Social and Human Service Assistant

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 7 states
4th most burdensome licensing requirements
66th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Social and human service 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 may assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. They may also assist social workers with developing, organizing and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation or adult daycare.


Six states and the District of Columbia require a license for social service assistant work, generally regulated under social work licensing regimes. In Oklahoma, a licensed social work associate must earn a bachelor's degree in social work and have two years of post-graduate experience, costing those wishing to enter the occupation six years of study and training, in addition to passing a national exam. Three
jurisdictions, D.C., Maryland and Utah, require a bachelor's degree and an exam, while three others, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Ohio, accept two years of study. Only Ohio does not require an exam.

These lengthy education and training requirements result in the occupation ranking as the fourth most difficult to enter among those studied. But because it is licensed in only seven jurisdictions, it is the 66th most widely and onerously licensed occupation overall.

(Last updated May 2, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

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