Human Services Education in Illinois

Illinois boasts the 5th largest population of any state in the union and therefore, has tremendous opportunities for the human services worker. Whether you work in one of Chicago’s hospitals as a child life specialist, or one of Illinois many schools as a vocational counselor, opportunities abound in the field of human services. Illinois has great need of human services workers and you have the opportunity to not only have a fulfilling career but also give back to your community. The well-educated human services worker will find that their services are in demand all throughout Illinois.

Few decisions in life are as important as determining your career path. In order to make an informed decision it is important to research your career options and educational requirements. Here at we have created a resource that includes licensure requirements of all states including Illinois, career overviews explaining job responsibilities, salary ranges and educational requirements. With this information you will have the knowledge necessary to make a decision with confidence.

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When you have completed your studies and earned your Bachelor’s degree from an Illinois university or college human services program, you will be able to apply for one of following careers in Illinois:

  • Child Life Specialist (Bachelor of Science, Child Life Specialist)
    • You can learn more about the Child Life Specialist job in your in-depth job description page here:
  • Gerontology Specialist (Bachelor of Science, Gerontology)
  • Illinois Substance Abuse Counselor (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work or Psychology)
    • You will want to learn more about professional certification in Illinois, and you can find out the specifics here:
  • Behavioral management aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Probation officer (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work, Psychology or Criminal Justice)
    • The Department of Corrections features many job opportunities for both of these careers and many related Criminal Justice occupations.
  • Rehabilitation case worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
    • You will find many opportunities and resources through the Department of Human Services. For example here is a job description pdf for a similar position with Illinois DHS:
  • Community outreach worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Case management aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Juvenile court liaison (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Criminal Justice)

If you go on to earn a Master’s degree from an Illinois college or university, you will be able to choose a career from one of the following jobs:

  • Child welfare case manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school + field experience)
  • Licensed Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited)
    • Social Work careers listed can find out more information about licensure in our article here:
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (Master’s in Counseling, Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy)
  • Social and community service manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)

If a career in academia interests you, then you will probably want to earn your Ph.D. With a doctorate you will be eligible to join the staff at one of Illinois many universities and train students in your chosen discipline. A doctorate is useful in many other career paths as well. From leading research teams in a clinical setting, to opening up your own mental health practice, to joining a human services agency management team your options will expand tremendously with a Ph.D. in your field. The path towards your doctorate is a challenging one, but will ultimately reward you with expert status in your field and a wide open array of career choices.

The first step on your academic journey is to choose a career path that plays to your strengths and natural talents. By browsing our section on career overviews you can learn what duties different jobs will require. If you are interested in the subject matter and tasks of a job then you can see if the salary range is one that works for your financial needs. We also include educational and licensure requirements for the various positions we cover. Using the resource at your fingertips you will be able to make an informed decision on a career path that works for you. Once you know what your educational requirements are you can look at our database of schools both online and located in Illinois, and find an accredited school that meets your needs. When you know what school and program are right for you, it is a good idea to contact your school and learn about the specific application requirements for the program you are interested in. Often you will need to apply months in advance of actually starting classes. One final thing to consider if you are interested in advanced licensure is post-graduate field experience.