Social and Human Services

From mental health counselors to hairdressers, human services workers provide a wide range of assistance to individuals and families. People who choose to work in this cluster usually have a deep desire to enrich and make life easier for others.

What kinds of services do human services customers need? They may benefit from rehabilitation therapy; psychological assistance; help with daily activities such as meal preparation or housekeeping; spiritual guidance; or health education. Their needs have an impact on where workers provide services. Psychologists and social and community service managers are likely to work in office settings. Others like clergy and social workers may work part of the time in an office and may also visit people at home.

Since the services provided in this industry vary greatly, workers in this cluster have educational backgrounds that range from high school diplomas to doctorates. They may also need credentials such as certifications and licenses. Social assistance organizations and local and state governments tend to offer more human services jobs than do other work settings.


Core Skills

The following Core Skills are necessary for success in these occupations.

  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people
  • Persuasion - Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
  • Negotiation - Bringing people together to solve differences
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • Speaking - Talking to others
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Selecting and managing the best workers for a job
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something


Fields of Study in Social and Human Services