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Social Service Specialists

Social service specialists make arrangements for needed services and treatments for individuals and families. They also develop and implement specialized treatment programs within a community. Some of the major areas they work in are public welfare, family services and child protective services. Social service specialists work with other professionals to determine the overall treatment for individuals.

Some social service workers specialize in specific areas and other deal with a wide variety of services. They usually provide services to economically and socially disadvantaged people. Community and social service specialists evaluate the needs of their clients and determine their eligibility for specific programs. Social service specialists need a thorough understanding of the variety of programs, support services and resources that are available.

Responsibilities

  • Investigate, evaluate and follow up on complaints of neglect or abuse
  • Provide services to neglected and abused children
  • Develop, observe and modify clients' service plans
  • Provide services to people with disabilities
  • Provide services to socially and economically disadvantaged adults
  • Determine the best course of action and implement services, learning plans and treatment
  • Find resources that will help solve peoples' problems
  • Write and maintain social case histories, case records and case summaries
  • Perform family assessment and placement studies
  • Serve as a liaison between community groups and departments in order to develop and coordinate programs

Job Characteristics

Social service specialists need to communicate effectively with others and be courteous. They should enjoy helping people. Social service workers should be sensitive and dependable. Knowledge of cultural values and family dynamics is beneficial for the occupation. They should be skilled at organizing activities. They often meet with service providers.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted employment of social and human services assistants to grow by 34 percent between 2006 and 2016 which is faster than the national average for all occupations. The major reasons for the better than average projected growth rate is the increasing elderly population and the demand for more social services programs for substance abusers, the homeless, the mentally disabled and pregnant teenagers.

In 2008 the median annual salary for community and social service specialists was $37,670. The top paying sectors for the occupation are speciality hospitals, general medical and surgical hospitals and psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Many employers prefer to hire applicants that hold a bachelor's degree in a subject such as social work, social welfare, psychology, sociology, consumer/community services, counseling and guidance, family and child development, and gerontology.

Resources

Major Employers

The major employers are local government, individual and family services, state government, elementary and secondary schools, social advocacy organizations, charitable organizations and nonprofit organizations.

Schools for Community And Social Service Specialists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Community and Social Service Specialists

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Community and Social Service Specialists jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 90 $50,020
Fairbanks 50 $34,330
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Phoenix 700 $36,400
Scottsdale 700 $36,400
Mesa 700 $36,400
Tucson 220 $33,570
Yuma 60 $34,190
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 110 $28,890
North Little Rock 110 $28,890
Little Rock 110 $28,890
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 3440 $53,880
Long Beach 3440 $53,880
Anaheim 3440 $53,880
Riverside 1320 $54,410
San Bernardino 1320 $54,410
Ontario 1320 $54,410
Oakland 1250 $53,730
San Francisco 1250 $53,730
Hayward 1250 $53,730
San Diego 1160 $43,600
Carlsbad 1160 $43,600
Arcade 710 $66,270
Sacramento 710 $66,270
Arden 710 $66,270
Roseville 710 $66,270
San Jose 690 $41,560
Santa Clara 690 $41,560
Sunnyvale 690 $41,560
Modesto 270 $35,510
Fresno 250 $43,520
Lodi 230 $30,280
Stockton 230 $30,280
Bakersfield 200 $49,740
Salinas 180 $52,310
Thousand Oaks 160 $56,050
Ventura 160 $56,050
Oxnard 160 $56,050
Santa Rosa 130 $55,260
Santa Maria 110 $49,360
Santa Barbara 110 $49,360
Chico 90 $40,780
Redding 90 $54,080
Paso Robles 60 $35,920
Arroyo Grande 60 $35,920
San Luis Obispo 60 $35,920
Visalia 60 $48,120
Porterville 60 $48,120
Vallejo 50 $52,470
Fairfield 50 $52,470
Santa Cruz 40 $59,250
Watsonville 40 $59,250
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 1040 $39,300
Denver 1040 $39,300
Lakewood 1040 $39,300
Colorado Springs 420 $44,040
Boulder 350 $33,500
Grand Junction 200 $26,700
Fort Collins 100 $47,610
Greeley 90 $42,650
Pueblo 50 $45,680
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 890 $39,080
West Hartford 890 $39,080
Hartford 890 $39,080
New Haven 210 $44,550
Bridgeport 110 $68,030
Stamford 110 $68,030
Norwalk 110 $68,030
Waterbury 40 $37,990
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 70 $36,280
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 2670 $43,900
Fort Lauderdale 2670 $43,900
West Palm Beach 2670 $43,900
Clearwater 1600 $44,640
Tampa 1600 $44,640
St. Petersburg 1600 $44,640
Kissimmee 1340 $42,810
Orlando 1340 $42,810
Sanford 1340 $42,810
Jacksonville 790 $37,630
Daytona Beach 480 $42,540
Deltona 480 $42,540
Ormond Beach 480 $42,540
Tallahassee 400 $38,900
North Port 360 $44,740
Bradenton 360 $44,740
Sarasota 360 $44,740
Gainesville 300 $50,700
Ferry Pass 270 $42,810
Pensacola 270 $42,810
Brent 270 $42,810
Lakeland 240 $39,190
Winter Haven 240 $39,190
Fort Myers 220 $42,360
Cape Coral 220 $42,360
Titusville 200 $45,840
Melbourne 200 $45,840
Palm Bay 200 $45,840
Port St. Lucie 190 $43,410
Naples 140 $45,910
Immokalee 140 $45,910
Marco Island 140 $45,910
Panama City 130 $38,130
Ocala 110 $45,050
Fort Walton Beach 80 $40,890
Crestview 80 $40,890
Destin 80 $40,890
Sebastian 60 $45,290
Vero Beach 60 $45,290
Sebring 50 $39,110
Homosassa Springs 30 $41,730
Punta Gorda N/A $46,200
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 910 $30,720
Sandy Springs 910 $30,720
Atlanta 910 $30,720
Macon 50 $32,740
Valdosta 30 $31,190
Savannah N/A $36,990
Rome N/A $42,210
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 510 $53,370
Lahaina 80 $48,410
Wailuku 80 $48,410
Kahului 80 $48,410
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 30 $34,560
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Champaign 120 $44,300
Urbana 120 $44,300
Bloomington 70 $31,310
Decatur 60 $30,310
Rockford 50 $35,490
Springfield 40 $40,900
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 690 $40,360
Anderson 690 $40,360
Carmel 690 $40,360
Fort Wayne 140 $34,760
Columbus 100 $36,470
Elkhart 70 $23,710
Goshen 70 $23,710
Terre Haute 40 $35,810
Bloomington 40 $36,200
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Des Moines 280 $43,330
West Des Moines 280 $43,330
Cedar Rapids 140 $36,620
Cedar Falls 70 $35,580
Waterloo 70 $35,580
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 380 $32,640
Lawrence 70 $35,800
Topeka 60 $32,410
Manhattan 40 $38,360
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 180 $45,960
Lexington 180 $45,960
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 850 $37,550
Metairie 850 $37,550
Baton Rouge 730 $46,260
Hammond 280 $40,710
Lafayette 260 $32,010
Monroe 260 $33,580
Bossier City 210 $37,260
Shreveport 210 $37,260
Houma 200 $34,030
Thibodaux 200 $34,030
Alexandria 180 $36,150
Lake Charles 100 $37,300
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 80 $33,850
Portland 80 $33,850
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 840 $39,220
Columbia 840 $39,220
Baltimore 840 $39,220
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 50 $20,820
Gardner N/A $31,170
Leominster N/A $31,170
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Detroit 270 $39,120
Dearborn 270 $39,120
Warren 270 $39,120
Wyoming 40 $35,550
Grand Rapids 40 $35,550
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 140 $38,730
Rochester 140 $39,340
Mankato 140 $46,170
North Mankato 140 $46,170
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pascagoula 70 $25,190
Biloxi 70 $25,190
Gulfport 70 $25,190
Jackson 70 $32,960
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 60 $31,450
Columbia 50 $42,020
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 70 $34,920
Billings 60 $37,950
Great Falls 40 $31,040
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 260 $43,630
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 230 $33,070
Henderson 230 $33,070
Las Vegas 230 $33,070
Reno 100 $34,930
Carson City 90 N/A
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 90 $49,440
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 460 $64,610
Atlantic City 110 $56,210
Hammonton 110 $56,210
Vineland 70 $70,290
Bridgeton 70 $70,290
Ocean City 40 $67,160
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 190 $36,820
Santa Fe 50 $43,710
Las Cruces 50 $52,770
Farmington 40 $37,940
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 750 $44,700
Cheektowaga 750 $44,700
Buffalo 750 $44,700
Albany 750 $55,430
Troy 750 $55,430
Schenectady 750 $55,430
Rochester 430 $45,790
Rome 140 $52,000
Utica 140 $52,000
Kingston 70 $48,760
Binghamton 70 $54,410
Ithaca 60 $49,030
Fort Drum 50 $45,350
Watertown 50 $45,350
Glens Falls 50 $48,130
Syracuse N/A $47,590
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 490 $51,580
Chapel Hill 200 $48,590
Durham 200 $48,590
Salem 190 $38,540
Winston 190 $38,540
High Point 170 $41,470
Greensboro 170 $41,470
Fayetteville 130 $38,880
Wilmington 120 $49,480
Lenoir 100 $42,110
Hickory 100 $42,110
Morganton 100 $42,110
Asheville 80 $40,460
Greenville 70 $43,510
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $49,030
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 730 $41,830
Cleveland 580 $42,140
Elyria 580 $42,140
Dayton 380 $56,510
Toledo 90 $40,100
Akron 90 $44,260
Canton 40 $36,810
Massillon 40 $36,810
Springfield N/A $40,490
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 70 $40,630
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 290 $40,520
Eugene 190 $29,810
Medford 120 $38,260
Redmond 80 $35,920
Bend 80 $35,920
Albany 60 N/A
Grants Pass 30 $33,660
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 510 $39,340
Carlisle 150 $67,430
Harrisburg 150 $67,430
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 940 $27,040
Carolina 940 $27,040
San Juan 940 $27,040
Ponce 50 $21,140
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 280 $46,330
Murfreesboro 280 $46,330
Davidson 280 $46,330
Nashville 280 $46,330
Knoxville 200 $29,910
Jackson 40 $38,200
Johnson City N/A $30,720
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1400 $42,830
Fort Worth 1400 $42,830
Dallas 1400 $42,830
Sugar Land 400 $43,530
Houston 400 $43,530
The Woodlands 400 $43,530
San Antonio 240 $31,180
New Braunfels 240 $31,180
Round Rock 160 $37,980
Austin 160 $37,980
Waco 70 $38,630
El Paso 60 $30,170
Laredo 30 $29,120
McAllen 30 $37,330
Mission 30 $37,330
Edinburg 30 $37,330
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 150 $42,410
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 190 $33,440
Burlington 190 $33,440
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 830 $58,420
Roanoke 70 $51,110
Charlottesville N/A $36,650
Staunton N/A $52,350
Waynesboro N/A $52,350
Lynchburg N/A $55,280
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 860 $39,770
Tacoma 860 $39,770
Seattle 860 $39,770
Spokane 150 $26,230
Spokane Valley 150 $26,230
Bellingham 80 $37,870
Yakima 70 $33,150
Olympia 60 $36,070
Tumwater 60 $36,070
Wenatchee 40 $33,110
Kennewick N/A $40,930
Richland N/A $40,930
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 90 $40,810
Morgantown 40 $31,920
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Green Bay 60 $34,220
Wausau 40 $19,340
Sheboygan 40 $25,820
Janesville N/A $26,220
Beloit N/A $26,220
Eau Claire N/A $29,080
Neenah N/A $36,870
Oshkosh N/A $36,870
Milwaukee N/A $44,190
West Allis N/A $44,190
Waukesha N/A $44,190
Madison N/A $45,040
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Casper 40 $41,720

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Community and Social Service Specialists

To find out more about building a career as Social Service Specialists, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Community and Social Service Specialists

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Government 38,760 35% $42,490
Social Service 25,710 23% $32,080
Non-profit 12,640 11% $34,470
Education 9,610 8% $38,390
Nursing And Residential Care 6,360 5% $34,130
Hospital 4,550 4% $45,900
Medical Office 3,950 3% $34,350
Business Management 1,960 1% $37,380
Professional And Technical Services 1,310 1% $38,800
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Community and Social Service Specialists.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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