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Here Are Some of the Best Social Services Jobs to Have in 2017

Here it is: our last chapter in our series of blog posts on U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2017. We’ve managed to talk about a wide variety of industries, ranging from topics like health care, all the way to technology, engineering, math and management. This last segment will include a series of jobs that don’t quite fit in with everything else, but can still be great career options for the right person — especially for those who might be interested in careers serving others.

Here we go…

A Brief Explanation of Living Wage

For our purposes, a living wage is the absolute minimum amount an individual must earn per year, working full time to support him- or herself and any dependents (if applicable). Obviously that’s going to vary based on how many adults are in the household, as well as how many children. Use the Living Wage calculator on our website to figure out what kind of wages you need to earn to meet your basic needs.

72. High School Teacher

High school teachers usually specialize in a specific subject, such as English, math, chemistry or art. In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you will need to pass a teacher certification exam in order to become a teacher in the state of Texas. You can save money on tuition costs by earning an associate degree in teaching through DCCCD, where all of our programs are designed specifically to transfer to four-year colleges and lead to initial Texas teacher certification. Texas has the highest employment levels for secondary school teachers, and they make an annual mean wage of about $55,000Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow six percent from 2014 to 2024.

62. Clinical Social Worker, 96. Child & Family Social Worker

Moving from #73 to #62 to this year, clinical social workers deal with the social aspect of medical problems, including future prevention, prognoses, judging what proper care will be needed and determining how people will cope with a stressful life change. You will need a master’s degree to become a clinical social worker and you will often need a bachelor’s degree to become a social worker outside of a specialization in public health; however, many of the support occupations to those positions are available for those with an associate degree in Social Work or sometimes a high school diploma, depending on the employer and/or job.

Child and family social workers work with families to address a range of social issues, often including things like abuse, homelessness, poverty, discrimination or illness. Child and family social workers are concerned with the social and psychological functioning of kids and their families. Much like with clinical social work, you’ll probably need a bachelor’s degree, but starting with an associate degree in Social Work through DCCCD can be a big money saver along the way.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Texas Hourly Mean Wage in Texas Annual Mean Salary in Texas Educational Requirements
Child, family and school social workers $21.06 $43,800 bachelor’s degree
Health care social workers $27.86 $57,950 bachelor’s degree
Mental health and substance abuse social workers $20.57 $42,790 bachelor’s degree
Social workers, all other $32.62 $67,860 bachelor’s degree
Health educators $26.32 $54,740 bachelor’s degree
Social and human service assistants $16.01 $33,300 associate degree
Community health workers $19.90 $41,400 associate degree
Social and community service managers $35.20 $73,210 bachelor’s degree

74. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors help those struggling with things like addiction and eating disorders. They help patients identify causes and remedies to these issues, and help navigate the tensions of relationships that may have been damaged along the way. To become a counselor in Texas, you will need to be certified, which can be accomplished by applying for a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor license through the Texas Department of State Health Services upon completion of an associate degree in Substance Abuse Counseling, approved supervised work experience and other requirements. Additionally, there are a variety of certifications you can work toward through the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals. The requirements for each certification vary — some require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but many require an associate degree with a specific number of hours of work experience completed. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $41,000. Employment levels for these jobs are projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024.

90. Patrol Officer

Moving from #99 to #90 this year, patrol officers work within their communities to enforce local, tribal, state or federal laws and ordinances. They might patrol specific areas, direct traffic, issue traffic tickets, investigate accidents and more. Police officers in Texas earn an annual mean wage of around $60,000Educational requirements can vary by jurisdiction, but most law enforcement officers in Texas need to be:

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the selection. A living wage is the absolute minimum amount an individual must earn per year, working full time to support him- or herself and any dependents

  2. Social workers serve many individuals, families and groups from all areas of society. Therefore, there will always be a demand for social workers across the nation. Employment growth is dependent upon the area and the specialty a social worker chooses to pursue. There are so many career pathways that students can choose with a social services degree. More than anything they can turn out to be really of great help to the society in general. Thank you so much Monica for sharing this with us!

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