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
            2 Program(s) Found
            • 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
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Allows students to transfer credits from non-U.S. colleges and universities after evaluation.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            • Its main campus is located in Fort Lauderdale, with campuses located throughout the State of Florida and internationally. 
            • Provides a Department of Student Services and Resources that assists students with résumé preparation, interviewing skills coaching, mock interviewing, professional development workshops, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • A private university founded in 1939.  
            • Part of an international network of Assemblies of God colleges and universities.
            • Offers bachelor’s programs that give students the option to take one 7-week course at a time and complete their degree in as few as 36 months.
            • Provides 18 month programs for a master of arts in organizational leadership, digital media, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            3 Program(s) Found
            Argosy University , Online (campus option available)
            • 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 [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
            • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
            • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
            • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
            • Online Courses
            • Ranked #12 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
            • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
            • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Pacific Oaks College , Online (campus option available)
            • 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 [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.

            Learning in Community: An Academic Vision

            The story of Iowa Wesleyan University is a story of community; its founding, an act of community; its long history, an affirmation of community. Its defining vision draws on a community of memory even as it forges a dynamic future.

            • Online Courses
            • A private, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1905 and open to students of any faith.
            • Has an average class size of 20 students.
            • 97% of students receive financial aid, with the average freshman receiving $10,000.
            • Offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs.
            • Has approximately 5,000 students; 60% female and 40% male.
            • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits