Human Services Education in North Carolina
As the 10th most populous state, North Carolina has great need of well-educated human services workers to provide services through its many organizations. From its famous universities, to its many hospitals, North Carolina is looking for human services workers for a variety of careers. Whether you want to be a school social worker helping at-risk youth, or a substance abuse counselor helping recovering addicts, there are many ways to give back to the community in North Carolina. While helping your state you can also forge yourself a career in a human services job that you find fulfilling and rewarding.
As you probably know, few decisions in life have such a long term impact as your choice of careers. This is a choice that deserves a lot of careful study and consideration. Our career overview section will give you information about some of the most common careers in human services. From job descriptions, impact on society and salary ranges, to educational and licensure requirements, we have a host of information that will help you make an informed decision. Below we will give you a few examples of some career choices based on your level of educational attainment.
After you have completed your studies and been awarded your Bachelor’s degree from a North Carolina university or college human services program, you will be able to apply for work in the following positions:
- Certified Social Worker (Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program)
- We have extensive information the licensure process for Social Workers in North Carolina here:
- Certified Social Worker (Bachelor of Social Work or higher degree from a CSWE accredited program + field experience)
- Every level of licensure has different requirements which you can learn about here:
- North Carolina Substance Abuse Counselor (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work or Psychology)
- North Carolina has its own statuettes around this form of counseling certification which you can learn about in detail here:
- Child life specialist (Bachelor of Science; Child Life Specialist)
- Many hospitals will hire Child Life Specialists as part of their specialized care for children. For example the Jeff Gordon Hospital:
- Rehabilitation case worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- Those interested in this career will find the Division of Voc. Rehab to be an excellent resource for information on this field:
- Community Outreach Worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- The kind of organizations in need of Community Outreach Workers is very diverse. For example, the North Carolina Dental Society:
- Gerontology Specialist (Bachelor of Science; Gerontology)
- The elderly have needs that are specific to the aging population and the Gerontology Specialist has an education that prepares them for the field of Gerontology careers that are in every greater demand as the Boomers begin to retire and become older. The Aging and Adult Services Department is an excellent resource for these workers:
- Case Management Aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- Juvenile Court Liaison (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Criminal
- Both of these careers involve helping clients to understand their rights as well as their legal obligations now that they are in the Justice System. You can find a great wealth of information on the Department of Corrections website:
- Behavioral Management Aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
- Probation Officer (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work, Psychology or Criminal Justice)
Once you have graduated with your Master’s degree from a North Carolina college or university Human Services program, you will have eligibility for some of the following positions:
- Certified Master Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school)
- 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 Clinical 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)
Some people feel the desire to continue their studies until they earn their doctorate in a human services area of study. If you are one of these people, you will open up many career opportunities for yourself. Whether you want to open your own private mental health practice, go directly into management or teach in academia, a Ph.D. can give you the education you need to create the career of your choice. Upon attaining your doctorate you will have expert status in your field. Once you have your Ph.D., you will be able to teach new generations of psychologists, social workers, sociologists or marriage and family therapists depending on your specialty. If you find a career in academia or research to be appealing, then you will find it worth investing the considerable time and effort to earn a Ph.D. The rewards for such an investment are incredible career flexibility and a large increase in earning power.
By reading through our section on job overviews you will learn what some of the specific duties of different jobs are. When thinking about a good career for yourself, it is wise to find one that plays to your natural talents and interests. If you are interested in the subject matter and tasks of a job, then you will find it to be a much more enjoyable and long lasting experience. Finding a career that interests you, takes advantage of your natural talents and also pays well means that you have found a good fit. In our career overview section we also include educational and licensure requirements for the jobs we have profiled. Knowing what the educational requirements are for your career will then lead you to the next step, looking at our database of schools. In our database, you will find schools that are both online and located in North Carolina with accredited programs that meet your needs. Once you have chosen a school, it is wise to contact the school and learn about the specific application process for that school. One final thing to consider is post-graduate field experience for advanced licensure. If you are interested in advanced licensure, you will usually be required to have a substantial amount of post-graduate professional experience. This is good to keep in mind when planning your education and career.