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Human Services Major

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Human Services

1,236 Master's Degrees Annually
55 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#94 in Popularity (Master's)
$46,050 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Human Services Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many human services graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,236
Graduate Certificate 69
Doctor’s Degree 55

What Human Services Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to human services were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Human Services Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in human services should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

Skills for Human Services Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to human services:

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  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Human Services Majors

As you progress with your human services degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Human Services Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with human services:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Community and Social Service Specialists 13.2% $42,620
Social and Community Service Managers 18.0% $65,320
Social and Human Service Assistants 16.4% $33,750

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Human Services?

1,236 Master's Degrees Annually
88% Percent Women
59% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 88% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of human services majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Human Services Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 7
Black or African American 580
Hispanic or Latino 91
White 409
International Students 21
Other Races/Ethnicities 128

Geographic Diversity

Human Services appeals to people across the globe. About 1.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Nigeria
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Canada

How Much Do Human Services Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that human services students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $34,900 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $34,900 (25th percentile) and $38,650 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in human services, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Human Services majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $35,830 to $71,670 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Human Services Major  ( 35830 to 71670 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with human services require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to human services have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.8%
Some College Courses 4.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.5%
Master’s Degree 20.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 10.5%

Online Human Services Programs

In 2018-2019, 472 schools offered a human services program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 109 13
Certificate (1-2 years) 68 13
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 239 43
Bachelor’s Degree 12 4
Post-Baccalaureate 109 13
Master’s Degree 53 29
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 6 3
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Human Services Worth It?

The median salary for a human services grad is $46,050 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 15% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $123,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to human services.

Major Number of Grads
Social Work 32,304
Public Administration 13,942
Public Policy 3,701
Community Organization & Advocacy 541
Other Public Administration 386

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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