Social Work

By Bethany Alioto Period 2

My Resources:

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Career Details: Duties, Working Schedule, Working Location, Salary:


There are two main types of social workers: direct-service social workers, who help people solve and cope with problems of their everyday lives, and clinical social workers, who diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Working Schedule:

They generally work full time and may need to work evenings and weekends to see clients or attend meetings.

Working Location:

Social workers work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, and private practices.


The median annual wage in May 2010 were the following:

  • $51,500 for all other social workers
  • $47,230 for healthcare social workers
  • $40,210 for child, family, and school social workers
  • $38,600 for mental health and substance abuse social workers.

Education Needed:

A bachelor's degree is required for most direct-service social work positions, but some positions and settings require a master's degree. Clinical social workers must have a master's degree. Licensure varies by state. Clinical social workers must be licensed.

Colleges that offer this major is UIC in Chicago and Northeaster University.

Skills Required:

Social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop a strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients. Clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives. To effectively help, social workers must listen to and understand their clients' needs. Helping and managing multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment, requires good organizational skills. Being able to work with different groups of people is essential for social working. They need strong people skills to foster healthy and productive relationships with their clients and colleagues. Social workers need to develop practical and innovated solutions to their clients' problems. Social workers have many clients. They must manage their time well to provide adequate service to all their clients.

Job Outlook/Growth:

Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be due to an increase in demand for health care and social services but will vary by specialty.

Advancement Opportunities or Related Jobs:

Some related jobs are: health educators, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, probation officers, correlation treatment specialists, psychologists, rehabilitation counselors, school and career counselors, social and community service managers, social and human service assistants, and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors.