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Social and Human Service Assistants Job Outlook

Employment of social and human service assistants is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be due to an increase in the elderly population and a rising demand for health care and social services.

Much of the growth will be due to the needs of an aging population. An increase in number of older adults will cause growth in demand for social services. The elderly population often needs services such as adult day care and meal delivery. Social and human service assistants, who help find and provide these services, will be needed to meet this increased demand.

In addition, growth is expected as more people seek treatment for their addictions and more drug offenders are sent to treatment programs rather than to jail. The result will be an increase in demand for social and human service assistants who work in treatment programs or work with people with addictions.

There also will be a continued demand for child and family social and human service assistants. They will be needed to help workers investigate child abuse cases, as well as to place children in foster care and with adoptive families.

Employment of social and human service assistants in the industries employing the largest number of these workers is expected to grow as follows from 2010 to 2020:

Individual and family services57%
Community and vocational rehabilitation services31
Nursing and residential care facilities24
Local government, excluding education and hospitals9
State government, excluding education and hospitals4

Job Prospects

Low pay and heavy workloads cause many workers to leave this occupation, which creates good opportunities for new workers entering the field.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition