Social and Human Service Assistants
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Overview
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Assist other social and human service providers in providing client services in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, including support for families. May assist clients in identifying and obtaining available benefits and social and community services. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care.
Titles for this career often contain these words
WorkerAideSpecialistSocialAssistantCommunityServiceServicesAdvocateHumanCounselorCaseSupportFamilyCoordinatorDevelopmentWorkOutreachFieldVisitorWelfareManagementProgramGroupHomeTechnicianNeighborhoodPersonalCareCaseworkerChildClinicalCourtDirectRepresentativeHouseHousingLiaisonOffenderPeerEducatorResidentialAddictionsAdultDayManagerBoy'sAdviserMonitorCaseworkProtectiveInvestigatorChildren'sClericalClientActionOrganizationOrganizerCounselingCrisisInterventionDomesticViolenceEligibilityFoodActivitiesGuardianadLitemHalfwayHarmReductionHeadbasedLivingIntakeJuvenileLifeSkillsMentalHealthJobPhoneRedContactAid
Education
Only 50% of social and human service assistants have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by social and human service assistants
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More social and human service assistants have bachelor's degrees than 67% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Social and human service assistants, with 413,700 workers, form a larger workforce than 88% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for social and human service assistants are expected to grow by 13%, and should have about 57,500 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Social and human service assistants are less likely to be automated than 73% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for social and human service assistants compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most social and human service assistants earn.
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K
Gender
Women account for 77% of social and human service assistants -- that's a larger percentage than 87% of other jobs.
Gender of social and human service assistants
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For social and human service assistants, the median men's salary was 5% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 32% of social and human service assistants are minority, and 12% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of social and human service assistants
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (12%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Social and Human Service Assistants per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of social and human service assistants who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (92%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (74%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (70%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (58%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (40%)
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People (38%)
  • Consequence of Error (34%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do social and human service assistants earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for social and human service assistants (BLS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$35K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for social and human service assistants (ACS Salary Data)
$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Miscellaneous community and social service specialists: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $42KAll jobs' median $45K$44K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire social and human service assistants.
Employers of Social and Human Service Assistants (ACS)
Private for-profit (23.8%)
Private not-for-profit (38.4%)
Local government (18.1%)
State government (14.0%)
Federal government (4.7%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.6%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of social and human service assistants by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$37K$35K$36K$37K$42K$52K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of social and human service assistants by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$35K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for social and human service assistants

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$34K$37K$37K$42K$25K$41K$40K$43K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
05K10K15K20K25K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Social and human service assistants and gender

With 77% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 87% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
77%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Social and human service assistants
Men (23%)
Women (77%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for social and human service assistants, with the median salary for men 5% higher than the median salary for women.

$37K$39K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Social and human service assistants have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 84% of other jobs.

5%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of social and human service assistants

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority social and human service assistants than for 90% of other careers. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of social and human service assistants
White (63% )
Black (23% )
Other (5% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (3% )
American Indian (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
32%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for social and human service assistants by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$32K$36K$37K$37K$38K$39K$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KHispanicMultiracialWhiteBlackAmerican IndianOtherAsian
Distribution: Salaries for social and human service assistants by nativity
$37K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Social and human service assistants and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 18% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 63% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time social and human service assistants is shown following.

$13K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by social and human service assistants

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social and human service assistants typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as social and human service assistants as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for social and human service assistants

Although a high school diploma is typically required, some employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work experience or education beyond high school. A certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject such as human services, gerontology (working with older adults), or social or behavioral science is becoming more common for workers entering this occupation.

Human service degree programs train students to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and handle people who are undergoing a crisis. Many programs include fieldwork to give students hands-on experience.

The level of education that social and human service assistants have completed often determines the responsibilities they are given. Those with a high school diploma are likely to do lower level work, such as helping clients fill out paperwork. Assistants with some college education may coordinate program activities or manage a group home.

Education attained by social and human service assistants
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for social and human service assistants? Below we see the distribution of social and human service assistants salaries based on the education attained.

$31K$32K$33K$34K$40K$48K$51K$48K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (2%)High School (14%)Some College (23%)Associate's/Cert. (11%)Bachelor's Degree (35%)Master's Degree (13%)Professional Degree (1%)Doctorate (0%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
College majors held by social and human service assistants

This table shows the college majors held by people working as social and human service assistants.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Social and human service assistants with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as social and human service assistants, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Elementary and Middle Sch...Specialized Social Worker...Specialized ManagersEducational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Postsecondary TeachersRegistered NursesLabor Relations Specialis...Education and childcare a...Child, Family, and School...Healthcare Social WorkersSocial and Community Serv...Specialized TherapistsMedical and Health Servic...Mental Health and Substan...Police OfficersProbation Officers and Co...Security Guards and Gambl...Correctional Officers and...Detectives and Criminal I...First-Line Supervisors of...Secretaries and Administr...Accountants and AuditorsFinancial ManagersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Wholesale and Manufacturi...Chief executives and legi...First-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...Management AnalystsParalegals and Legal Assi...Preschool and Kindergarte...Childcare WorkersMarketing ManagersRetail SalespersonsSocial and Human Service ...Secondary School TeachersSpecial Education Teacher...Teaching AssistantsPsychologySocial WorkCriminal Justice and FireProtectionSociologyBusiness Management andAdministrationPolitical Science andGovernmentFamily and ConsumerSciencesCommunicationsHuman Services andCommunity OrganizationGeneral EducationAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 50% of people working as social and human service assistants have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%Percentage with this major$20,000$30,000$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for social and human service assistants

What jobs will most social and human service assistants hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of social and human service assistants reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Miscellaneous community and social service specialistsSocial workersCounselorsPersonal Care AidesBailiffs, correctional officers, and jailersSocial and Community Service ManagersOffice and administrative support workers, all otherSecretaries and administrative assistantsCustomer Service RepresentativesNursing, psychiatric, and home health aides
Lateral job transitions for social and human service assistants

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as social and human service assistants as well as 1% of respondents after working as social and human service assistants. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for social and human service assistants: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as social and human service assistants? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of social and human service assistants surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most social and human service assistants? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as social and human service assistants. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Social and Human Service Assistants per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.02.04.06.08.010.012.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where social and human service assistants earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for social and human service assistants compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for social and human service assistants.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Social and Human Service Assistants (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which social and human service assistants earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?