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Become A Service Counselor

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Working As A Service Counselor

  • 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

  • $39,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Service Counselor 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 Service Counselor

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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Service Counselor Career Paths

Service Counselor
Social Worker Therapist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinician Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Team Leader Program Director
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Clinician Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Program Coordinator Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Lead Teacher Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Family Service Counselor Supervisor Superintendent
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Service Counselor Supervisor Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Family Service Counselor Dependency Case Manager
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker
Senior Social Worker
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Ambulatory Care Coordinator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Liaison Facilitator Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
School Counselor Therapeutic Support Staff Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Service Counselor 3.0 years
Service Provider 2.8 years
Service Worker 2.6 years
Family Counselor 2.4 years
Service Assistant 2.3 years
Outreach Counselor 2.2 years
Advocate 2.1 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Crisis Counselor 2.0 years
Phone Counselor 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Service Counselor
Internship 8.8%
Counselor 8.4%
Cashier 7.4%
Teacher 3.2%
Volunteer 2.9%
Manager 2.6%
Therapist 2.2%
Top Careers After Service Counselor
Counselor 7.6%
Therapist 6.4%
Internship 5.6%
Cashier 5.2%
Supervisor 3.8%
Specialist 3.6%
Clinician 3.0%
Teacher 2.8%

Do you work as a Service Counselor?

Average Yearly Salary
$39,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$26,000
Min 10%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Median 50%
$59,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
State of Hawaii
Highest Paying City
Los Altos, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does a Service Counselor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Service Counselor in the United States is $39,950 per year or $19 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $59,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Service Counselor?

Have you worked as a Service Counselor? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Service Counselor.

Top Skills for A Service Counselor

  1. Customer Service
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Excelled in a fast paced work environment providing exceptional customer service and account maintenance for new and existing policyholders.
  • Provided intensive supervision, case management, crisis intervention and resource referral services to adjudicated youth and families.
  • Established & nurtured relationships, instituted treatment plans and documented all activities.
  • Provided personal, transitional, career, academic counseling, including academic advising to college students.
  • Handled all emergency situations for policyholders - Provided reassurance and contacted appropriate company to come to immediate aid

Service Counselor Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,910 Service Counselor 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.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Service Counselor Resume

View Resume Examples

Service Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

58.8%

Male

28.4%

Unknown

12.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

17.1%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.7%

French

6.6%

Chinese

2.2%

German

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Portuguese

1.5%

Greek

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Japanese

0.7%

Dakota

0.7%

Russian

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Arabic

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%
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Service Counselor Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.3%

Florida State University

11.0%

Troy University

5.4%

Walden University

5.2%

Liberty University

5.2%

Strayer University

5.0%

Capella University

5.0%

Webster University

4.8%

Nova Southeastern University

4.4%

University of South Florida

4.2%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Community College of Rhode Island

4.0%

Grand Canyon University

4.0%

Kaplan University

3.8%

University of Florida

3.5%

Norfolk State University

3.1%

Rhode Island College

2.7%

New York University

2.5%

Virginia Commonwealth University

2.5%

University of Iowa

2.5%
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Majors

Business

17.7%

Social Work

12.8%

Psychology

12.7%

Criminal Justice

8.5%

School Counseling

5.7%

Counseling Psychology

4.9%

Mental Health Counseling

4.8%

Human Services

3.3%

Sociology

3.2%

Education

3.0%

Communication

2.9%

Law

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

Nursing

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

General Studies

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Human Resources Management

2.1%

Clinical Psychology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.6%

Masters

31.4%

Other

17.6%

Associate

8.4%

Doctorate

4.1%

Certificate

3.6%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.5%
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