Human services professionals care deeply about understanding the human condition. They’re at their best when helping others find solutions to challenges. Successful social workers, sociologists, psychologists, and guidance counselors tend to share certain strengths.

Human Services Skills

Empathy: Compassion is one of the key traits of successful human services employees. Whether employed as a guidance counselor or a psychologist, he or she must work daily with clients who find themselves in stressful, emotionally difficult circumstances. Feeling empathy toward clients and their circumstances helps build rapport and develop stronger relationships that ultimately lead to progress.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ): This is the ability to recognize and label appropriately the many emotions that may arise during a counseling session. Human services professionals hone their emotional intelligence by learning to recognize both their own emotions and the emotions of others. This skill allows them to help clients with their thinking and modify their behavior.

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Communication: Because people working in human services must talk through challenges with their clients to find solutions, sound listening and communication skills are essential. Counselors might find that their clients would be best served by seeking services at a local church or community center; it is up to counselors to communicate a client’s case and forthcoming needs to the appropriate parties.

Organization: It’s par for the course for human services employees to complete paperwork at least some of the time. The ability to stay organized and ensure that all paperwork is completed and submitted properly is imperative to a client’s progress.

Time Management: Because counselors and other types of human services employees oftentimes have a heavy client load, it’s important they learn to manage their time in a way that guarantees each client is seen, heard and gets the attention that he or she needs during sessions.

Human services professionals have a major impact on society as a whole. From educational settings to caring for the elderly to criminal justice, they perform a wide array of meaningful tasks that benefit the individuals and organizations they serve.

Human Services Education Requirements

Education requirements to have a career in Human Services is at minimum a Master’s degree in Human Services may be required. According to the BLS average salary for a Human Services Manager is $67,150 a year and is expected to see an increasing demand by 17% by 2029.