The 25 best social services jobs of 2017

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These jobs involve working with people and helping others.

Social services workers dedicate their careers to helping others, whether it's serving food at the local diner or coaching drug addicts through their recovery process. For professionals interested in pursuing a job in the social services, these 25 careers ranked the highest among the U.S. News 2017 Best Jobs rankings.

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Best social service jobs
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Best social service jobs

25. Fabricator

Median Salary: $37,050
Unemployment Rate: 7.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 1,600

Fabricators assemble and build equipment and machinery.

Learn more about fabricators.

Photo credit: Getty 

24. Bus Driver

Median Salary: $38,290
Unemployment Rate: 5.7 percent
Expected Job Openings: 9,800

Bus drivers transport people from one place to another, typically driving intercity buses or school buses.

Learn more about bus drivers. 

Photo credit: Getty

23. Bartender

Median Salary: $19,530
Unemployment Rate: 5.7 percent
Expected Job Openings: 60,100

These pros stir, shake and pour drinks in bars, lounges and pubs.

Learn more about bartenders.

Photo credit: Getty

22. Political Scientist

Median Salary: $99,730
Unemployment Rate: 7.9 percent
Expected Job Openings: -100

Political scientists work in a variety of fields to research and analyze how laws and policies affect organizations and people.

Learn more about political scientists.

Photo credit: Getty

21. Waiter and Waitress

Median Salary: $19,250
Unemployment Rate: 7.3 percent
Expected Job Openings: 68,900

These food industry workers interact with restaurant patrons, taking orders, making recommendations and serving meals.

Learn more about waiters and waitresses.

Photo credit: Getty

20. Security Guard

Median Salary: $24,630
Unemployment Rate: 8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 55,500

Security guards keep a watchful eye, guarding against fire, theft and other illegal and dangerous activities.

Learn more about security guards. 

Photo credit: Getty

19. Maid and Housekeeper

Median Salary: $20,740
Unemployment Rate: 8.3 percent
Expected Job Openings: 111,700

Maids and housekeepers mop, tidy up and disinfect living spaces, including hotels, motels and private residences.

Learn more about maids and housekeepers

Photo credit: Getty

18. Community Health Worker

Median Salary: $36,300
Unemployment Rate: 3.9 percent
Expected Job Openings: 8,100

These workers collaborate with their communities to provide health services and educate residents about wellness.

Learn more about community health workers.

Photo credit: Getty

17. Delivery Truck Driver

Median Salary: $29,850
Unemployment Rate: 4.9 percent
Expected Job Openings: 27,300

Delivery truck drivers transport and deliver cargo, serving businesses, campuses and private residences.

Learn more about delivery truck drivers.

Photo credit: Getty

16. Recreation and Fitness Worker

Median Salary: $36,160
Unemployment Rate: 7.1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 62,300

These workers include fitness instructors, camp counselors and park directors, who oversee physical activities.

Learn more about recreation and fitness workers. 

Photo credit: Getty

15. Paralegal

Median Salary: $48,810
Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 21,200

These legal workers assist lawyers in drafting motions, summarizing reports and performing other specialized tasks.

Learn more about paralegals.

Photo credit: Getty

14. Residential Advisor

Median Salary: $24,990
Unemployment Rate: 3.7 percent
Expected Job Openings: 14,100

RAs are students who live in the residence halls of colleges and universities, organizing activities and reporting concerns and problems.

Learn more about residential advisors.

Photo credit: Getty

13. Restaurant Cook

Median Salary: $23,100
Unemployment Rate: 9.7 percent
Expected Job Openings: 158,900

These foodies sizzle, grill and whisk up meals for restaurant patrons, working quickly and efficiently under pressure.

Learn more about restaurant cooks.

Photo credit: Getty

12. Hairdresser

Median Salary: $23,660
Unemployment Rate: 3.9 percent
Expected Job Openings: 58,400

Good hand-eye coordination and a keen fashion sense are key for these licensed cosmetologists. They cut, style, color and treat hair for their clients, who may recognize a stellar styling job with a hefty tip.

Learn more about hairdressers. 

Photo credit: Getty

11. School Counselor

Median Salary: $53,660
Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 22,500

School counselors interact with students, helping them navigate day-to-day activities, apply to college or pick a career path.

Learn more about school counselors.

Photo credit: Getty

10. Nail Technician

Median Salary: $20,820
Unemployment Rate: 3.4 percent
Expected Job Openings: 11,700

These workers must complete a cosmetology program to file, shape, trim and polish fingernails and toenails.

Learn more about nail technicians. 

Photo credit: Getty

9. Taxi Driver

Median Salary: $23,510
Unemployment Rate: 4.5 percent
Expected Job Openings: 30,600

Taxi drivers transport customers, taking them to airports, train stations and hotels.

Learn more about taxi drivers.

Photo credit: Getty

8. Mental Health Counselor

Median Salary: $41,880
Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 26,400

These specialists work with clients to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders.

Learn more about mental health counselors.

Photo credit: Getty

7. Child and Family Social Worker

Median Salary: $42,350
Unemployment Rate: 2.1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 19,000

These professionals aim to improve the lives of children dealing with a range of issues from homelessness to abuse and illness.

Learn more about child and family social workers. 

Photo credit: Getty

6. Patrol Officer

Median Salary: $58,320
Unemployment Rate: 1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 34,200

Officers patrol, write reports and protect the communities in which they serve.

Learn more about patrol officers. 

Photo credit: Getty

5. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

Median Salary: $39,980
Unemployment Rate: 2.8 percent
Expected Job Openings: 21,200

These counselors help patients work their way through problems related to addiction and behavioral disorders, including eating disorders, alcoholism and drug abuse. 

Learn more about substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.

Photo credit: Getty

4. Clinical Social Worker

Median Salary: $52,380
Unemployment Rate: 2.1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 30,900

A clinical social worker focuses on the social aspects of medical problems, including a patient's feelings about a diagnosis and how to cope with health-related stress. 

Learn more about clinical social workers.

Photo credit: Getty

3. Lawyer

Median Salary: $115,820
Unemployment Rate: 1.1 percent
Expected Job Openings: 43,800

From courtroom sweet-talkers to tax buffs, lawyers advise and represent clients in criminal or civil legal matters.

Learn more about lawyers.

Photo credit: Getty

2. Marriage and Family Therapist

Median Salary: $48,600
Unemployment Rate: 0.6 percent
Expected Job Openings: 5,000

These professionals help couples and families resolve conflicts and work through mental and emotional disorders.

Learn more about marriage and family therapists.

Photo credit: Getty

1. School Psychologist

Median Salary: $70,580
Unemployment Rate: 1.2 percent
Expected Job Openings: 30,500

These in-school workers diagnose and treat students with learning disabilities and behavioral and emotional problems. 

Learn more about school psychologists.

Photo credit: Getty

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