Caseworker Degree, Licensure and Certificate Information

Prospective students who want to become caseworkers can enroll in an undergraduate certificate program in case management, which meets the education requirements to work in a human services setting like a mental health center, long-term care facility, and more.

Essential Information

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in human services provide advanced studies that can lead to a career as a caseworker. Most programs include internships or field experiences in professional settings. There are no standard licensing or certification requirements for caseworkers. Certification requirements for caseworkers depend on the field and the agency or organization where a caseworker is seeking employment; many caseworker positions do not require certificsation or licensing. Candidates for certification must typically meet education and experience requirements.

  • Program Levels for Caseworker degrees: Certificate programs, Associate degree programs, Bachelor's degree programs
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED certificate; for certificate program, sometimes must be enrolled in undergraduate program
  • Other Requirements: Internships, field experiences in professional settings

Certificate of Completion in Case Management

In an undergraduate certificate program, the curriculum consists of studies in social work and client management. Students learn assessment and interviewing techniques and develop the skills required to manage a diverse group of clients. Human services oriented, the program also focuses on professionalism, ethical decision-making, and cultural sensitivity. Case management courses teach interpersonal communication skills, motivational techniques, and crisis management. The program concludes with an internship experience. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. Common course topics include:

  • Job development
  • Case plans
  • Poverty
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance abuse

Associate in Science in Human Services

Human services students learn to work with people facing issues like poverty, mental illness, abuse, developmental delays, and more. This program explores human services as a field that helps individuals and families improve their lives in the face of considerable personal difficulties. Study areas include the history of human services in the United States, public health, client relations, and more. Students participate in a field experience at a human services agency towards the close of the program. Prospective students are required to hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Common course topics include:

  • Managed care
  • Suicide prevention
  • Group evaluation
  • Family dynamics
  • Coaching

Bachelor of Science in Human Services

Students in this program are prepared to develop treatment plans, assess and interview clients, and manage cases for individuals with varying degrees of need. The program's curriculum focuses on helping people cope with a variety of issues, including mental illness, trauma, aging, and more. Other areas of focus are research, ethics in the human services profession, and social science. The program culminates in an internship experience. Admission requirements are the same as in the previous programs. Common course topics include:

  • Ethnic groups
  • Urbanization
  • Criminal behavior
  • Community services
  • Program planning

Popular Career Options

Graduates of certificate programs are qualified to work for social agencies like child and welfare services, departments of mental health, and in a variety of other settings. Caseworkers may find positions within the correctional system, but may be required to have a bachelor's in criminal justice as well. Potential job titles are:

  • Mental health worker
  • Social work assistant
  • Life skills counselor

Graduates of Human Services degree programs go on to careers at social service agencies, mental health centers, group homes, and more. Career options for graduates include:

  • Family advocate
  • Activities aid
  • Respite worker

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Social and human services assistants earned a mean annual salary of $31,860 and held approximately 351,400 jobs in the U.S. in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that jobs in this field were expected to grow 22% between 2012 and 2022.

Certification and Licensing Information

Though certification or licensure is not required in this profession, some positions may require that an applicant is a LSW (Licensed Social Worker). This would require a master's degree in social work. Other certifications that may be specified in a job ad for a caseworker are LCP (Licensed Professional Counselor) or LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist). Therefore, it is important that a student considers first where they wish to work on graduation in order to take the right courses and degrees.

Graduates of a technical certificate or an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in human services, criminal justice, family and marriage therapy, psychology, social work, or counseling are eligible to take the Human Services - Board Certified Practitioner examination. It is offered by the National Organization for Human Service's (NOHS) Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE). In addition to the formal education requirement, candidates must have the required number of years of experience. Certificants are required to submit proof of 60 continuing education hours every five years to maintain certification.

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