects of the programs and services they oversee, which includes working with community members and stakeholders, writing proposals for funding, and analyzing the data to ensure effectiveness. The salary range for these senior-level professionals is $67,150 – $112,480.

Learn more about social and community services managers here.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

Substance abuse counselors, also called addiction treatment counselors, earn an average salary of between $46,240 and $76,080. Substance abuse counselors working in outpatient care centers earn a mean, annual salary of $48,150, while those working in residential facilities earn a mean, annual salary of $42,380.

Learn more about substance abuse counselors here.

Social Worker Salary

Social workers are state licensed professionals who provide services related to the public good. They improve the lives of people and the communities in which they live by helping individuals, families, and communities. The field is large, and social workers lend their talents and their commitment to advocacy to community agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, and more. The salary range for social workers is $47,390 – $78,230. The salary range for social workers lending their talents to programs related to families, children and schools is $47,390 – $78,230 and for those working in the mental health and substance abuse field, it’s $46,650 – $80,900.

Learn more about social workers here.

Sociologist Salary

Sociologists study people, cultures, and social groups. Their research is used by everyone from lawmakers to educators to social workers to solve social problems and shape public policy. The salary range for these professionals is $83,420 – $141,770. Sociologists working for research companies earn a mean, annual salary of $100,730, followed by those working for governmental agencies, at $87,590.

Learn more about sociologists here.

Youth Worker Salary

Youth worker is a general term for those who work with children and young people to help them improve their self-worth, strengthen their relationships, and guide them in their personal and educational development. They can be found making a positive difference in the lives of children in a variety of settings, from schools to churches to correctional facilities. Youth workers (often categorized as social and human services assistants) earn an average salary of between $33,750 and $52,420. Those working in family services settings earn the highest annual, mean salary, at $34,650, followed by those in community organizations, at $32,730, and in residential care facilities, at $31,090.

Learn more about youth workers here.


Salary and employment data compiled by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2019. Figures represent accumulated data for all employment sectors in which human services professionals work. BLS salary data represents average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. 

All salary and employment data accessed September 2020.