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 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
            BA/Social Science - No Concentration
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
            • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
            • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
            • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
            • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
            • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
            • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Psychology (BA)
            • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
            • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
            • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
            • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • 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
            M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            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
            PhD in Psychology
            • 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
            Master of Social Work - Macro

            Why is Boston University ranked #39 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017? And what is the catalyst that prompts 33,106 students to call BU their home every semester? It's in our DNA: an inherent desire in each of our students, faculty, and staff to vigorously and dauntlessly pursue knowledge—and embrace the unlimited possibilities that come with it. Founded in 1839, Boston University is one of America's largest and most respected private research universities. It offers a unique combination of academic excellence and social relevance for its more than 33,000 students from 135 different countries. 

            • 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.

            • Online Courses
            Master of Social Work

            Winthrop University is a public, comprehensive university located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with a rich tradition spanning more than 130 years.

            • Online Courses