Human service careers are essential to the proper functioning of society. As a human services worker, you are performing duties that most people are not equipped to perform, and your unique skill set prepares you to work with populations that are at risk, have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities, or otherwise are in need of ongoing care.
So which of these career tracks should you follow? There are plenty of paths that involve working with people in need, whatever their needs may be. Where you feel called to may differ for you compared to someone else, but in general your training can serve you in these areas among others.
Guidance Counselor: Working with students, whether they are in search of mental health assistance, career advice, or are just talking through the day-to-day stresses of life, is the job of the guidance counselor. The teenage years are a time of great confusion for many people, and guidance counselors often play an integral role in successfully navigating that time.
Clinical Social Worker: Social workers help people learn to cope with personal issues and help them work through problems in their lives. Social workers may assist at-risk youth, children in need, or adults who have disabilities or simply need to work with someone. Social workers are some of the more selfless, giving workers, and they face many obstacles to offering that help.
Substance Abuse Counselor: People with substance abuse problems, or their friends or family, often seek out substance abuse counselors for help. Whether struggling with drug or alcohol dependence or dealing with the abuse of some other substance, the counselor can help work the patient through their issues, teach them strategies for coping and preventing relapses, and help them to stay sober.
Occupational Therapist: A profession that continues to grow in popularity is the occupational therapist. Their main job is to help people through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. In other words, they perform duties like helping children with disabilities participate in school, or adults with disabilities to live an independent life holding down a job. Occupational therapists help a wide range of people with a variety of applications in life, so their duties can vary greatly.