Human Services Worker

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):


Hourly Wage:

$18.43-$42.29 (Mean: $30.14)
*Based on 2016 Alaska DOL data for Healthcare Social Workers

One-page Description (PDF):

Human Services Worker

Professional Activities

“Human service worker” is a generic term for people who hold professional and paraprofessional jobs in such diverse settings as group homes and halfway houses; correctional centers; community mental health and development disability centers; elder, family, child, and youth service agencies; and programs concerned with substance abuse, family violence, and aging. Human Service Workers are found in diverse settings and a wide variety of other social service programs. In rural Alaska, employment opportunities include regional health corporations and federal, state, and local governmental agencies. Depending on the employment setting and the kinds of clients served there, job titles and duties vary a great deal.

The primary purpose of the human service worker is to assist individuals and communities to function as effectively as possible in the major domains of living. Some examples of occupational titles of human service workers include: Case Worker, Family Support Worker, Life Skills Instructor, Probation Officer, Group Home Worker, Mental Health Worker, Community Outreach Worker, Residential Manager, Care Coordinator, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Clinical Associate, Disabilities Specialist and Client Advocate.

A strong desire to help others is an important consideration for a job as a human services worker. Individuals who show patience, understanding, and caring in their dealings with others are highly valued by employers. Other important personal traits include effective interpersonal communication skills, a strong sense of responsibility, and the ability to manage time effectively. Knowledge of ethical standards and the ability to make decisions based on sound judgement are essential qualities for a Human Services worker is important for working in the field. Knowledge of working with people with physical, psychological or intellectual disabilities prepares Human Service workers for the many opportunities that exist for employment in the field.

Educational Requirements

 The human service worker may be a paraprofessional with a two-year associate degree or a professional with a four-year bachelor’s degree.

  • Graduation from high school or completion of a GED.
  • Completion of a two-year associate of applied science degree in human services, or
  • Completion of a four-year baccalaureate degree in human services.

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers both a two-year associate of applied science (AAS) degree and a four-year Bachelor of Human Services (BHS) degree, both of which are accredited by the Council of Standards in Human Service Education (CSHSE). The AAS is articulated with the BHS in a “two plus two” sequence. The Human Services Department also offers a Minor in Human Services for other disciplines and offers an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Conflict Resolution. It should also be noted that graduates of the Human Services AAS and BHS programs have recently been approved to apply for State of Alaska Chemical Dependency Counseling Certification.  For more information, contact:

University of Alaska Anchorage
Human Services Department, PSB 212
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 786-6437
Fax: (907) 786-6436

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College offers an associate of applied science degree in Human Services primarily for students in Fairbanks and surrounding communities that can attend traditional classroom sessions. There are some on-line courses available too. This AAS degree offers a selection of concentrations including addictions counseling, behavioral health, and interdisciplinary concentration. For more information, contact:

University of Alaska Fairbanks Human Services/Community and Technical College
Bob Parr, Assistant Professor and Advisor
604 Barnette Street, Suite 205
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Contact:  Bob Parr, HS-BCP
Phone: (907) 455-2882
Fax:  (907) 455-2894

The College of Rural and Community Development’s Interior-Aleutians Campus offers a two-year Rural Human Services certificate Program. It is intended for Alaska Natives who are natural helpers and healers in their communities, and it is designed to offer culturally appropriate training for village-based providers. Courses blend Native and Western knowledge, values, and principles. For more information, contact:

Interior-Aleutians Campus
P.O. Box 756720
Fairbanks, AK 99775
Toll free: (800) 478-5696

The College of Rural and Community Development offers an A.A.S. degree in Human Services through two program delivery pathways. Students may complete the A.A.S. degree through distance education from their respective home communities or qualifying students may participate in a blended delivery cohort model that includes weeklong face-to-face sessions and distance education at participating rural campuses and UAF centers. The leading degree emphasis for the Human Services program is in behavioral health and addictions services. Rural students should speak with a faculty advisor to discuss credits available for transfer to bachelor degree programs such as social work or rural development.  University campus students may register for distance courses with prior approval from the Community and Technical College HUMS Coordinator. For more information contact:

UAF College of Rural and Community Development (CRCD) Human Services Distance Learning
Lara Hensley, Cross-Regional Coordinator and Assistant Professor, Human Services
4280 Geist R., Harper Building
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Phone: (907) 455-2056
Toll Free: (888) 474-5207

Alaska Pacific University offers a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in Counseling Psychology. For more information contact:
Alaska Pacific University
Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services
4101 University Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907)-564-8225
Toll Free: (800) 252-7528


National Contacts:

National Organization for Human Services
1600 Sarno Road Ste. 16
Melbourne, FL 32935
Phone: (800) 597-2306

Mental Health America
2000 N. Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: (703) 684-7722
Toll free: (800) 969-6642
Fax: (703) 684-5968

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