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Human Service Master's Degree: Salary & Jobs

For those interested in serving others in various ways, a master's degree in human services can open the door to many careers in the field. Learn about some of the available jobs for those with a master's degree, as well as their median salaries.

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A human services master's degree can be applied to several different careers with the government, nonprofit organizations and more. Many of these careers are focused on offering various kinds of counseling for those who need it. Explore a handful of these jobs that require a master's degree in the field or offer advancement for those with a master's degree.

Careers for Those with a Master's Degree in Human Services

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Marriage and Family Therapists $49,170 15%
Social Workers $46,890 12%
School and Career Counselors $54,560 8%
Rehabilitation Counselors $34,670 9%
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors $41,070 22%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Adult Development and Aging
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Career Descriptions

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists help couples and families discuss their problems and address various issues and dynamics. These therapists need a master's degree and license to work with their clients. They generally use a family-centered perspective to help families or couples work through addiction, stress and other conditions or circumstances. Additionally, these therapists give their clients tools to change these behaviors and can offer recommendations for other valuable community resources.

Social Workers

Social workers need at least a bachelor's degree to work with their clients, but some may advance with a master's degree, and clinical social workers are required to hold a master's degree and license to practice. Clinical social workers may diagnose and develop treatment plans for emotional, behavioral and mental conditions in addition to performing the typical duties of a social worker. Typical duties of a social worker include evaluating a client's needs, helping clients take advantage of community resources and following up with clients to check for improvement. These workers must keep accurate, detailed records of their clients, and may be asked to help evaluate the effectiveness of various programs and resources.

School and Career Counselors

School and career counselors generally need a master's degree, and may be required to obtain a state license or credential. These counselors specialize in working with students to succeed in school and/or prepare for a future career. School counselors identify a student's strengths and weaknesses, help them address any issues that affect their academics and give them the tools and skills needed to complete the required work at each grade level. Career counselors may offer assessments to find a client's interests and match these interests with various careers, as well as help their clients apply for jobs and prepare for interviews.

Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation counselors work with people with various disabilities to help them cope with their disability and manage their disabilities for work or living independently. These counselors also need a master's degree, and will likely need to obtain the proper license or certification to practice. Rehabilitation counselors may work with patients who have physical, emotional, mental or developmental disabilities through counseling sessions and securing resources to help their patients. Their counseling sessions may be focused on helping patients understand and adjust to their disability, as well as helping their patients develop their other strengths.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Some employers prefer substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors to have a master's degree to work with people dealing with various addictions and behavioral issues. These counselors meet with clients and sometimes their families to determine treatment plans and goals. They then work with their clients to develop skills needed to recover from addiction and/or change behaviors, identify circumstances that may conflict with treatment and prepare families to cope with the patient and their needs. Additionally, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may offer recommendations about additional community resources for the patient.

A master's degree in human resources can be applied to several different kinds of counseling positions, as well as other careers aimed at providing resources and aid to others. A master's degree may be required for some of these positions, or help one to advance further in their career.

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