Social workers help individuals of all ages solve problems to improve their well-being and quality of life. They assist families, groups and communities as well. Some social workers also diagnose and treat mental illnesses, emotional problems and behavioral issues. The most common job duties of a social worker may include:
Identifying which people may need immediate or long-term help
Developing plans to improve the well-being of their clients
Evaluating services to see which ones are most effective
Responding to emergency situations that may include child abuse or domestic violence
Advocating for clients who may be having problems attaining certain resources to improve their health
Helping clients communicate with government agencies to get specific benefits that they need
Empowering clients by connecting them with community resources like health care
Following up with clients to make sure that their lives are improving
These are just a few of the tasks that need to be performed. Candidates who are committed to social justice and helping elevate marginalized individuals out of difficult situations will thrive as a social worker. It is a challenging profession that requires individuals who are able to stay strong and objective while dealing with difficult situations and a wide variety of personalities.
Social Worker Job Education Requirements
Most employers prefer that social workers have at least a bachelor's of science degree in social work, but some may consider candidates who have bachelor's degrees in similar fields like sociology or even psychology. Those who are aiming to pursue this profession should try to get a master's degree in social work because this level of education is needed to work in health care or as a clinical social worker.
Social Worker Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is going to be a 19 percent growth in social worker jobs between 2012 and 2022, meaning that over 114,000 new social worker jobs will be created in the coming decade. This profession will see a faster than average growth, but it will vary depending on the social worker's specialty. The social worker jobs that are in highest demand are those who work asmedical social workers as well as those who work as school social workers.
Social Worker Job Salary Information
The average starting salary for social workers is $44,200 per year. There is, however, a huge variation in salaries among social workers. Ten percent of social workers earn over $70,000 per year, while another ten percent early less than $28,000 each year. Social workers who work in hospitals and schools tend to earn more than those working in social assistance situations or religious organizations.