Human Services Education in New Mexico
With its unique cultural heritage New Mexico has many unique needs in the human services sector. An example of this is being a tribal social worker due to the very large population of Native Americans in the state. As with all states New Mexico has a need for human services workers in many of its organizations. From its hospitals, to its schools, to its Native American reservations, universities, non-profits and government agencies, New Mexico has need of human services workers in a variety of capacities. Whether you want to work as a tribal social worker, child life specialist, or rehabilitation case worker there are many ways you can give back to New Mexico as a well-educated human services worker.
Deciding your career track is one of those life decisions that will impact you for years after your decision. As such, it deserves a lot of careful study and thought to make sure you are finding a career that matches your interests and your natural talents. We at humanservicesedu.org have worked hard to create a resource that can make this difficult decision easier for you. By browsing our section on career overviews, you will learn not only about a job’s major duties, but also how it impacts your community. You will also learn about potential earning power of various careers and their educational and licensure requirements.
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Once you have earned your Bachelor’s degree from a New Mexico university or college human services program, you will be able to apply for work in the following positions:
- Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program)
- To learn about all the requirements for various levels of licensure in New Mexico read our in-depth article on the subject which you can find here:
- New Mexico Substance Abuse Counselor (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work or Psychology)
- Substance Abuse or Addiction Counseling is a protected title and you can learn about the regulations and requirements for certification here:
- Child Life Specialist (Bachelor of Science; Child Life Specialist)
- There are more than 57 major hospitals in New Mexico, many of whom employ Child Life Specialists to assist children with the stresses of undergoing invasive procedures as part of medical treatment for chronic or acute conditions.
- Rehabilitation Case Worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- This career is all about using your inborn sense of empathy and compassion to help instill in others the ability to see their own inner strength and overcome the obstacles created by disability. An excellent resource is the Office of Voc. Rehab:
- Community Outreach Worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- There are many organizations that have Community Outreach programs and are in need of workers in this capacity. For example The Community Outreach Program for the Deaf – New Mexico, see here:
- Gerontology Specialist (Bachelor of Science; Gerontology)
- As demographics shift and the Baby Boomers age there will be ever greater demand for people who are specialized in the needs of helping the elderly. You can learn more about this field at the New Mexico Aging and Long Term Services Department, here:
- Case Management Aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- This position involves helping Case and Eligibility Workers in a support capacity sometimes doing preliminary interviews as is the case in the position description you can find here:
- Juvenile Court Liaison (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Criminal
- You will be assisting Juveniles in their navigation of the legal system and their responsibilities and rights within it. You can find more information in this position description here:
- Behavioral Management Aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- This job is usually through the government and here is a recent listing and job description through the New Mexico state government, here:
- Probation Officer (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work, Psychology or Criminal Justice)
If you decide to continue your studies until you graduate with a Master’s degree from a New Mexico college or university Human Services program, you will have eligibility for some of the following positions:
- Social and community service manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)
- Child welfare case manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)
- Licensed Master Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school)
- Licensed Independent Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school + field experience)
- Marriage and family therapist (Master’s in Counseling, Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy)
- School social worker (Master of Social Work)
If you feel the call to reach the pinnacle of your field you will want to continue your studies until you have attained your doctorate. With a Ph.D. you will be able to get a job in any career in your field. You will have expert status and a greatly increased earning power. So whether you want to teach in a New Mexico university, be a leader in the non-profit you join, or open a private mental health practice, you will find a Ph.D opens many doors of opportunity. While the road to a Ph.D. is long and difficult, the rewards are tremendous as well.
In order to determine your academic path you must start by determining your end goal in the form of your career. To help you in this process we have compiled a resource that includes career overviews, with information on a variety of careers within the human services sector. You will learn about the job duties and responsibilities, the impact of your career on the community and the earning power of each job. You will also learn about each career’s educational and licensure requirements. Once you have determined which career is a good match for your interests and talents you can look at our section on schools, both online and located in New Mexico, to find an accredited program that meets your needs. When you have found a school that is a good fit for you, it is wise to contact them directly to learn about their particular application process. One last thing to keep in mind if you want to attain advanced licensure, is your post-graduate field experience. Many of the advanced licenses require you to have field experience, in addition to your degree. Planning for post-graduate employment is wise in this case.