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Human Services Management Careers: Options and Requirements

A career in human services management requires some formal education. Learn about the education, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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If you're interested in a career in helping other people, the field of human services management offers a wide range of opportunities. While you'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree, many jobs require certification or licensure, in addition to some work experience. Some positions may call for an advanced degree.

Essential Information

Human service managers help adults and children in need in a variety of ways. Careers in this field include working on an individual basis with those in need or supervising other personnel. These careers typically require a bachelor's degree, though some, such as those in management, child psychology, or counseling, may require additional certification or advanced degrees. A career in human services management is perfect for somebody interested in business management and social work.

Required Education Most careers require a bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Work experience; licensure or certification necessary for some positions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10% for community and social services managers
Median Salary (2015)* $63,530 for community and social services managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Manage Children's' Social Programs

Human services managers may oversee social programs and social workers focused on improving a child's academic skills, self-esteem and home life. For example, social workers may counsel children experiencing problematic family relationships, such as abuse or neglect. School-based social workers may deal with how the parent-child relationship affects a child's behavior toward school.

Children's social workers in management positions are often employed in government agencies and departments, including public schools. But others may work by private businesses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social workers employed by the government often deal with large caseloads and a lack of supporting staff members. Social workers also travel frequently to meet with clients and their families.

Manage Social Workers

Social worker managers may supervise a small team or a large department of employees, often performing administrative duties along with managing the caseloads of their staff. O*NET Online shows that social worker managers create budgets, draft departmental policies and recruit personnel. They meet with senior management to discuss department productivity and caseload status.

Also, social worker managers conduct initial meetings with new clients before assigning a permanent caseworker. Sometimes they help clients get in touch with public and community advocacy groups. Other job duties include processing quarterly reports and ensuring proper procedures are followed.

Requirements

Most human services careers require a bachelor's degree in fields such as business management, social work, psychology or an industry-specific degree. Coursework for these degree programs usually includes crisis training, psychology, family services and caseload management. Some programs require students complete an internship by providing individual or group counseling at certified centers.

Management positions in the human services industry require a master's degree in psychology, sociology or social work administration. Master's level coursework includes policy evaluations, advanced counseling methods and treatment planning. Most graduate level programs require extensive fieldwork practicums and full-time internships.

Certification and Licensing

Some careers in social services, such as a child psychologist or counselor, require specific certificates and license. To obtain a certificate requires individuals to have an appropriate degree and extensive field experience. An examination is usually required to gain certification. Licensing will vary by state, although most require individuals to pass an exam and have a clean background check.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Social and community service managers are expected to have faster-than-average 10% employment growth over the 2014-2024 decade, according to the BLS. The BLS also reported that social and community service managers earned a median annual salary of $63,530 in May 2015.

Depending on the human services or social services career you elect to pursue, you may be required to be licensed and/or certified. Depending on the management position, you may also need an appropriate master's degree. Employment opportunities in human services management are projected to increase at a faster rate than the national average for all occupations.

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