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Human Services

Careers in this cluster

Careers listed in italics are primarily assigned to another cluster, shown in parentheses after the occupation title. Information about Career Pathways and Level of Education & Earnings for those occupations can be found in that primary cluster description.

Cluster definition

Do you help friends with their personal problems?
Have you planned programs for school or community organizations?
Are you a good listener?
Do you care about people and want to help in some way?
Have you cared for children or done babysitting?
Do you like to help friends and family members look their best?

If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, you might be interested in considering a career in human services.

In the Human Services cluster, you would work with individuals and families to meet their personal needs.


Consumer services

People with careers in the Consumer Services pathway help people make decisions related to finance, insurance, real estate, and consumer goods.

Credit Counselors

Counseling and mental health services

In the Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway, you would assist people with their problems. The problems may be related to personal, family, educational, or career issues. You provide mental health care in hospitals, clinics, schools, or private offices.

Early childhood development and services

In the Early Childhood Development and Services pathway, you would care for and teach children. You would provide services in childcare centers, preschools, public schools, and private homes.

Child Care Workers

Family and community services

Employees in the Family and Community Services pathway help individuals cope with daily living. You may counsel troubled individuals. Or you may help people get jobs by providing them with needed training. You might care for people who are elderly or have disabilities.

Personal care services

In the Personal Care Services pathway, you could assist individuals with their personal appearance. This might include cutting, coloring, and styling hair. Or you might give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments. Also, within personal care services, you might make funeral arrangements for grieving families.

Level of education and earnings

The training and education requirements to work in the occupations included in the Human Services cluster depend on the specialty and the type of work performed. Some occupations require less than one month of on-the-job training. In contrast, other occupations, such as counselors and social workers need a master's degree.

The information provided in the table below, presents the level of education or training required to work in the occupations related to this cluster and the median wages for those occupations. Note that some occupations may have more than one required level because the type of work performed may vary in specific jobs.

Also, keep in mind that there are non-wage benefits that workers receive. For example, these types of benefits are health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. It is important to consider these benefits when you are looking at pay. Some benefits, such as health care, are worth a lot of money. You should carefully weigh a job that pays well but does not have many benefits against one that has good benefits and lower pay. Remember, how much an occupation pays is only one factor to consider when making career choices.

  National Annual
Median Wage
Washington Annual
Median Wage
Short-Term, On-the-Job Training (Less than One Month)
Child Care Workers$23,240 $27,270
Clothes Pressers$23,350 $28,940
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors$39,820 $50,920
Funeral Attendants$26,400 $31,720
Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers$23,210 $26,850
Personal and Home Care Aides$24,020 $28,650
Residential Counselors$27,860 $31,650
Social and Human Service Assistants$33,750 $37,960
Moderate-Term, On-the-Job Training (One to Twelve Months)
Community Health Workers$39,540 $38,870
Tailors$31,000 $32,060
Postsecondary Vocational Training (Certificate or Diploma)
Barbers$27,960 $54,180
Hairstylists and Cosmetologists$24,730 $35,020
Manicurists$24,330 $29,760
Massage Therapists$41,420 $63,710
Skin Care Specialists$31,290 $42,460
Associate Degree
Embalmers$44,250 not available
Funeral Directors and Managers$52,650 - $79,180 $56,860
Bachelor's Degree
Addictions Counselors$44,630 $44,930
Clergy$48,990 $61,330
Credit Counselors$45,180 $46,220
Public Health Educators$54,220 $59,140
Social Workers$44,840 - $56,200 $52,260 - $59,920
Work Experience Plus a Bachelor's or Higher Degree
Social and Community Service Managers$65,320 $61,310
Master's Degree
Marriage and Family Therapists$50,090 $46,650
Mental Health Counselors$44,630 $44,930
Rehabilitation Counselors$35,630 $43,930
School Psychologists$76,990 $71,670
Doctoral Degree
Psychologists$76,990 - $97,260 $71,670

Employment & outlook

You should be able to find jobs in human services in the future. The expected growth is partly due to expanded services for the elderly. In addition, the demand for childcare services is increasing. In the occupations in this cluster where wages are low, the turnover is high. Service for the mentally ill and disabled have been increasing. However, state and local governments might cut programs for these groups to deal with budget problems.