If you’re passionate about strengthening your community one family at a time, you’re the perfect candidate for a position in health and human services. A challenging, yet rewarding field, health and human services aim to provide direct assistance wherever and whenever it’s required. Professionals work in a variety of settings, including schools, community centers, clinics, and in consultation with businesses. The following are a few of the best job opportunities in health and human services:
Social workers interact directly with those most in need of assistance, helping them obtain access to community resources. They assist clients with a variety of challenges, including addiction, homelessness, chronic health issues, and more. Although aspiring professionals can usually find work almost immediately upon obtaining their bachelor’s degree, clinical social work requires more extensive training, including graduate education and licensure. With a job outlook of 12 percent, the field is expected to enjoy faster than average growth. Currently, social workers earn a median $46,890 per year.
From school counselors to mental health therapists, the counseling profession involves a diverse range of positions. Nearly all counselors must seek graduate education. Growth varies depending on counseling niche, with substance abuse and behavior disorder counseling enjoying job growth of 22 percent through 2024 (average is 7%). Meanwhile, job growth for school and career counselors is just 8 percent. However, with a median annual salary of $54,560, school counselors enjoy the field’s strongest earning potential.
Social and Community Service Management
Community service managers coordinate complex social programs. They oversee program administration, collect data regarding efficacy, implement necessary program improvements, and write funding proposals. Many focus their efforts on a specific segment of the community, such as children, seniors, veterans, or homeless individuals. In 2016, community service managers earned a median $64,680 per year. Job outlook in community service management remains slightly higher than average, with 13,200 new jobs anticipated between 2014 and 2024.
Probation and Parole Officers
Many health and human services experts enter the field of criminal justice. Probation is an especially attractive niche for human services graduates, who strive to prevent offenders from committing new crimes and facing harsher legal consequences. Those with human services expertise often focus on correctional treatment, which addresses their ongoing rehabilitation upon the successful completion of probation. The field boasts excellent earnings without the need for graduate coursework; the BLS reports a median annual income of $50,160. However, job growth is less optimistic, with just 3,300 new positions expected between 2014 and 2024.
Community programs provide much-needed relief for a variety of struggling individuals and families, but unfortunately, those lacking eligibility for assistance often attempt to cheat the system. In doing so, they divert necessary resources from those who need help most. Fraud investigators aim to put a stop to this problem, researching allegations and alerting the public to the risk of fraud. PayScale reports an average annual salary of $57,704, although wages vary based on niche and experience.