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Social Work

Enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities. Social workers provide meaningful service to the community as practitioners, leaders, and social justice advocates.

Degree Programs

Requirements

  • Licensed clinical social workers (LSCW) must have a master’s degree and two years of post-graduate experience in a supervised clinical setting. LSCWs must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.
  • A master’s degree is widely recognized as the industry standard in the field of social work since it’s a requirement for clinical positions that require licensure in most states. However, entry-level and other non-clinical jobs are available with a bachelor’s degree.

Jobs & Work Settings

Professional positions held by graduates: 

  • Social worker
  • Hospital discharge planner
  • Services eligibility worker
  • Psychiatric social worker
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Delinquency prevention program worker
  • Medical social worker
  • School social worker
  • Child welfare case worker
  • Community organization administrator
  • Health care administrator
  • Director of social services
  • Organization administrator
  • Researcher
  • Employment program supervisor
  • Industrial social worker
  • Health educator and hospice services coordinator
  • Case management
  • Gerontological social work
  • Community organizer
  • Social policy analyst

Work Settings 

  • State and local governments
  • Mental health clinics 
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Hospitals, primary care settings, and clinics
  • Mental health clinics
  • Substance abuse clinic
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Military bases 
  • Correctional facilities

Career Outlook & Pay

Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for social workers are expected to grow much faster than average: 16% in the next 10 years, national.

Average median wage

  • CA: $72,200
  • US: $49,470

Interests, Skills & Values  

Social justice

Social workers want to improve society and help people lead safer and healthier lives. 

Compassion

Social workers frequently work with people who are in stressful situations. They must have empathy to develop strong relationships with their clients. 

Interpersonal skills

Social workers should be able to work with people from a variety of different backgrounds. They must be culturally sensitive when interacting with clients. 

Communication skills

Social workers must be able to communicate clearly with clients. They need strong oral communication and listening skills to address individual, family, and community concerns.

Organizational skills

Social workers help manage multiple clients and often help them with paperwork. 

Problem-solving 

Social workers offer practical and effective solutions to their clients' problems. They must be able to solve problems in high-stress situations. 

Related Careers

Resources

For more information about social work careers, visit the National Association of Social Workers.