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Creating Your Career in the Helping Professions

Elizabeth Munoz

Elizabeth Muñoz,
Education, Health, and Non-Profit Specialist
elmunoz@fullerton.edu
(657) 278-2032

Are you interested in making a difference, do you enjoy helping others, or yearn for a career with a mission? Then consider pursuing a career in the Education; Health & Human Services; or Non-Profit industries. Public service is not only fulfilling but also offers many opportunities to a variety of majors. The Career Center offers ample resources and services that will assist you in exploring and planning to become a part of one of these gratifying careers.

The Non-Profit Industry

An estimated one million organizations across the country comprise the non-profit sector and employs around 10% of the U.S. work force. Non-Profit organizations represent the special interests of groups and/or communities as well as, provide social services where demand cannot be met by the public sector. They are classified into nine service categories which include: art, culture and humanities, education; environment/animals, health, human services, international and foreign affairs, religion, mutual membership benefit, and public/societal benefit.

Benefits

  • Ability to use professional skills on others behalf
  • Ability to develop a large and varied skill set
  • High sense of ethics and standards
  • Sense of personal well-being from service to others
  • Opportunity to work with compatible and caring colleagues
  • A humanistic, people-oriented approach to personnel management
  • More than just a "job"

Challenges

  • Limited upward mobility in one/small organization
  • Financial rewards may not match level of responsibility
  • Lack of adequate resources
  • Limited funds may reduce job security
  • Volunteer/staff roles may be ambiguous
  • Limited training

Sample of Non-profit Organizations:

  •        American Red Cross
  •        Art Galleries
  •        Boys and Girls Club Museums
  •        Credit Unions
  •        Educational Organizations
  •        Government
  •        Hospitals
  •        Peace Corps
  •        Religious Organizations
  •        Senior Services
  •        Shelters
  •        Treatment Centers
  •        Zoos

The Education Industry

Educators are critical thinkers and life-long learners who promote diversity, work collaboratively, and advocate for their students. There are a variety of careers available that can be classified within three categories: administration & administrative support; professional support services; and teaching. Most careers in education require a credential and/or an advanced degree. If you are considering a career in teaching it is important to understand that national and state legislative changes affect the credentials needed for becoming a highly qualified teacher. Additional qualifying exams are also required such as the CSET, the CBEST and the RICA. For more information on the single and multiple subject credential programs, please visit the Center for Careers in Teaching in Humanities (H113), (657) 278-7130 or go to www.fullerton.edu/cct.

Knowing yourself and the reasons you want to teach is important. The following questions will help you clarify your motivation for becoming a teacher and begin a self-inventory:

  • Why do I want to teach?
  • What is my educational philosophy?
  • Do I have the time and drive needed to complete a preparation
  • program?
  • Do I like to be around children, adolescents, or adults?
  • Will I mind the administrative tasks that are involved in teaching?

Benefits

  • Autonomous work environment
  • Opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Well respected occupation
  • Ability to positively affect the next generation
  • Modified work calendar

Challenges

  • Public, media, and governmental scrutiny
  • Held to an ever-changing "standard" and expectation
  • Limited budgets and resources
  • The increase of average classroom size
  • Constant professional development required
  • Continually changing job description

Careers in Education

  • Adult Education
  • Bilingual Education
  • Career Counselor
  • Correctional Education 
  • Educational Administration
  • Elementary Education
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Higher Education
  • Library Services
  • School Psychologist
  • Secondary Education
  • Special Education
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Health and Human Services Industry

This industry is comprised of health, fitness, and human service issues that promote both physical and mental longevity. Professionals in these careers improve the lives of the individuals, families and the community that they serve. Professional focus areas vary greatly and allow specializations such as nursing, therapeutic intervention, recreation, fitness and wellness, healthcare, community health, as well as occupational and environmental health.

Benefits

  • Ability to help others through professional training
  • Environment that is always growing
  • Opportunity to master a subject area
  • Work in a "people profession"

Challenges

  • Increased competition for higher paying jobs
  • Working around those who may be ill
  • Sometimes limited resources and minimal budgets
  • Occupations can be emotionally draining

Careers in Health and Human Services

  • Acupuncturist
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Audiologist
  • Bio Medical Engineers
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Dietitian/Nutritionist
  • Exercise Therapist
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Gerontologist
  • Grant Writer
  • Health Educators
  • Hospice Worker
  • Marriage Family Therapy
  • Mental Health Services
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Social Worker
  • Speech/Language Patholigist
  • Victim Advocate

Utilize the various career exploration resources on our website to learn more details about careers in these respective industries.