Career Information

Social ​Services Careers

Careers in social services are challenging but incredibly rewarding. Our dual program emphasis in Substance Abuse Counseling and Social Work ensures that you’ll learn both the theory and the practical skills necessary for your future career.

Substance abuse counseling is a demanding but rewarding branch of social work that requires patience, compassion and the motivation to help people in crisis. Substance abuse counselors typically refer patients to a variety of other services to create a holistic approach to solving the complicated problems of drug and alcohol addiction.

Substance abuse counselors form a specialized category of social workers, whose other primary areas include child, family and school social workers, and medical and public health social workers. They work closely with other health and human service professionals including psychologists, social workers, family counselors, career counselors, lawyers, welfare agents and other state employees.

General skills that make social workers and counselors effective in their jobs include:

  • Active listening skills
  • Effective verbal communication skills with a variety of people
  • A genuine desire to help other people, especially in a crisis
  • Inductive reasoning and the ability to combine pieces of information into related conclusions
  • Sensitivity to recognizing problems or situations when something is likely to go wrong
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Time management
  • Why is This a Good Career Bet?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health-related occupations will add the most new jobs to the economy – nearly one-third of the total increase – through 2024.

    CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, projects job growth increase through 2024 in Texas of 17% to 25% for various social work positions, and 30% for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.