What do Protective Service Workers Do?
If you enjoy helping people, and love working with children and disabled adults, you may want to consider a job as a protective service worker. Protective service workers ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and disabled adults. These people are often referred to as “social workers” and perform a plethora of functions. People in this field not only assist children living in difficult or abusive circumstances, but also assist drug-addicts, victims of domestic violence, and other at-risk segments of the population. This can be a somewhat stressful career, but many people cherish the fact that they will be helping the most vulnerable members of society.
Protective Service Workers Skills and Abilities
First and foremost, protective service workers should possess an in-depth understanding of psychology and sociology. They should have knowledge of human behavior, different cultures, and socioeconomic concepts. Since many work for government agencies, a firm grasp of local, state, and federal laws is required, especially in regards to minors and victim’s rights. Social workers should also feel comfortable conversing with different types of people and traveling to different social environments. Active listening skills and compassion are needed, since you will be handling extremely delicate issues and situations.
Protective Service Workers Duties
Protective service workers help children, disabled adults, sufferers of mental illness, and others find resources and adjust to society. This can include finding legal help, housing, and educational services. Workers are employed in a wide variety of environments, such as government agencies, school systems, hospitals, clinics, and prisons. Social workers may also assist people dealing with terminal illnesses and addictions. Those employed in this field often educate community leaders on prevalent social issues. Protective service workers may also:
- Educate family members of clients
- Assist clients with finding employment
- Help clients locate affordable healthcare
- Stage interventions for addicts, and direct them towards the appropriate resources for recovery
- Intervene in situations involving physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Protective Service Workers Tools and Technology
The protective service industry does utilize a few basic technological devices. Computers are most commonly used to enter, organize, and retrieve client information. The internet is also used to communicate with clients, superiors, and other case workers. Elementary office equipment such as printers, faxes, and scanners are often employed during work hours.
Education and Training for Protective Service Workers
You will need a college degree if you are considering entering this field, and most states require social workers to be licensed. The most commonly held degree is a bachelor’s, but many higher level workers decide to pursue a master’s. The majority of protective services workers major in social work, but degrees in psychology and sociology are usually acceptable. To earn this degree, students are required to take a wide range of courses in human behavior, social structure, and socioeconomic issues. You should plan to spend between 3 and 6 years in school if you are planning on becoming a social worker.
Protective Service Workers Salary
The average yearly salary for a social worker is roughly $32,360, with 10% of workers grossing over $53,000 a year. Protective service workers employed by the postal service reported the highest wages in the industry. Those employed by the transit and ground passenger transportation industry reported the lowest wages. Over the last year there was a 0.7% increase in wages for social workers across the nation.
Protective Service Workers Jobs by Geography
Nationwide, there are currently 113,020 Americans employed as social workers, and the field experienced a 1.7% growth in employment over the previous year. California, New York, and Texas had the highest levels of employment for protective service workers. Nevada, North Dakota, and Alaska paid the highest wages in the country; this is because these states suffer from a shortage of social workers. Protective service workers in the Western United States earned the highest wages overall.