Social and human services assistants are also known as advocates, mental health technicians, caseworkers, independent living specialists and more. This is a conventional occupation that have a strong social component. Many times you are assisting vulnerable populations, which appeals to the type 2 enneagram. If you’re an ISFJ personality type, you want to comfort people by finding practical solutions.
Social and Human Service Assistants at a Glance
What Social and Human Service Assistants Do
Social and human service assistants provide client services in a variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work.
Many social and human service assistants work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service agencies, and state and local governments. They generally work full time, and some work nights and weekends.
How to Become a Social and Human Service Assistant
Requirements for social and human service assistants vary, although they typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training.
The median annual wage for social and human service assistants was $35,060 in May 2019.
Employment of social and human service assistants is projected to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. A growing elderly population and rising demand for social services are expected to drive demand for these workers. Job opportunities are expected to be good.
Social and human service assistants provide client services, including support for families, in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.
Social and human service assistants typically do the following:
- Help determine what type of aid their clients need
- Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
- Help clients find assistance with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
- Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to clients
- Coordinate services provided to clients
- Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
- Check in with clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately
Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.
Social and human service assistants help clients identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the intended services and that the services are meeting their needs. They work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or other community and social service workers.
With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that the children live in safe homes. They help parents get needed resources for their children, such as food stamps or childcare.
With the elderly, these workers help clients stay in their own homes and live under their own care whenever possible. Social and human service assistants may coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help with the clients’ day-to-day needs, such as running errands and bathing. In some cases, human service assistants help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.
For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to make a job more accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing and making meals.
For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also may find support groups for people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.
With veterans, assistants help people who have been discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as locating housing and finding ways to apply skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They may also help their clients navigate the services available to veterans.
For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find the appropriate resources to help them cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they may find personal care services or group housing to help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves.
With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help the clients locate jobs and housing. They may also help them find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get administrative paperwork in order.
With former prison inmates, human service assistants find job training or placement programs to help clients reenter society. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them start a new life for themselves.
With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing for their clients and locate places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also help homeless people find resources to address other problems they may have, such as joblessness.
Social and human service assistants held about 425,600 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of social and human service assistants were as follows:
|Individual and family services||30%|
|Nursing and residential care facilities||12|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||11|
|Community and vocational rehabilitation services||10|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||9|
Social and human service assistants work in offices, clinics, hospitals, group homes, and shelters. Some travel around their communities to see clients.
Most social and human service assistants work full time. Some work nights and weekends.
This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of social and human service assistants.
|Occupation||Job Duties||Entry-Level Education||Median Annual Pay, May 2019|
|Childcare workers attend to the basic needs of children, such as dressing, feeding, and overseeing play.||High school diploma or equivalent||$24,230|
|Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. Community health workers collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.||See How to Become One||$46,910|
|Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities.||High school diploma or equivalent||$25,280|
|Marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome problems with family and other relationships.||Master’s degree||$49,610|
|Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole.||Bachelor’s degree||$54,290|
|Rehabilitation counselors help people with physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disabilities live independently.||Master’s degree||$35,950|
|Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.||Bachelor’s degree||$67,150|
|Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.||See How to Become One||$50,470|
|Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems.||Bachelor’s degree||$46,240|
For more information about social and human service assistants, visit
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Human Service Assistants.