dcsimg

Social Service Assistant

Job Duties

Social service assistants provide clients with direct and indirect services that help them attain a higher level of everyday functioning in society. They are typically supervised by different professionals, such as those in nursing, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitative or physical therapy, or social work. Their responsibilities and level of supervision varies greatly from job to job. Some work under close supervision, while others work independently. They determine their clients' eligibility for government benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare. They arrange for transportation and give their clients emotional support. They keep detailed records of each client's case and report progress to their supervisors.

Social Sciences

Social service assistants perform many different types of duties, depending on their specific job. Some organize group activities or trips. Others run food banks or emergency fuel programs. Others work in halfway houses, group homes, and government-supported housing programs. Those who work in hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and outpatient clinics work closely with professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, helping clients communicate more effectively and live more fully.

Job Skills

Those types of people who tend to succeed in social service assistant jobs generally enjoy helping other people and working hard. They tend to be emotionally stable and responsible. They are passionate about their work and their clients, and they usually have a pleasant and optimistic personality. They also need to be honest, tactful, and discreet.

Income

In 2002, social service assistants earned a median annual salary of $23,370. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $15,420, to the highest 10%, who earned more than $37,550. The following shows the median hourly wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of social service assistants:

  • State government: $31,280
  • Local government: $26,570
  • Individual and family services: $22,210
  • Community food and housing services: $21,840
  • Residential retardation, mental health, and substance abuse facilities: $20,010

Training and Education

Most employers of social service assistants look for applicants who have education beyond the high school level as well as work experience in the field. A bachelor's degree is usually not required, and certificates or associate degrees in social work, human services, gerontology, or behavioral science will usually be enough to qualify applicants. A few jobs, such as those involving counseling, rehabilitation, and social work, may require a bachelor's or a master's degree. In human serve degree programs, students learn to observe patients and record information, conduct patient interviews, implement treatment plans, employ problem-solving techniques, handle crisis intervention matters, and use proper case management and referral procedures. In order to advance in the occupation, employees are almost always required to have formal education, such as a bachelor's or master's degree. You can explore more about training for social service assistant careers by clicking on this link for schools offering human services degrees.

Employment

In 2002, social service assistants held about 305,000 jobs.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of social service assistants is expected to increase faster than the average. In fact, it is one of the most rapidly growing occupations in the country. Jobs in urban areas will be more competitive than in rural areas. However, even in the cities, applicants with the proper qualifications should have little trouble finding employment. Opportunities will be best for those who have related postsecondary education.


Social Service Assistant Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Conflict Resolution (Master of Arts) - Online
            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Arts in History Online
            • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
            • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
            • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
            • Take advantage of four start dates per year
            • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
            • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
            • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Psychology - BA
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology
            • Ranked 25th among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • One of the world’s leading private research universities.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 9:1, and 56.8% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, of 96.8 percent.
            • Dedicated to a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education since 1880.
            • Its faculty includes National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Psychology (BA) (Online)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Social Work (MSW) Degree

            Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.


             

            • Online Courses
            Masters of Social Work

            Why Choose Widener University?

            At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

            Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. The university has been included on the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction every year since its inception in 2006.

            • Online Courses
            Online Master of Information
            • Ranked one of the Top Public Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1766 as a public institution; it has a main campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey and offers many programs online.
            • Has an average freshman retention rate of 91.8%.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 38% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has famous alumni including chef and restauranteur Mario Batali, author Junot Diaz, actor James Gandolfini, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            B.A. Human Development
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits