The Human Services Career Cluster prepares you for jobs that relate to families and human needs. Whether you want to be a social worker, a childcare provider or a hairdresser, you will be addressing human needs.
This career cluster is organized into seven career pathways:
- Consumer services
- Counseling and mental health services
- Early childhood development and services
- Family and community services
- Personal care services
Note: The other two pathways are Culinary Arts, and Arts, A/V Technology and Communications. We have chosen to include information about these pathways and anything related to food service, including becoming a chef or baker, on the Hospitality and Tourism Career Cluster page.
Students in human services learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-high school education and training opportunities, from apprenticeships and two-year college programs to four-year college and graduate programs.
CTE classes in this cluster will introduce you to a variety of interesting careers including:
- Child care worker
- Child, family or school social worker
- Director of childcare facility
- Preschool teacher
- Parent educator
- School counselor
- Social services worker
- Personal or home care aide
- Leisure activities counselor
- Recreation worker
- Consumer credit counselor
- Personal financial advisor
- Consumer goods or services retailing representative or buyer
- Cosmetologist, hairdresser or hairstylist
Note: Each school and school district has different CTE options. Not every district has classes in every cluster, nor does every district offer CTE dual credit and Advanced Placement options.
Career and Technical Student Organizations
Career and technical student organizations are much more than clubs. They provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and for applying career, leadership and personal skills in real-world environments. Participants build their skills by developing projects, attending events, and competing regionally and nationally.
The student organization for human services is Washington Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).
Education After High School
It is fact that young people who have at least one year of post-high school education earn thousands of dollars more a year. So, if you spend even one year at a two- or four-year college, in a certificate program at a technical school, or in an apprenticeship after you graduate from high school, you will very likely earn higher wages all your life. By furthering your education, you will be better-prepared to successfully navigate the world of work.
After taking CTE classes in human services, you could pursue any number of opportunities including:
- Employment in retail and human service-related jobs
- A two-year degree in human services, substance abuse counseling, career counseling, early childhood education, culinary arts or community services
- A four-year college or graduate degree in social services, sociology, teaching or psychology
Middle and High School
For information about your district's CTE offerings and how to move forward with planning for your future, contact or visit:
- Preparing for your future: Why CTE?
- Your school career or guidance counselor
- Your principal or school district Career and Technical Education office
- Career and Technical Education - Washington
- (360) 725-6245
Apprenticeship and College
More than 1,000 jobs in Washington are connected to an active, registered apprenticeship program. For more information about apprenticeships and colleges, visit:
- Apprenticeship Washington: The future is in your hands
- Higher Education Coordinating Board
- How to become an apprentice: Five steps to getting started
- Students.gov - An official U.S. Department of Education web site designed for college students and their families. Provides easy access to educational information and resources.
- Washington Career Bridge
- Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
- About Consumer Services - Washington
- Early Childhood Development and Services - Washington
- Guide to Psychology Education and Careers
- MERIT K-12 Educator Help Sheet
- Social and Human Service Assistants - Social and human service assistants help social workers, healthcare workers and other professionals. Titles include human service worker, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skills counselor and gerontology aide.
- Thrive by Five
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - U.S. government's role in human service work, information on career options in national government
- Washington Association for the Education of Young Children
- Washington Community Mental Health Council
- Washington State Safety Project
- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services - Career information and employment opportunities in Washington
- Check out county and city government websites, as well. Each has its own governmental structure and employment opportunities in human services.