Human Development Career Info, Job Duties and Requirements

Human development programs typically cover how people learn, develop and change as they conduct their lives. Continue reading for an overview of the career options and job duties, as well as the job outlook and salary info for graduates.

A career in human development can take on a variety of forms whether it's as a mental health counselor or a public health professional. These occupations are concerned with the development of people and often require at least a master's degree but positions for bachelor's level applicants do exist. Most occupations in this field require specialized certification and licensure.

Essential Information

Human development professionals attempt to understand the intellectual, emotional, cultural and biological development of people and how external forces may impact development over a lifetime. A human development education is interdisciplinary and can form the basis for careers in such areas as nursing, counseling and public health. Degrees are commonly available at bachelor's and master's levels. Below are some employment options for students who complete training in human development. Some careers may require additional certification or licensure.

Career Titles Mental Health Counselors Public Health Professionals (Health Educators)
Education Requirements Master's degree in an area such as social work or a related field; undergraduate degree may be earned in human development Bachelor's degree in human development or a similar discipline for entry-level jobs
Master's degree in public health, health promotion or a related field to qualify for senior-level jobs
Other Requirements License N/A
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024) 20% * 12% *
Median Annual Salary (2015) $41,880 * $51,960*

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Careers in human development require insight into people's lives and an understanding of how people learn, develop and change over time. Some career options with foundations in this field are outlined below.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work with patients to treat mental and emotional health issues. Mental health counselors help address patients' emotional concerns, which might include depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma and stress. Mental health counselors assist individuals, families and groups to maintain mental health.

Most mental health counselor jobs require a master's degree in social work and a license to practice. Many of these professionals start with a human development bachelor's degree as a foundation for graduate study.

Public Health Professional

Some people with a degree in human development choose to have careers in public health. Public health career duties include emphasizing wellness and healthy living by conducting educational and other programs with the public. Public health experts are usually employed by local, state or federal governments. They serve as experts to educate the public about healthy habits, nutrition, sexual health and hygiene. Degree requirements for public health professionals include a bachelor's degree in human development or a related field for entry-level work and a master's in public health for administrative or senior-level positions.

Careers in human development can take on a variety of forms but they are best suited for someone who is interested in human behavior, has great interpersonal communication skills and is empathetic. If you're interested in this career, you can pursue career options as a public health professional or a mental health counselor.

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