People who love working with others and want to help them solve problems or cope with everyday life are often drawn to careers in the helping professions. Counseling and psychology are two helping professions that offer many similar services, such as assessments, counseling and consultation. Some counseling and psychology jobs do not require certification but may have other education, training or experience requirements.
Case managers are social services professionals who have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a human services field, such as counseling or psychology. They help less-fortunate clients to obtain concrete needs, such as housing, food and clothing, refer clients to or arrange for needed services, like child care or job training, provide informal supportive counseling and offer advocacy with government institutions or other involved professionals or organizations. Case managers who work in community or non-profit organizations are not usually required to have certification, but the specific requirements may vary by work setting.
Developmental specialists are professionals who help children with disabilities and their families. They often work with children who have autism or other types of developmental disabilities or delays. Developmental specialists provide assessments, teach behavior modification techniques, help parents interact with their children in a positive manner and help children develop social and communication skills. While government or public school positions may require certification, it is not usually necessary for positions with developmental disabilities institutions.
Career counselors generally have at least a master's degree in counseling or a related field. They also usually have some experience or specialized education in career counseling. Career counselors provide guidance to job seekers, administer aptitude tests, help people to develop job readiness skills and help people adjust to life in the workplace. Unless they work in private practice, they are not usually required to be licensed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They work in settings such as colleges and universities, businesses and career centers.
Residential counselors help people who are unable to live independently, such as people with developmental or mental disabilities, the homeless or runaway or troubled youth. They work in care facilities, residences and shelters. They usually provide counseling, teach residents social skills, cooking or self-care, offer basic first aid as needed. They also might resolve disputes between residents and perform administrative duties. They should have a minimum of a high school diploma, but many have bachelor's or master's degrees in counseling, psychology or other human services fields. Residential counselors are not usually required to be licensed.