Choosing a career in advocacy can be a rewarding way to perform work you care about. Advocates often support important causes, allowing them to pursue a career that aligns well with their values. There are many types of advocates, and reviewing jobs in the field can help you find a role that suits your goals, sense of purpose and unique skills.
In this article, we discuss what it’s like to be a job advocate and list different advocate jobs you can consider.
What is an advocate job?
An advocate job is a position that allows you to aid or defend others and help them realize important goals. Advocate hobs exist in many areas, such as civil, educational, domestic and legal sectors. Advocates work on local, national and international levels, helping causes such as animal rights, environmental work, civil rights and healthcare reform.
Below are 12 jobs you can pursue as an advocate for others, separated into four categories: child advocacy, victim rights, mental health and health. Here’s a closer look at popular advocate roles:
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click the salary links.
Child advocates work in youth services to help ensure children receive the resources they need to reach their full potential in their social, familial and academic lives. Here are three jobs to consider for this type of advocacy:
1. Youth worker
National average salary: $36,091 per year
Primary duties: Youth workers serve in many capacities, including educating youth on developing basic health needs, demonstrating employable skills, finding healthy ways to express their feelings and developing conflict resolution skills. Someone in this role may also create and deliver educational programs, conduct performance checks, report on behaviors and suggest care plans. Youth workers often work in juvenile detention facilities, recreation rehabilitation therapeutic centers, state and local government offices and independent social service agencies.
2. Child and youth program assistant
National average salary: $40,562 per year
Primary duties: Child and youth program assistants plan and coordinate safe activities designed to help children and youth meet physical, mental and emotional needs through positive interactions and indoor and outdoor activities. Assistants monitor, observe and account for the children and youth during activities and field trips and may prepare and serve snacks or meals.
3. Child welfare specialist
National average salary: $51,137 per year
Primary duties: Child welfare specialists work in various settings, including schools, hospitals, courts, law enforcement agencies and state and local governments. These specialists interview children and family members, ensure children have suitable living conditions, monitor their medical care, including therapy sessions, and ensure they receive a proper education. Their responsibilities may also include working with at-risk youth, placing children in foster care, planning visitations, serving as children’s representatives and assisting with reunification efforts.
Occupations for victims’ rights advocacy
Victims’ rights advocates work with law enforcement to help victims of crimes recover from exposure to traumatic events or circumstances. Those in these advocacy positions frequently assist their clients in court proceedings and may sometimes refer them to community resources for further support. Here are three jobs to consider for this type of advocacy:
4. Family advocate
National average salary: $38,412 per year
Primary duties: Family advocates assist with domestic conflicts, such as unsafe living conditions, unhealthy environments, divorce disputes and mediation. They also may assist with affordable housing, immigration rights, health care needs and educational services. They often use counseling and education as tools for working with families.
5. Victim advocate
National average salary: $42,070 per year
Primary duties: A victim advocate assists victims of all types of abuse, informs victims and their families of their rights, provides emotional support, assists with relocation services, helps complete forms and acts as a liaison between programs and service agencies. They may also aid in completing compensation forms, help clients navigate the justice system and support victims during court proceedings. By helping find legal assistance and safe shelter for victims, advocates can often help to keep those in dangerous situations safe.
6. Protection specialist
National average salary: $80,009 per year
Primary duties: A protection specialist represents all ages and refers them to the necessary resources and services that pertain to their rights and individual needs. They also assist with personal protection, inform victims on witness procedures, assist with restraining order forms and counsel victims on protection strategies. Through their work, they can reduce harm to victims and offer them security.
Occupations for mental health advocacy
Advocates for mental health work in the medical field to observe and discuss concerns such as addiction behaviors, personality disorders, neurological issues and cognitive distortions. Here are three jobs to consider for this type of advocacy:
7. Case worker
National average salary: $51,022 per year
Primary duties: Case workers help people of all ages confront physical and mental difficulties, recover from family trauma, adapt to better living environments and administer coping strategies. They may also conduct home visits, perform evaluations, interview patients and their families and report on findings to further build on treatment plans. Case workers and managers can act as advocates to ensure treatment options meet patients’ best interests.
8. Addiction counselor
National average salary: $64,836 per year
Primary duties: Addiction counselors work with those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. They may work with individuals or in a group setting and provide tools and resources to those attending sessions voluntarily or as mandated by the court. Counselors guide alternative behaviors and coping strategies and sometimes refer addicts to support groups specializing in their specific choice of addiction. They may work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers and government agencies.
9. Behavioral specialist
National average salary: $125,300 per year
Primary duties: Behavioral specialists and therapists work with those who suffer from behavioral disorders due to mental health issues. They may specialize in helping children or those with autism, developmental disabilities, cognitive disconnect or emotional triggers. By using specific techniques and practices, they can often be significant sources of support for those with behavioral challenges.
Occupations for health advocacy
Health advocates work directly with individuals and groups, assisting them with paperwork, fair treatment, financial support services and healthcare navigation. They can also refer patients to additional resources and care needed. Here are three jobs to consider for this type of advocacy:
10. Health educator
National average salary: $29,443 per year
Primary duties: A health educator informs individuals, groups and the general public about overall health and wellness topics such as nutrition and appropriate physical activity. They also often develop and assist with health fairs and screenings, and they may visit workplaces and schools to provide age- and industry-appropriate materials and tools to help their audiences make healthier life choices. They can be valuable resources for their communities, sharing information and educating community members.
11. Patient advocate
National average salary: $29,552 per year
Primary duties: Patient advocates provide assistance and expertise to patients, their families and other interested parties where a patient requires support to navigate the healthcare system. These advocates work with caseworkers, help patients and their families complete and submit applications for assistance, suggest programs for more specialized assistance and community resources and assist with benefits collection. Patient advocates often act as a liaison between patients and their care providers, case management professionals, billing offices, third party insurance vendors and community agencies. They may also take part in court hearings, case review meetings, committees and public presentations.
12. Community health worker
National average salary: $34,285 per year
Primary duties: Community health workers provide healthcare education and guidance to the community in which they serve. They help patients get the care and proper treatment options they need, assist with paperwork and provide counsel on overall preventative health. They may also take part in health fairs, assist with transition care and help patients navigate health insurance plans.