The Human Services cluster uses your skills in communication and problem solving to provide support to families and individuals with services from working in early childhood care to providing mental health services for older adults. This diverse Career Cluster allows you to work in a variety of settings including health care, spas, schools, and community centers.
It is expected that more social workers will be needed in the coming years. There should be an even greater need for mental health and substance abuse social workers. This is partly due to the fact that drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs, as opposed to jail, where they are treated by social workers. The massage therapy industry also should see a boost in workers. In recent years the popularity of massage clinic franchises has increased, offering consumers more affordable massages, and increasing the need for massage therapists. Job prospects will be better for massage therapists who are licensed in states that require it. However, professionals entering the field should also be aware that it takes time to build a client base.
Employment Projections: 2014-2024*
According to Trailblazers analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the Human Services cluster is projected to experience about 16 percent growth in Virginia between 2014 and 2024, which exceeds the anticipated national average growth of 13 percent among all occupations in this cluster. Slightly more than 177,200 Virginians were employed in this cluster in 2014, and about 28,100 more are expected by 2024, for a total of approximately 205,300 workers.