Careers in Social Work

Social work is a rewarding field that provides daily opportunities to make a difference. From one-on-one counseling to systemic interventions, social workers can be found at various levels of influence ready to help improve the lives of others.

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The field of social work is a diverse one. Professionals may find employment in mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, or private practice. Clientele can include anyone, such as children, the elderly, those with disabilities, incarcerated individuals, or the general public. Levels of schooling vary as well.

If you are considering a career in social work, it helps to understand the education requirements for job of choice.

Jobs with a Bachelor of Social Work

A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is a common requirement for entry-level positions in the field. Though some related degrees can still qualify you for social work jobs, a BSW is advantageous because it features a curriculum specific to the field.

Careers in Social Work – BSW Jobs

Job TitleMedian SalaryCareer Outlook
Social and Human Service Assistants$33,75016%
Community Health Workers$39,54018%
Health Educators$54,22014%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Jobs with a Master of Social Work

A Master of Social Work (MSW) degree generally takes two years to complete. This credential is required for clinical positions. MSW programs prepare you to work in a chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. Whichever program you choose, you will be asked to complete a supervised practicum or an internship. After you graduate, two years of supervised training is typically required.

Careers in Social Work – MSW Careers

Job TitleMedian SalaryCareer Outlook
Child, Family, and School Social Workers$46,27014%
Healthcare Social Workers$56,20020%
Rehabilitation Counselors$35,63013%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for Social Work Jobs

The BLS has projected the demand for social work jobs in general will increase 16% by 2026, which is more than double the national average for all jobs. Several factors are likely to play into this demand. A growing population, for example, means that a demand for social services is likely to increase. Socioeconomic trends like widening inequality also play a factor. The country’s aging population is also set to boom, meaning a greater need for medical assistance. Additionally, more people of all ages are readily seeking treatment for mental illness, substance use, and other issues once considered taboo.

For those considering a career in social work, the field offers plentiful opportunities for both professional growth and personal fulfillment. Earning a degree in the field can set you on a path towards a rewarding and meaningful career.

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