What is Human Services?

Human services is an umbrella term for many different kinds of occupations. At its heart, however, human services involves helping people who are in need. Human services professionals must have interdisciplinary skills and knowledge so they can address problems, improve others’ quality of life and provide education. Human services work may include

  • Helping people with their living environment (e.g., affordable housing or halfway houses)
  • Helping people with food and nutrition (e.g., SNAP and WIC)

A Career in Human Services

Human services refers to a broad spectrum of jobs. Human services professionals work with individuals, families, groups or communities to reach goals. Some work environments include

  • Group homes
  • Mental health centers
  • Substance abuse treatment centers
  • Correctional facilities

Possible job titles include

  • Eligibility worker
  • Correctional treatment specialist
  • Emergency management specialist
  • Grief counselor
  • Occupational therapist
  • Probation officer
  • Psychologist
  • Public administrator
  • Social worker
  • Sociologist

Education Required

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many human services workers have some kind of college degree. This can range from an associate degree to a master’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree in human services can lead to positions managing cases and providing clinical support. A master’s degree in human services can result in providing counseling to clients or patients.