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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Services Assistants in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a population of 12,604,767, which has grown by 2.64% over the past 10 years. Nicknamed the "Keystone State," its capital is Harrisburg, though its biggest city is Philadelphia.

There are currently 18,300 working social services assistants in Pennsylvania; this should grow by 28% to about 23,400 working social services assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for social services assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.6% over the next eight years. Social services assistants generally assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families.

Social services assistants earn about $12 per hour or $25,950 yearly on average in Pennsylvania and about $13 per hour or $27,280 yearly on average nationally. Earnings for social services assistants are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: field worker, homebased assistant, and child care worker.

In 2008, there were a total of 7,407,409 jobs in Pennsylvania. The average annual income was $39,762 in 2008, up from $38,738 the previous year. The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 8.1% in 2009, which has grown by 2.8% since the previous year. Roughly 22.4% of Pennsylvania residents have college degrees, which is lower than the national average.

The top industries in Pennsylvania include railroad rolling stock manufacturing, women's' cut apparel manufacturing, and community care facilities for the elderly. Notable tourist attractions include the Penna Academy of The Fine Arts, the Academy Of Natural Sciences, and the American Interfaith Institute.

CITIES WITH Social Services Assistant OPPORTUNITIES IN Pennsylvania


JOB DESCRIPTION: Social Services Assistant

Social Services Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, social services assistants assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. They also may assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them.

Every day, social services assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pennsylvania include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Mental Health Social Worker. Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania photo by Ed Yakovich

Pennsylvania has a population of 12,604,767, which has grown by 2.64% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Keystone State," its capital is Harrisburg, though its most populous city is Philadelphia. In 2008, there were a total of 7,407,409 jobs in Pennsylvania. The average annual income was $39,762 in 2008, up from $38,738 in 2007. The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 8.1% in 2009, which has grown by 2.8% since the previous year. About 22.4% of Pennsylvania residents have college degrees, which is lower than the national average.

The top industries in Pennsylvania include railroad rolling stock manufacturing, women's' cut apparel manufacturing, and community care facilities for the elderly. Notable tourist destinations include the Marian Anderson Residence Museum, the American Interfaith Institute, and the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.