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Become An Advocate

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Working As An Advocate

  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Stressful

  • $57,058

    Average Salary

What Does An Advocate Do

Social and human service assistants provide client services, including support for families, in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.

Duties

Social and human service assistants typically do the following:

  • Help determine what type of aid their clients need
  • Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
  • Help clients find assistance with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
  • Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to their clients in their communities
  • Coordinate services provided to clients
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Transport clients—for example, by driving them to appointments or to services within their community
  • Check in with clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately

Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.

Social and human service assistants help clients to identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the intended services and that the services are meeting their needs. They work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or other social and human service workers.

With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that the children live in safe homes. They help parents get the resources, such as food stamps or childcare, they need to care for their children.

With the elderly, these workers help clients stay in their own homes and live under their own care whenever possible. Social and human service assistants may coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help with the clients’ day-to-day needs, such as running errands and bathing. In some cases, human service workers help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to make a job more accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing and making meals.

For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also may find support groups for people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.

With veterans, assistants help people who have been discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as locating housing and finding ways to apply skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They may also help their clients navigate the overwhelming number of services available to veterans.

For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find the appropriate resources to help them cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they may find personal care services or group housing to help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves.

With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help the clients locate jobs and housing. They also may help them find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get various administrative paperwork in order.

With former prison inmates, human service assistants find job training or placement programs to help clients reenter society. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them start a new life for themselves.

With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing for their clients and locate places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also may help homeless people find resources to address other problems they may have, such as joblessness.

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How To Become An Advocate

Requirements for social and human service assistants vary, although they typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers prefer to hire workers who have additional education or experience.

Education

Although a high school diploma is typically required, some employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work experience or education beyond high school. A certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject such as human services, gerontology (working with older adults), or social or behavioral science is common for workers entering this occupation.

Human service degree programs train students to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and handle people who are undergoing a crisis. Many programs include fieldwork to give students hands-on experience.

The level of education that social and human service assistants have completed often determines the responsibilities they are given. Those with a high school diploma are likely to do lower level work, such as helping clients fill out paperwork. Assistants with some college education may coordinate program activities or manage a group home.

Although postsecondary education is important, some employers may prefer or allow for applicants who have related work experience. In some cases, candidates may substitute such experience in place of postsecondary education. 

Training

Many social and human service assistants, particularly those without any postsecondary education, undergo a period of on-the-job training. Because such workers often are dealing with multiple clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, on-the-job training in case management helps prepare them to respond appropriately to the different needs and situations of their clients.

Advancement

For social and human service assistants, additional education is almost always necessary for advancement. In general, advancement to case management or social work jobs requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or a related field.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Social and human service assistants talk with clients about the challenges in their lives and assist them in getting help. These workers must be able to listen to their clients and to communicate the clients’ needs to organizations that can help them.

Compassion. Social and human service assistants often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Social and human service assistants must make their clients feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues. Assistants also need to build relationships with other service providers to become familiar with all of the resources that are available in their communities.

Organizational skills. Social and human service assistants often must complete lots of paperwork and work with many different clients. They must be organized in order to ensure that the paperwork is filed properly and that clients are getting the help they need.

Problem-solving skills. Social and human service assistants help clients find solutions to their problems. They must be able to listen carefully to their clients’ needs and offer practical solutions.

Time-management skills. Social and human service assistants often work with many clients. They must manage their time effectively to ensure that their clients are getting the attention they need.

Some employers require a criminal background check. In some settings, workers need a valid driver’s license.

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Advocate Jobs

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Advocate Career Paths

Advocate
Instructor Lead Teacher Residential Counselor
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Director Chairperson
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor Specialist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Service Coordinator Family Support Specialist
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Home Health Aid Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Family Counselor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Facilitator Substance Abuse Counselor Mental Health Counselor
Mental Health Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Support Specialist Case Manager Therapist
Mental Health Consultant
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Security Officer Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Medical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Family Case Manager Child Protective Investigator Dependency Case Manager
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Advocate?

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Do you work as an Advocate?

Advocate Demographics

Gender

Female

74.4%

Male

23.6%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.1%

Hispanic or Latino

17.4%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.6%

French

8.4%

German

3.6%

Chinese

3.0%

Mandarin

2.5%

Hindi

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Russian

1.7%

Italian

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Portuguese

1.5%

Korean

1.1%

Japanese

1.0%

Cantonese

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Greek

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Tagalog

0.5%

Hmong

0.4%

Ukrainian

0.4%
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Advocate Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.2%

Capella University

7.8%

Liberty University

7.6%

Michigan State University

6.0%

Walden University

5.5%

Ashford University

5.5%

Kaplan University

5.1%

University of Central Florida

4.1%

Grand Canyon University

4.1%

New York University

4.0%

Temple University

3.7%

Florida State University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

Sam Houston State University

3.4%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.3%

Wayne State University

3.0%

Arizona State University

3.0%

University of Denver

3.0%

University of Southern California

2.9%
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Majors

Social Work

14.6%

Psychology

14.0%

Business

12.7%

Criminal Justice

8.0%

Law

6.1%

Human Services

5.6%

Nursing

4.3%

Sociology

4.2%

Mental Health Counseling

3.8%

Communication

3.0%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Education

2.8%

Counseling Psychology

2.7%

Political Science

2.6%

School Counseling

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Human Development

2.0%

General Studies

1.9%

English

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.0%

Masters

24.2%

Other

18.5%

Associate

8.3%

Doctorate

5.0%

Certificate

3.7%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Real Advocate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Global Digital Creative and Technology Advocate IBM Corporation Cambridge, MA Nov 08, 2016 $128,211 -
$256,600
Advocate Refugees International Washington, DC Jan 01, 2011 $91,800
Quality Advocate Groupon, Inc. Chicago, IL Dec 05, 2011 $83,000 -
$105,000
Sustainable Livestock Advocate Natural Resources Defense Council Washington, DC Jun 08, 2015 $83,000
Digital Advocate Human Rights Watch New York, NY Jun 10, 2015 $80,000
Client Business Advocate First Data Resources, LLC Alpharetta, GA Nov 07, 2011 $74,927
Operations Advocate IBM India Private Limited Duluth, GA Mar 30, 2015 $74,630
Advocate Refugees International Washington, DC Jul 02, 2010 $72,500
Advocate Refugees International Washington, DC Sep 03, 2010 $72,500
Client Business Advocate First Data Resources, LLC Alpharetta, GA Sep 04, 2010 $72,393
Regional Human Resources Advocate Arclin USA LLC Roswell, GA Aug 15, 2013 $69,930 -
$72,000
India Initiative Advocate Natural Resources Defense Council New York, NY Oct 05, 2010 $65,920
Client Advocate Wise Financial Advisors New York, NY Nov 01, 2012 $65,000
Client Advocate Wise Financial Advisors New York, NY Nov 15, 2012 $65,000
Case Advocate Lutheran Social Services of The National Capital A Washington, DC Sep 30, 2013 $42,286
Special Education Advocate James E Brown & Associates, PLLC Washington, DC Feb 26, 2010 $40,539
Advocate Counselor YPIS of Staten Island, Inc. New York, NY May 04, 2011 $40,000
Client Advocate Aids Action Committee of Massachusetts, Inc. Boston, MA Sep 02, 2015 $37,080
Economic Empowerment & DV Program Advocate Sakhi for South Asian Women New York, NY Jan 01, 2010 $35,700
Advocate, Intervention Counseling Center for The Pacific Asian Family, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 28, 2010 $35,562
Chinese Advocate/Caseworker Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence Boston, MA Oct 01, 2011 $35,437
Residential Advocate New York Asian Women's Center New York, NY Apr 28, 2014 $34,000
Advocate Manavi Inc. New Brunswick, NJ Oct 02, 2013 $33,000
Advocate Manavi, Inc. New Brunswick, NJ Sep 18, 2013 $32,885

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Top Skills for An Advocate

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  1. Crisis Intervention
  2. Domestic Violence
  3. Advocacy Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided crisis intervention, hospital advocacy, support and assistance to domestic violence/sexual assault victims, both residential and non-residential.
  • Educate individuals seeking information about domestic violence and shelter.
  • Offer supportive and advocacy services for individuals accessing sexual assault aftercare services through local medical facilities.
  • Provided advocacy for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence through in-office crisis counseling and safety planning.
  • Completed 40 hours training and provided advocacy and support to sexual assault/domestic violence survivors in hospitals and/or police departments.

How Would You Rate Working As an Advocate?

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Top 10 Best States for Advocates

  1. Alaska
  2. Nevada
  3. North Dakota
  4. Washington
  5. Minnesota
  6. Connecticut
  7. Oregon
  8. Texas
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Colorado
  • (18 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (233 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (92 jobs)

Top Advocate Employers

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Jobs From Top Advocate Employers

Advocate Videos

Career in Law explained by Gaurav Sahay, Advocate | YouCareer

Five Ways to be an Effective Advocate

A Day in the Life - Advocate (Official Music Video)

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