Human Services Education in Virginia

Virginia is in the South-Atlantic region of the US and borders the capital of the country. Virginia is a beautiful state and one that has need of human services workers in its universities, hospitals, schools, non-profits and government agencies. Whether you work in an elder care center in Norfolk as a Gerontology specialist, or as a juvenile court liaison in Virginia Beach, there are many ways you can forge a career for yourself as a human services worker in Virginia. If you love helping people and want to give back to your community, then getting an education in a human services field is an excellent idea.

Deciding on your education is one of the most critical decisions you will make and its effects will be felt for years to come. We have worked hard to create a resource to help you make this weighty decision with confidence. We have compiled information on career overviews, licensure requirements and accredited university programs in the human services sector so you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. By exploring our section on career overviews you will learn about various careers. With information from job duties, to salary ranges and educational and licensure requirements, you will find all the information you need to help you make an informed decision on a career that resonates with you.

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After you have completed your studies and have earned your Bachelor’s degree from a Virginia university or college human services program, you will be able to apply for work in the following positions:

  • Licensed Social Worker (Associates or Bachelor of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program)
    • Virginia has its own special set of laws surround licensure for Social Workers, we have an article that gives you a detailed analysis of what requirements you need to meet to attain licensure. You can find it here:
  • Gerontology specialist (Bachelor of Science; Gerontology)
    • The Gerontology Specialist is primed to be in a great position to not only give back to their community, but also to have a career that is in high demand for decades. As the Boomers enter their golden years, the Specialist will have endless career opportunities at Virginia’s 100+ major hospitals and myriad Long Term Care facilities.
  • Case management aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
    • The Case Management Aide is the support services staff that helps the Department of Human Services work smoothly by assisting Case and Eligibility Workers. You can learn more about this group of careers here:
  • Juvenile court liaison (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or Criminal
    • For those interested in occupations in the Criminal Justice cluster of careers, as an excellent resource is the Department of Corrections:
  • Behavioral management aide (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Probation officer (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work, Psychology or Criminal Justice)
  • Virginia Substance Abuse Counselor (Bachelor of Sociology, Social Work or Psychology)
    • For more information on the rules surrounding certification as a Substance Abuse Counselor in Virginia you can click here:
  • Child life specialist (Bachelor of Science; Child Life Specialist)
    • With over 100 major Hospitals there are myriad opportunities for the well-educated Child Life Specialist. Such as working at the Inova Children’s Hospital:
  • Rehabilitation case worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)
  • Community outreach worker (Bachelor of Social Work, Sociology, Psychology)

If you feel the call to work until you graduate with a Master’s degree from a Virginia college or university Human Services program, you will have eligibility for some of the following positions:

  • Licensed clinical social worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited school + field experience)
  • 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)
  • Marriage and family therapist (Master’s in Counseling, Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy)
  • School social worker (Master of Social Work from a CSWE accredited program)

If you want to take your education to its ultimate extent and assume the greater responsibilities and opportunities that are offered, you will want to continue school until you have earned your doctorate. With a Ph.D. the possibilities in your field will be limitless. You will be able to move directly into a directorship position at your favorite non-profit. Lead a research team in a clinical setting. Be considered an expert in your field. Demand top pay wherever you go. Teach in academia and help mold a whole new generation of human services workers in your discipline. You could also open a private mental health practice. Once you have your doctorate you will be able to craft whatever career is your heart’s desire.

When you begin to plan your educational future you will first need to determine what your end goal is in the form of what career you wish to have when you graduate. You will need lots of information and also the discernment to find a job that matches your natural talents and interests. By browsing our section on job overviews you will be able to learn about a variety of careers in human services. There is detailed information on job duties, impact on society, salary ranges, educational and licensure requirements to help you understand what the job’s function is and its requirements. With this information you will be able to find a career that resonates with your deepest interests and your inborn skills. Finding a career that will hold your interest will help you make a decision that will be fulfilling for decades to come. Once you have found a career you like and know its educational requirements, you can look at our database of schools to find a university, online or in Virginia that has an accredited program that meets your needs. It is always a wise idea to contact your school directly and learn about its specific application requirements for your program. A final factor to plan for is your post graduate employment if you want to earn some of the advanced human services licenses. Many require that you earn a substantial amount of field experience to attain the highest levels of licensure.