Social Worker

By Dominique Tolen

Nature of the job...what do they do?

Social workers are people that identify people who need help. Basically they help people cope with challenges in their lives.Social workers may work with children, people with disabilities, and people with serious illnesses and addictions. Their work varies based on the type of client they are working with. They help with a wide range of situations, such as adopting a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Environment

Social workers work in different places such as . . . .

- nursing homes

- schools

- colleges and universities

- child welfare agencies

- state and local governments

How do you become one?

A bachelor’s degree in social work is the most common requirement for entry-level positions.Some positions, including those in schools and in health care, frequently require a master’s degree in social work. For example, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree in social work and two years of post-master experience in a supervised clinical setting. All states have some type of licensure or certification requirement, which varies by state. All states require clinical social workers to be licensed. However, some states provide exemptions for clinical social workers who work in government agencies. Some improtant qualities include. . . . compassion, interpersonal skills, listening skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, and last time management skills.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Thwy say the employment growth will be driven by increased demand for health care and social services, but will vary by specialty. Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of healthcare social workers is projected to grow 27 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As baby boomers age, they and their families will require help from social workers to find care, increasing the need for healthcare social workers.

Pay

The annual wage for social workers was $44,200. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,450, and the top 10 percent earned more than $72,980. The median annual wages for social workers in May 2012 were as follows. . . .

- $54,560 for all other social workers

- $49,830 for healthcare social workers

- $41,530 for child, family, and school social workers

- $39,980 for mental health and substance abuse social workers

Similar Occupations

- psychologists

- school and career counselors

- probation officers and correctional treatment specialists

- social and community service managers

- substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors