The Human Services Worker

A human services worker first and foremost must want to help their fellow human beings and have a desire to improve their community. Other qualities possessed by the human services worker should include compassion, strong sense of interpersonal boundaries, professionalism patience, and excellent communication skills. If you have these innate abilities and wish to hone them in a career dedicated to helping your fellow human beings a career in human services is an excellent fit for you.

The term human services worker is applied to a wide variety of professions in a variety of settings and agencies. Some examples of workplaces of human services workers can include: the department of human services, halfway houses, correctional institutions, the judicial system, school system, aging and disability services, adult and family services, at-risk youth organizations, alcohol and drug rehabilitation organizations among many others. There are many populations that are in need of human services and job responsibilities and position descriptions are many and varied.

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Careers in Human Services

Human services are a vast field with a wide variety of potential jobs and occupational titles some of the careers available to a well-educated human services worker could include:

  • Case Worker
  • Youth Worker
  • Residential Counselor
  • Higher Education Counselor
  • Student Affairs Administrator
  • Human Services Educator
  • Licensed Social Worker
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Probation Officer
  • Child Welfare Worker
  • Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker
  • Halfway House Counselor
  • Case Management Aide
  • Community Out Reach Worker
  • Community Organizer
  • Adult Daycare Worker
  • Gerontology aide
  • Child Life Specialist
  • School Social Worker
  • Medical Social Worker

Impact on Society

The impact a human services worker has on society is sometimes subtle and other times very overt. Depending on the sub-sector a worker has as their workplace they may have a huge impact on individuals, families or even their entire community. Those working in criminal justice help to reform citizens who have entered the justice system, aid troubled youth, reunite families and keep their communities safer. Human services workers in education can have a tremendous impact on the lives of children reducing truancy and increasing test scores.

If you work in the health care sector you can help children and adults deal with the hardship of chronic health conditions and aid families in understanding the adjustments they will have to make as their loved ones navigate the health care system. The impacts of the human services worker are felt throughout society from public policy planning, to elder care, education, health care and criminal justice. The human services worker fulfills a vital role in society and makes their community a more efficient, healthier and safer place to work and live.

Human Services Education

There are several paths a human services worker can take in terms of education to prepare them for the workforce. They include Bachelor’s degrees in: Human Services, Human Services Leadership, Psychology, Sociology or Social Work.

All of these degrees will prepare you for a variety of positions in human services. Some of the positions listed above will require specialized training, education or licensure requirements on a case by case basis. For example, in most states a Licensed Clinical Social Workers have a multi-tiered licensure that requires specific educational and experience requirements.

If you elect to earn a degree in human services, you will be learning an interdisciplinary approach to human services that combines elements of social work, psychology, criminal justice and sociology. This is an excellent degree to earn as your bachelors as you get a sense of all the specialized degrees and can then determine which discipline you wish to pursue. Additionally, you can go directly into almost any field under the human services umbrella.

Earning a Master’s degree in human services leadership can open the door to move directly from graduation into a management position in a human services agency. This is an excellent degree to attain if you are interested in taking on a leadership role within a human services organization.

With a Master of Human Services one can work in a variety of jobs in higher education including: higher education counseling, student affairs administrator and other jobs in the bureaucracy of higher education. Having a Master’s degree in human services also allows one to teach future generations of human services workers.

How to find the Right Education Program

There are a variety of elements you will want to weigh before you decide on what school and program to choose. Finding a degree that helps you hone your innate skills, talents and abilities will aid you in your educational and career outcomes. After you have decided on what kind of degree to pursue you will need to shift your focus to finding a school and program that meets your specific educational needs.

This decision will require you to evaluate your needs in regards to lifestyle, financial situation, learning style and flexibility. At, we have a vast database of schools. By browsing our section on schools you will be able to find the ideal fit for your personal need.

Some students will find that they are drawn to the traditional physical campus education. Others may want to review the advantages offered by online programs. Online programs often have significantly reduced tuitions compared to their traditional counterparts.

They also boast flexibility that far exceeds that of traditional programs. Having the ability to take classes from the comfort of one’s home, vary your program completion rate, and have a highly customizable class schedule are just a few of the advantages offered by online programs.