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Become A Service Worker

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Working As A Service Worker

  • 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

  • $29,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Service Worker 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 Worker

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 Worker Career Paths

Service Worker
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Supervisor
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Team Leader Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinician Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor Therapist Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Team Leader Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clinician Supervisor Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Service Supervisor Assistant Store Manager Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Specialist Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Clinical 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
Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Behavioral Specialist Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Social Worker Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Family Support Specialist Ambulatory Care Coordinator Program Supervisor
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Service Worker?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Service Worker 3.0 years
Service Provider 2.8 years
Service Counselor 2.7 years
Social Worker Aide 2.6 years
Service Aide 2.5 years
Case Worker 2.4 years
Community Worker 2.3 years
Service Assistant 2.3 years
Support Worker 2.3 years
Residential Worker 2.2 years
Outreach Worker 2.1 years
Top Careers Before Service Worker
Cashier 19.6%
Internship 8.8%
Volunteer 4.0%
Server 3.1%
Manager 2.7%
Supervisor 2.3%
Top Careers After Service Worker
Cashier 13.2%
Internship 7.2%
Volunteer 3.7%
Supervisor 3.3%
Server 3.1%
Driver 2.8%

Do you work as a Service Worker?

Service Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

53.7%

Male

32.2%

Unknown

14.1%
Ethnicity

White

63.7%

Black or African American

13.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.7%

French

6.5%

German

3.6%

Chinese

3.2%

Mandarin

2.5%

Italian

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Korean

2.1%

Portuguese

1.5%

Armenian

1.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Russian

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Hindi

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Croatian

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Swedish

0.6%

Bosnian

0.6%

Greek

0.6%
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Service Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.4%

West Virginia University

6.5%

Unitech Training Academy - Lafayette

5.8%

Remington College

5.6%

University of Kentucky

5.5%

Grambling State University

5.3%

University of Louisville

4.7%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.3%

San Diego State University

4.3%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.2%

University of California - Riverside

4.1%

Cleveland State University

3.8%

Ashford University

3.8%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.8%

Southern University and A & M College

3.6%

Liberty University

3.6%

Washington State University

3.6%

Delgado Community College

3.4%

Walden University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%
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Majors

Social Work

15.9%

Business

13.9%

Psychology

10.8%

Criminal Justice

9.6%

Medical Assisting Services

6.1%

Nursing

5.6%

General Studies

4.5%

Health Care Administration

4.4%

Sociology

4.3%

Human Services

3.8%

Accounting

2.9%

Education

2.6%

Counseling Psychology

2.1%

School Counseling

2.1%

Mental Health Counseling

2.0%

Management

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Biology

1.9%

Human Development

1.9%

Nursing Assistants

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.8%

Other

27.5%

Masters

17.1%

Associate

11.3%

Certificate

5.1%

Diploma

2.7%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$29,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$20,000
Min 10%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$29,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NJVC
Highest Paying City
Beaverton, OR
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Service Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Service Worker in the United States is $29,171 per year or $14 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $20,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $40,000.

Real Service Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Supervisors/Managers of Personal Service Workers Hairbar Inc. DBA James Joseph Salon and Studios Boston, MA Mar 23, 2011 $54,500
Social Services Worker-UTR Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center of Chicago Chicago, IL Aug 10, 2014 $50,294
Supervisor of Personal Service Workers Pure Medspa Ontario, CA Aug 29, 2008 $50,000
Manager of Personal Service Worker Massage Express McLean, VA Sep 30, 2008 $45,079
Supervisor, Carwash Service Workers Cinesha Corporation T/A Seven Car Wash Sterling, VA Apr 24, 2009 $44,928
First Lien Supervisor/Managers of Personal Service Workers Krysia's Beauty Salon Garfield, NJ May 23, 2008 $44,829
Manager of Personal Service Workers Lanphier Day Spa Darien, CT Jan 17, 2008 $42,325
Protectice Service Worker Southwest Senior Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Aug 26, 2015 $41,151
Protective Service Worker Southwest Boston Senior Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Aug 26, 2015 $41,151
Social Service Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Feb 05, 2015 $40,170
Supervisor of Personal Service Worker BVR, Inc. Union City, CA Jan 25, 2008 $39,236
Social Services Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Mar 02, 2013 $38,992
First-Line Supv/Mgr of Personal Service Workers Pen Homes, Inc. La Mirada, CA Aug 05, 2010 $37,566
Managers of Personal Service Workers Avanti Nails and Skin Care, Inc. New York, NY Jul 12, 2010 $37,500
Social Services Worker Interfaith Residence Saint Louis, MO Oct 16, 2010 $36,932
Gerontological Social Services Worker W. S. Group Corporation Alhambra, CA Sep 01, 2010 $34,404
Manager of Personal Service Worker Sun Princess Corporation Los Angeles, CA Dec 01, 2009 $33,768
Supervisor Personal Service Worker Thompson's Guest Homes Hillsborough, CA Feb 07, 2008 $31,117
1St. Line Sups/Mgrs-of Personal Service Workers Cachuela ICF/DDN Home, Inc. Orange, CA Nov 19, 2010 $30,971
Service Worker Anchor Aquatics, Inc. MD Apr 01, 2014 $24,063
Service Worker Anchor Aquatics, Inc. Apr 01, 2014 $24,063
Service Worker Juan V. Camacho Somerset, NJ May 05, 2009 $24,021
Service Worker Baytree Landscape Contractors Ladson, SC Apr 01, 2016 $24,021
Live-In Household Domestic Service Worker Josephine Wang PA Apr 13, 2015 $23,708
Service Worker Elias Choukair Middlesex, NJ Jul 12, 2010 $21,726
Portective Service Worker Alexander Investigations Sacramento, CA Apr 09, 2010 $20,870 -
$31,305
Operational Service Worker (OSW) Affirmative Risk Management Little Rock, AR Jun 30, 2015 $19,989
Service Worker Carmel Cheryll Forsatz Wayne, NJ Nov 19, 2007 $19,785
Live In Domestic Service Worker Shamika Bolta-Rios Valley Stream, NY Apr 17, 2015 $19,346

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Top Skills for A Service Worker

  1. Ensure Safety
  2. Substance Abuse
  3. Financial Assistance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collaborated with multidisciplinary team to determine most appropriate action and/or out-of-home placement options to be taken to ensure safety of clients.
  • Conduct disposition/placement of psychiatric/substance abuse patients in both the emergency room and medical floor settings.
  • Conduct eligibility screening and intakes for financial assistance; collect and review documentation, process applications and prepare check requests.
  • Assessed general customer needs to provide pristine customer service relations.
  • Verified information, prepared court reports, provided testimony at court hearings, and monitored conditions of clients set by courts.

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Top 10 Best States for Service Workers

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Connecticut
  3. New Jersey
  4. Michigan
  5. Hawaii
  6. Minnesota
  7. Illinois
  8. Nevada
  9. Maine
  10. Vermont
  • (84 jobs)
  • (167 jobs)
  • (406 jobs)
  • (523 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (297 jobs)
  • (665 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)

Top Service Worker Employers

Jobs From Top Service Worker Employers

Service Worker Videos

Learn English - English Conversation for Service Workers [English Subtitle]

HTML5DevConf may 2014: Alex Russell, Google: Service Workers: Offline Now(ish)!

Pros And Cons Of Being A Social Worker

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