Counseling and Human Services
There are some traits that most social workers and counselors share. Counseling and human services professionals must be social, investigative, and interested in problem solving. The most effective counselors are those who really enjoy working with, and for people. They also must enjoy searching for facts and connecting the dots to help their clients solve problems.
Counselors and human services professionals are often very independent workers and thinkers. They are comfortable guiding themselves with no supervision and depending on themselves to get the job done. They are also persistent with a high stress tolerance, which helps them assist clients in having mental or emotional breakthroughs.
The job responsibilities for counseling and human services professionals are many. They must maintain confidentiality, encourage clients to express their feelings and discuss their lives, and assess patients who might be at risk of harming themselves. Additionally, these professionals must develop and implement plans for treating their patients based on clinical experience and their education.
Education Requirements for Counseling and Human Services
Many entry level positions in counseling and human services require a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, sociology, or a related field. While these degrees will allow one to take direct service roles, such as caseworkers, or mental health assistants, a higher degree is required for jobs with more responsibility.
Clinical social workers need a master’s degree and 2000-4000 hours of supervised clinical experience before they can become accredited. These degrees prepare students to perform clinical assessments and take on supervisory duties. These programs also require an internship.
After attaining a degree, professionals in counseling and human services need to earn accreditation before working the field. The various requirements to become accredited vary by state, but most include some sort of education as well as an examination. While this process may seem arduous, it prepares counseling professionals to successfully address the issues they may encounter while working with clients for the rest of their careers.
Average Salary of Counseling and Human Services Careers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average annual salary of social workers outside of addiction, mental health, and child/ family services at $56,060, or $26.95 per hour. This salary changes depending on a number of variables, including experience, education, industry, and location.
The highest paying industry for counseling and human services professionals is the federal executive branch (OES designation) at an annual salary of $71,030. The second highest paying industry is insurance carriers at an annual salary of $67,950. Below is a list of the top five highest paid states in counseling and human services jobs.
- Rhode Island: $70860
- Idaho: $68,200
- South Dakota: $65,760
- Maryland: $65,600
- Nevada: $64,560