Psychology and Social Services Career Overview

Even as new technology and scientific advances make the world a better place, social problems such as substance abuse, broken families, and poverty abound. Those who work in the social services are dedicated to doing their part to fight these problems and more in their communities and to improve the lives of individuals. Whether you are interested in school counseling, social work, research, or community volunteer leadership, a degree psychology can be your ticket to doing your part to eradicate social problems in your community.

Listed at the bottom of this page are colleges and universities that offer online psychology and social services degrees or certificates in as well as a detailed list of programs. You can also explore various study areas in psychology and social services below.

PSYCHOLOGY STUDY AREAS

Career Outlook for Social Services

Employment opportunities for community and social services is anticipated to grow over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in the social services field will increase 14% from 2016 to 2026, adding about 371,900 new jobs. The majority of these new jobs are anticipated to be counselor and social work positions. The growth is fueled by the need for rehabilitation and drug abuse counseling, as well as school counselors.

Projected Job Growth, 2016 to 2026

  • Marriage and family therapists: 23%
  • School and career counselors: 13%
  • Social workers: 16%
  • Social and human service assistants: 16%
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors: 23%
  • Health educators and community health workers: 16%
  • Rehabilitation counselors: 13%

Salary Forecast for Careers in Social Services

Social workers most often work in government and healthcare. As a social worker or drug rehab therapist, you can find a good job and make a decent living, but keep in mind that much of your job satisfaction will come from the reward of helping others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all social service workers was $43,840 in May 2017, which was still higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $37,690. The highest paid positions on average are school counselors and marriage therapists.

Median Salaries, May 2017

  • Marriage and family therapists: $48,790
  • School and career counselors: $55,410
  • Social workers: $47,980
  • Social and human service assistants: $33,120
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors: $43,300
  • Health educators and community health workers: $45,360
  • Rehabilitation counselors: $34,860

Education Requirements for Social Services

To begin a community and social services career, you will need a college degree. You can enter the field with a more general degree, such as sociology, human development, or psychology, or with a more specialized degree, such as family therapy or social work.


While there is plenty of work to be found for those holding an associates or bachelor’s degree, working as a therapist will require a master’s degree, and teaching or conducting research will need a doctorate degree.


Practical experience, combined with education, is the best preparation for a social services career. Alongside a degree, you may need to complete an internship and receive a license to qualify for employment. For example, social workers are often required to receive a two-year master’s degree in social work with an additional two years of supervised clinical practice, plus pass an exam, in order to be licensed as clinical social workers.


The following lists of degrees are generally required for entry-level positions in community and social services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Degree Requirements for Social Services Careers

  • Marriage and family therapists: Master’s degree
  • School and career counselors: Master’s degree
  • Social workers: Master’s degree
  • Social and human service assistants: High school diploma
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors: Bachelor’s degree
  • Health educators and community health workers: Bachelor’s degree
  • Rehabilitation counselors: Master’s degree

SOURCE

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/home.htm

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