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Working as a Human Service Specialist

Human service specialists provide a variety of social services with an aim to improve the quality of life of those they serve. They can work for many organizations and under the direction of others and directly with the population being served. They work with social workers, psychologists, and other professionals.

Key duties and responsibilities that human service specialists fulfill in this capacity include interviewing clients to determine their eligibility for various social programs. They also help develop programs based on agency funding. Moreover, they gather more information on clients based on investigation of public records. Lastly, they advise or offer mental health counselling or assessment to determine eligibility on medical attention or medication. A high school diploma is the minimum education requirement for this profession; however, many have completed an associate's degree in human services or a specialty area such as gerontology or addiction studies. Essential skills required include patience, compassion, analytical, and planning.

The average hourly salary is $22.35, which amounts to $46,485 annually. In addition, the career is expected to grow in the near future which will result in more opportunities in this profession across the United States.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a human service specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $22.35 an hour? That's $46,485 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 13% and produce 52,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Human Service Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many human service specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed compassion, time-management skills and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a human service specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.3% of human service specialists included mental health, while 6.0% of resumes included program eligibility, and 5.7% of resumes included social workers. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the human service specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most human service specialists actually find jobs in the health care and non profits industries.

How To Become a Human Service Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a human service specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 44.7% of human service specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 28.9% of human service specialists have master's degrees. Even though most human service specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a human service specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a human service specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on human service specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a human service specialist. In fact, many human service specialist jobs require experience in a role such as customer service representative. Meanwhile, many human service specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or case manager.

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Average Salary$46,485
Job Growth Rate13%

Human Service Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Human Service Specialist

Top Careers After Human Service Specialist

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Average Salary for a Human Service Specialist

Human Service Specialists in America make an average salary of $46,485 per year or $22 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $62,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Salary
$46,485

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Oakland, CA
Salary Range46k - 79k$61k$60,967
Seattle, WA
Salary Range43k - 63k$53k$52,793
Salem, OR
Salary Range42k - 64k$52k$52,278
New York, NY
Salary Range38k - 61k$49k$48,538
Harrisburg, PA
Salary Range37k - 61k$48k$47,967
Saint Paul, MN
Salary Range39k - 52k$46k$45,809
$22k
$79k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Human Services Specialist Junior II (With Special Skills)
Human Services Specialist Junior II (With Special Skills)
County of Sacramento
County of Sacramento
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$47,60601/27/2021
$47,606
Human Service Specialist I-Mesquite Supervisor
Human Service Specialist I-Mesquite Supervisor
Sc Department of Public Safety
Sc Department of Public Safety
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$22,62501/25/2021
$22,625
Human Services Specialist II-Investigator-County Administration-Office of Human Rights & Equity
Human Services Specialist II-Investigator-County Administration-Office of Human Rights & Equity
Howard County Government
Howard County Government
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$57,68801/23/2021
$57,688
Human Services Specialist II-Investigator-County Administration-Office of Human Rights & Equity
Human Services Specialist II-Investigator-County Administration-Office of Human Rights & Equity
County of Howard Md
County of Howard Md
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$57,68801/23/2021
$57,688
Human Services Program Specialist
Human Services Program Specialist
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
01/23/2021
01/23/2021
$32,69701/23/2021
$32,697
See More Recent Salaries

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Human Service Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Human Service Specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Human Service Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Human Service Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Human Service Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

73.5 %

male

22.2 %

unknown

4.3 %

Ethnicity

White

54.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.3 %

Black or African American

15.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

78.5 %

French

5.1 %

Vietnamese

1.7 %
See More Demographics

Human Service Specialist Education

Majors

Business
15.2 %

Degrees

Bachelors

44.7 %

Masters

28.9 %

Associate

10.1 %

Top Colleges for Human Service Specialists

1. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Enrollment
13,871

4. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

8. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

10. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Human Service Specialist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.3% of human service specialists listed mental health on their resume, but soft skills such as compassion and time-management skills are important as well.

Best States For a Human Service Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a human service specialist. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada. Human service specialists make the most in California with an average salary of $55,826. Whereas in Washington and Oregon, they would average $52,099 and $52,097, respectively. While human service specialists would only make an average of $48,804 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Human Service Specialist Jobs:
229
Highest 10% Earn:
$97,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Human Service Specialist Jobs:
308
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Pennsylvania

Total Human Service Specialist Jobs:
996
Highest 10% Earn:
$75,000
Location Quotient:
1.13
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Human Service Specialist Employers

1. South Carolina Department of Transportation
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$55,187
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
184+
2. SC Department of Commerce
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$32,756
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
81+
3. The State of Oregon
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$52,145
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
52+
4. United States Department of Homeland ...
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$65,189
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
43+
5. Kansas Department of Transportation
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$46,632
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
40+
6. Arizona Department of Transportation
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$54,320
Human Service Specialists Hired: 
39+

Human Service Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020