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Human Services Major

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Human Services

7,102 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,300 Master's Degrees Annually
#62 in Popularity
$46,050 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Human Services Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many human services graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 7,111
Associate’s Degree 4,559
Master’s Degree 1,403
Basic Certificate 1,316
Undergraduate Certificate 462
Graduate Certificate 63
Doctor’s Degree 48

What Human Services Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to human services and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Human Services Majors

Human Services majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

A major in human services prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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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

A major in human services will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

People with a human services degree often go into the following careers:

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 Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services?

7,111 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
86% Percent Women
47% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 7,102 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in human services in 2018, making it rank #62 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 86% 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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 156
Black or African American 1,558
Hispanic or Latino 1,309
White 3,203
International Students 90
Other Races/Ethnicities 795

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Human Services. About 1.3% 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?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in human services was $31,300 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $29,525 (25th percentile) and $31,700 (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. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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 the 2017-2018 academic year, 487 schools offered some type of human services program. 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) 113 28
Certificate (1-2 years) 75 12
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 255 61
Bachelor’s Degree 14 6
Post-Baccalaureate 113 28
Master’s Degree 75 37
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 4 2
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 55,945
Public Administration 16,874
Public Policy 5,550
Community Organization & Advocacy 2,775
Other Public Administration 957

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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