Support Specialist

Support Specialist

What is a Support Specialist?

A support specialist connects the public with healthcare providers and service professionals who can effectively meet their needs. Support specialists are typically employed in a very specialized area such as rehabilitation, psychology, or pediatric health services. Within this area, they will identify key programs, resources, services, and providers in their area. Though they may offer some counseling services, support specialists are not licensed healthcare providers and cannot function as such. Rather, they are important agents of referral who help those in their community find what they need to get by. 

In some jobs, a support specialist may also assist with everyday activities, if their clients are not able to manage these on their own. This might include providing basic help with grooming, feeding, and household maintenance. In this capacity, a support specialist might help organize a client’s medication, arrange for transportation so he can maintain meaningful social relationships, or take care of important errands. 

While there are many ways that a support specialist can approach his or her career, the core tenets of the occupation are the same. These professionals focus on helping others in any way that they can.

Support Specialist Job Responsibilities:

  • Helping families complete paperwork for assistance programs 
  • Suggesting free or affordable solutions for those in need 
  • Referring clients to rehabilitation programs 
  • Providing educational resources or conducting educational programs 
  • Identifying key community assets 
  • Recruiting staff members for new programs 
  • Managing liaisons between charitable organizations and assistance providers 
  • Completing applications for funding 
  • Counseling clients on community resources 
  • Drafting reports on community needs and program effectiveness 

Career Outlook for Support Specialists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of health education specialists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.  

About 6,600 openings for health education specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. 

An emphasis on promoting healthy behaviors is expected to increase demand for these specialists over the decade.  

Governments, healthcare providers, and social services providers want to find ways to improve the quality of care and health outcomes while reducing costs. This objective should increase demand for health education specialists to teach people about health and wellness, which in turn helps to prevent costly diseases and medical procedures.

Where Do Support Specialists Work?

Support specialists may spend some of their time in a traditional office setting, but they’ll likely work outside the office as well. To be effective in their role, these professionals should have personal contact with those in the community. They may attend special programs or community events, participate in group meetings, and meet one-on-one in healthcare or home settings with those that they serve.

How to Become a Support Specialist

Support specialists should have a minimum of an associate’s degree in a related field to remain competitive in this profession. The Health Services Administration associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College offers a well-rounded educational background that will prepare you for a career in many types of community work. 

Courses such as healthcare terminology, healthcare information systems, and management principles will give you the tools you need to effectively serve your community, whether you’re organizing events, developing your own service programs, or counseling individuals. 

You can also improve your employment prospects by gaining experience with community programs in your area. Volunteer activity looks good on any resume, but this type of experience is particularly relevant for a prospective support specialist. Get to know the services that are available in your area now and you’ll have an edge over other job applicants when you’re seeking a career focused on connecting people with these same solutions.

What Can I Do with an AAS Health Services Administration Degree?

A Health Services Administration associate degree will equip you for many careers in community work and healthcare. As you’re seeking employment in this area, it’s important to consider a variety of jobs. Most support specialist positions have a different job title. Look for postings such as: 

  • Office Manager 
  • Program Manager 
  • Program Coordinator 
  • Community Health Worker 
  • Community Representative 
  • Patient Access Representative 

Please note that data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reflects statistical averages only. These numbers are not a guarantee of your future employment prospects or job offerings. You should use these averages for informational purposes only as you’re considering the best career for your needs. 

For more insights into the field of support specialists, visit the Healthcare Degrees section of the blog. You’ll find a wealth of information on how to best further your education, so you’re poised for a satisfying career as a support specialist. If you’re detail-oriented and people-focused, this may prove to be the ideal job for your future.

Additional Training/Requirements

A career in the field of Health Services Administration may involve meeting certain licensing, training and other requirements that can vary by vocation and state.  Bryant & Stratton College’s programs are education programs and the College makes no representations regarding whether a program will qualify a graduate for employment in any specific position, is necessary for attaining any such position, or whether potential employers may require additional training, certification or education.  Before enrolling in a program, applicants are encouraged to consult with any relevant agency or employer with which he/she may wish to seek employment for a complete list of position requirements and pre-requisites.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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