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Become A Behavioral Assistant

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Working As A Behavioral Assistant

  • 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

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Behavioral Assistant 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 A Behavioral Assistant

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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Behavioral Assistant Career Paths

Behavioral Assistant
Clinician Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinician Case Manager Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Social Worker Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Behavioral Specialist Therapist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Behavioral Specialist Therapist Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Behavioral Specialist Therapeutic Support Staff Therapist
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Social Worker
Senior Social Worker
6 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Social Worker Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Social Worker Senior Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Professor Superintendent
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Adjunct Faculty Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Clinical Social Worker Social Work Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Lead Teacher House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Therapeutic Support Staff
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Mental Health Therapist Mental Health Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Lead Teacher Program Supervisor
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Alcohol And Drug Counselor Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Community Health Counselor Medicaid Service Coordinator Integrator
Health Unit Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Behavioral Assistant

  1. Crisis Intervention
  2. Behavioral Issues
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilized crisis intervention strategies and emotional support as well as documented behavior.
  • Worked with teenagers with emotional and behavioral issues providing behavioral support assisting them in changing their negative behaviors.
  • Partnered with interdisciplinary team members with input into initial assessments and treatment plans with integrity and professionalism.
  • Participated in various therapeutic interventions including: individual counseling, crisis intervention, family consultation and discharge planning.
  • Help persons with special needs develop socially appropriate behaviors for independent living skills and autonomous community interaction.

Behavioral Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

62.7%

Male

24.5%

Unknown

12.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.9%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.3%

French

6.4%

Russian

3.2%

Braille

2.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Serbian

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Portuguese

1.1%

Chinese

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

German

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Catalan

1.1%

Urdu

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Navajo

1.1%

Korean

1.1%
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Behavioral Assistant Education

Schools

Kean University

11.7%

University of Phoenix

9.9%

Monmouth University

9.2%

Rowan University

6.7%

Montclair State University

6.5%

Capella University

6.3%

New Jersey City University

5.8%

William Paterson University of New Jersey

5.6%

Seton Hall University

5.2%

Walden University

4.0%

Liberty University

4.0%

Wilmington University

3.6%

Rutgers University-Camden

3.4%

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

3.1%

Florida International University

2.7%

Rider University

2.5%

Ashford University

2.5%

Fordham University

2.5%

Florida Atlantic University

2.5%

Bloomfield College

2.5%
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Majors

Psychology

24.7%

Social Work

11.2%

Criminal Justice

6.7%

Counseling Psychology

6.3%

Mental Health Counseling

6.1%

School Counseling

5.0%

Nursing

4.4%

Sociology

4.3%

Business

4.2%

Human Services

4.1%

Education

4.0%

Special Education

3.5%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Family Therapy

2.2%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Clinical Psychology

2.1%

Medical Assisting Services

1.7%

Health Care Administration

1.5%

Communication

1.4%

Human Development

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.8%

Masters

32.3%

Other

15.8%

Associate

6.9%

Certificate

3.2%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.8%
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What is it like to work as a Behavioral Assistant

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Behavioral Assistant in Arkansas

March 12, 2019 on Zippia

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Behavioral Assistant.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Behavioral Assistant?

I most like spending time with students in-need & working alongside creative & empathic super heroes... Show More

What do you NOT like?

I do not like the low pay, high case load, low resources, & limited support due to non-profit organization being spread too thin due to changing healthcare structures within the state... Show More

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