Human Services Education in Pennsylvania

As the sixth most populous state in the U.S., with the sprawling cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown and Erie, Pennsylvania has enormous need for skilled human services workers to help serve its many citizens. Whether you decide to become a case management aid in Philadelphia, or as a Gerontology specialist in Pittsburgh, there are many human services jobs available. With its vast population, many hospitals, universities and non-profits, Pennsylvania has many sectors in need of well-educated human services workers. Information on rules and current regulations for Pennsylvania can be found on the State of Pennsylvania’s Website:

When planning for your future, few decisions are as important as determining your career path. When making such a critical decision you want to be informed about your options. We here at we are committed to providing an excellent resource to help you make this challenging decision. We have created a database of career overviews that include information on such factors as: salaries ranges, educational requirements, societal impact of the career and state-by-state licensure regulations. Below you will find a list of some of the jobs you can find in Pennsylvania sorted by educational requirements.

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Once you have finished school and been awarded your Bachelor’s degree from a Pennsylvania university or college human services course of study, you will be able choose from one of the following careers:

  • Case Management Aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • The best source of information for this and other Case Work jobs is the Department of Human Services Website:
  • Licensed Social Worker (Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program)
    • You can find out the laws around Licensure in Pennsylvania in our detailed article on the subject here:
  • Behavioral management aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Probation Officer (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work, Psychology or Criminal Justice)
  • Rehabilitation Case Worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
    • For those who want to help disabled people overcome perceived barriers and help them to realize their abilities and skills to the fullest in a paid career, the occupation of Rehabilitation Case Worker can be very fulfilling. You can learn more information from the department of Voc. Rehab. or a similar organization:
  • Pennsylvania Substance Abuse Counselor (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work or Psychology)
    • Substance Abuse Counseling is regulated in Pennsylvania and you can find out about the requirements for certification here:
  • Community outreach worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Child Life Specialist (Bachelor of Science, Child Life Specialist)
  • Gerontology Specialist (Bachelor of Science, Gerontology)
  • Juvenile court liaison (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Criminal Justice)

If you decide to continue your education and earn your Master’s degree from a Pennsylvania college or university youwill be able to add the following career options to those presented above:

  • Marriage and Family Therapist (Master’s in Counseling, Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy)
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school + field experience)
  • Child welfare case manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)
  • School social worker (Masters of Social Work)
  • Social and community service manager (Masters in Business Administration, Social Work, Psychology or Sociology)

If you wish to become a recognized expert in your field and maximize your earning potential, while also opening up the full spectrum of career options for your field, then you will want to continue your studies until you have earned your doctorate. Acquiring a Ph.D. will allow you to do a wide variety of additional careers in the field including: leading clinical research teams, entering directly into management and teaching your discipline at one of Pennsylvania’s universities. By earning your doctorate you will immediately be considered an expert in your field, gaining all the prestige that goes with that designation. Obtaining a Ph.D. is a very challenging task. However, the rewards for completion of your doctorate are many indeed.

To make an informed plan for your education you will first want to determine where it will end. You will need to know what career you want to work in before you begin your schooling. If you take the time to search through our content on career overviews you will be able to make an informed decision. Within our database you will find job descriptions that include factors such as: your day to day duties, your impact on the community, salary ranges, educational and licensure requirements. With this knowledge, it will start to become clear which career paths play to your personal strengths, talents and interests. You can then peruse our section on schools, which includes listings of online universities and schools based in Pennsylvania, to find an accredited program that meets your educational needs. Once you have found a school that is a fit, you will want to contact that school directly to get up to date information on their application process. If you are interested in a career that involves advanced licensure you will also want to think about post-graduate employment to gain the required field experience.