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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 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover N/A $45,770
Birmingham N/A $45,770
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 110 $49,740
Fairbanks 40 $35,270
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 740 $36,870
Scottsdale 740 $36,870
Phoenix 740 $36,870
Tucson 460 $34,900
Yuma 70 $31,700
Flagstaff 30 $44,280
Prescott N/A $38,120
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 90 $31,380
North Little Rock 90 $31,380
Little Rock 90 $31,380
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 3320 $53,770
Long Beach 3320 $53,770
Anaheim 3320 $53,770
San Bernardino 1350 $51,410
Riverside 1350 $51,410
Ontario 1350 $51,410
Hayward 1190 $51,350
Oakland 1190 $51,350
San Francisco 1190 $51,350
San Diego 800 $44,100
Carlsbad 800 $44,100
San Jose 730 $39,260
Santa Clara 730 $39,260
Sunnyvale 730 $39,260
Arden 700 $63,680
Arcade 700 $63,680
Sacramento 700 $63,680
Roseville 700 $63,680
Stockton 330 $51,910
Lodi 330 $51,910
Bakersfield 310 $40,930
Fresno 300 $36,720
Modesto 240 $43,640
Thousand Oaks 150 $50,890
Oxnard 150 $50,890
Ventura 150 $50,890
Salinas 130 $47,950
Santa Rosa 130 $51,650
Santa Maria 120 $48,590
Santa Barbara 120 $48,590
Chico 110 $40,530
Redding 110 $52,520
Visalia 70 $50,750
Porterville 70 $50,750
Paso Robles 60 $36,510
Arroyo Grande 60 $36,510
San Luis Obispo 60 $36,510
Santa Cruz 60 $53,430
Watsonville 60 $53,430
Vallejo 40 $41,910
Fairfield 40 $41,910
Madera N/A $45,690
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 1050 $40,390
Lakewood 1050 $40,390
Denver 1050 $40,390
Colorado Springs 290 $42,980
Boulder 240 $37,260
Grand Junction 170 $25,760
Fort Collins 120 $39,290
Greeley 70 $50,860
Pueblo 40 $40,960
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 630 $36,300
West Hartford 630 $36,300
Hartford 630 $36,300
New Haven 150 $40,700
Norwalk 80 $46,930
Stamford 80 $46,930
Bridgeport 80 $46,930
Waterbury 50 $37,720
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 80 $29,240
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 2970 $42,870
West Palm Beach 2970 $42,870
Fort Lauderdale 2970 $42,870
Tampa 1600 $40,470
St. Petersburg 1600 $40,470
Clearwater 1600 $40,470
Kissimmee 930 $45,720
Sanford 930 $45,720
Orlando 930 $45,720
Jacksonville 880 $40,200
North Port 350 $42,500
Bradenton 350 $42,500
Sarasota 350 $42,500
Tallahassee 340 $42,080
Titusville 270 $47,150
Palm Bay 270 $47,150
Melbourne 270 $47,150
Fort Myers 260 $38,790
Cape Coral 260 $38,790
Daytona Beach 250 $46,250
Deltona 250 $46,250
Ormond Beach 250 $46,250
Gainesville 210 $44,430
Winter Haven 190 $40,770
Lakeland 190 $40,770
Pensacola 170 $44,320
Brent 170 $44,320
Ferry Pass 170 $44,320
Port St. Lucie 150 $44,230
Marco Island 130 $44,320
Naples 130 $44,320
Immokalee 130 $44,320
Ocala 110 $43,960
Destin 100 $38,410
Fort Walton Beach 100 $38,410
Crestview 100 $38,410
Panama City 100 $45,780
Sebastian 60 $43,340
Vero Beach 60 $43,340
Punta Gorda 50 $42,790
Sebring 30 $42,150
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1620 $28,840
Sandy Springs 1620 $28,840
Atlanta 1620 $28,840
Macon 90 $27,830
Rome 80 $33,430
Gainesville 50 $26,570
Valdosta 50 $28,740
Dalton 40 $25,070
Warner Robins 40 $29,150
Athens 40 $29,880
Clarke County 40 $29,880
Brunswick 30 $27,640
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 610 $49,260
Lahaina 80 $49,330
Wailuku 80 $49,330
Kahului 80 $49,330
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Champaign 130 $42,280
Urbana 130 $42,280
Bloomington 80 $30,450
Rockford 80 $34,080
Springfield 80 $34,080
Decatur 60 $34,080
Peoria 40 $34,090
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carmel 600 $43,830
Indianapolis 600 $43,830
Anderson 600 $43,830
Fort Wayne 90 $36,960
Elkhart 70 $26,290
Goshen 70 $26,290
Terre Haute 50 $35,880
West Lafayette 40 $29,510
Lafayette 40 $29,510
Bloomington 30 $32,320
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Des Moines 260 $36,420
West Des Moines 260 $36,420
Cedar Rapids 110 $37,600
Cedar Falls 70 $32,710
Waterloo 70 $32,710
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 460 $30,900
Topeka 70 $40,040
Lawrence 60 $33,930
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 230 $41,930
Lexington 230 $41,930
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 1260 $34,590
New Orleans 1260 $34,590
Baton Rouge 1020 $43,450
Bossier City 440 $30,860
Shreveport 440 $30,860
Lafayette 370 $32,720
Monroe 330 $36,940
Houma 250 $32,410
Thibodaux 250 $32,410
Alexandria 220 $40,590
Lake Charles 170 $37,110
Hammond N/A $37,850
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 70 $30,970
Portland 70 $30,970
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1020 $41,690
Columbia 1020 $41,690
Baltimore 1020 $41,690
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Leominster 60 $27,560
Gardner 60 $27,560
Barnstable Town 50 $19,290
New Bedford N/A $35,250
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 560 $50,660
Detroit 560 $50,660
Warren 560 $50,660
Grand Rapids 190 $48,140
Wyoming 190 $48,140
East Lansing 130 $50,390
Lansing 130 $50,390
Portage 80 $52,620
Kalamazoo 80 $52,620
Battle Creek 60 $44,080
Ann Arbor 50 $47,470
Flint 50 $74,510
Benton Harbor 40 $45,260
Niles 40 $45,260
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 140 $39,570
Rochester 130 $40,900
North Mankato 120 $47,760
Mankato 120 $47,760
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 60 $27,830
Pascagoula 60 $41,600
Biloxi 60 $41,600
Gulfport 60 $41,600
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 70 $30,340
Columbia N/A $36,510
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 90 $30,580
Missoula 80 $30,390
Great Falls 30 $35,070
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 120 $39,160
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 170 $33,040
Henderson 170 $33,040
Las Vegas 170 $33,040
Reno 80 $45,820
Carson City 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 130 $43,580
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 520 $63,150
Atlantic City 140 $53,490
Hammonton 140 $53,490
Vineland 100 $64,250
Bridgeton 100 $64,250
Ocean City 90 $52,120
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 180 $40,310
Santa Fe 100 $43,720
Las Cruces 50 $52,680
Farmington 40 $37,780
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 660 $56,670
Troy 660 $56,670
Schenectady 660 $56,670
Niagara Falls 600 $44,420
Cheektowaga 600 $44,420
Buffalo 600 $44,420
Rochester 390 $45,670
Syracuse 200 $48,950
Rome 90 $53,340
Utica 90 $53,340
Binghamton 70 $48,890
Ithaca 50 $45,770
Kingston 50 $47,650
Fort Drum 30 $59,150
Watertown 30 $59,150
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 500 $51,250
Chapel Hill 200 $49,010
Durham 200 $49,010
High Point 160 $39,980
Greensboro 160 $39,980
Fayetteville 130 $38,280
Winston 120 $38,550
Salem 120 $38,550
Lenoir 110 $40,750
Hickory 110 $40,750
Morganton 110 $40,750
Wilmington 110 $52,190
Greenville 100 $44,020
Asheville 90 $39,500
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 780 $40,970
Elyria 780 $40,970
Columbus 770 $43,030
Toledo 110 $38,160
Akron 110 $45,520
Mansfield 60 $25,060
Massillon 50 $37,410
Canton 50 $37,410
Springfield N/A $39,660
Dayton N/A $55,770
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 50 $40,150
Tulsa 30 $28,120
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 320 $39,420
Eugene 150 $27,740
Medford 130 $39,940
Redmond 40 $38,100
Bend 40 $38,100
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 530 $38,200
Harrisburg 150 $68,320
Carlisle 150 $68,320
Hazleton 40 $70,390
Barre 40 $70,390
Scranton 40 $70,390
Wilkes 40 $70,390
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 940 $26,600
Carolina 940 $26,600
San Juan 940 $26,600
Mayag�ez 60 $18,500
Ponce 60 $19,540
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 350 $43,620
Franklin 350 $43,620
Davidson 350 $43,620
Nashville 350 $43,620
Knoxville 230 $31,360
Johnson City N/A $33,530
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 450 $38,810
Houston 450 $38,810
Sugar Land 450 $38,810
San Antonio 210 $29,720
New Braunfels 210 $29,720
Austin 140 $37,320
Round Rock 140 $37,320
El Paso 90 $28,190
Waco 60 $38,790
Amarillo 30 $32,360
Killeen 30 $37,790
Temple 30 $37,790
Fort Worth N/A $48,420
Dallas N/A $48,420
Arlington N/A $48,420
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 120 $43,740
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 90 $38,650
Burlington 90 $38,650
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 810 $56,810
Roanoke 80 $46,190
Lynchburg 50 $54,710
Charlottesville N/A $35,300
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 830 $41,290
Seattle 830 $41,290
Tacoma 830 $41,290
Yakima 110 $24,010
Tumwater 90 $38,150
Olympia 90 $38,150
Spokane 80 $33,460
Spokane Valley 80 $33,460
Bellingham 40 $27,400
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 140 $33,560
Vienna 60 $28,320
Parkersburg 60 $28,320
Morgantown 60 $31,480
Beckley 50 $30,170
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 640 $35,670
Waukesha 640 $35,670
West Allis 640 $35,670
Green Bay 80 $31,670
Neenah 60 $35,390
Oshkosh 60 $35,390
Sheboygan 30 $25,500
Janesville 30 $26,690
Beloit 30 $26,690
Eau Claire N/A $28,160

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.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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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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