The work environment for this occupation can be both satisfying and emotionally
draining. Human service assistants typically work in settings that are understaffed
for low pay. Human service assistants may be found in offices, clinics, hospitals,
group homes, shelters, sheltered workshops, and day programs. They may need to travel
to see clients and most work 40 hours per week. Some assistants work evenings and
weekends as well.
Human Service Assistants Employment Outlook and Opportunities
Human service assistants are frequently employed in health care and social assistance
industries. Some are employed by State and local governments, mainly in public welfare
agencies and facilities for mentally disabled and developmentally challenged individuals.
This occupation is expected to see a 34% increase by 2016 due to the rapid growth
in the demand for social and human services. This increase is also the result of
many employers increasing their reliance upon human service assistants.
How Much Does a Human Service Assistant make - Human Service Assistant Salaries
The base salary range for this occupation is from $19,348 to $30,027. The average
hourly wage, according to 2007 national averages, is $12.80. Bonuses may range from
$8 to $185. The benefits for the average human service assistant, according to the
national United States averages for this occupation, are as follows: base salary
is $23,536 (64.6%), bonus is $100 (0.3%), Social Security is $1,808 (5.0%), 401k/403b
is $851 (2.3%), Disability is $236 (0.6%), healthcare is $5,722 (15.7%), pension
is $1,087 (3.0%), and time off is $3,091 (8.5%).
How to Become a Human Service Assistant
Education for Human Service Assistants
Although a Bachelor's degree is not required for this job, most employers prefer
applicants with relevant work experience or education beyond high school. Certificates
or Associate's degrees in human services, gerontology, one of the social sciences,
or one of the behavioral sciences are acceptable to many employers and meet their
requirements. However, some jobs may require a Bachelor's or Master's degree in
human services or a related field (i.e. counseling, rehabilitation, social work).
Human services degree programs train students to observe patients, record information,
conduct patient interviews, implement treatment plans, use problem-solving techniques,
handle crisis intervention matters, and use proper case management and referral
procedures. Human service assistants may be assigned to different kinds of and levels
of work based on their level of education.
Other qualifications that may benefit individuals aspiring to become human service
assistants include a strong desire to help others, effective communication skills,
a sense of responsibility, and time management skills. Patience and understanding
are also highly valued qualities in potential candidates.
In order to advance in this occupation, formal education is necessary; a Bachelor's
or Master's degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or
another related field usually enable and expedite advancements. Possible advancements
include case management, rehabilitation, and social work jobs.
Human Service Assistants Resources
Council for Standards in Human Service Education
National Organization for Human Services