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Careers in Social Work



What a career in social work looks like. . . . . . . .

Social workers empower individuals, relieve suffering and affect social change.  They help people identify and manage the interrelated factors that have created or contributed to the problems they face.  They seek interventions that provide relief and resolution to these problems.  Social work is an excellent career choice for those who care about human dignity and social justice.

Few occupations can match the broad range of opportunities of social work.  You’ll find social workers in hospitals, schools, private businesses, public agencies, police departments, nursing homes, courts, private practices and countless other interesting workplaces.  They practice in areas such as health care, child welfare, mental health, aging, management, and clinical settings.  They hold titles of managers, therapists, community organizers, educators, and researchers.  They are on the front lines and behind the scenes, in large cities and in small communities.  Wherever people are, there you will find a social worker.

ChoicesSocial workers elevate service to others above self interest, drawing on their knowledge, values and skills to help people in need and to address social problems.  They pursue social change, particularly for the vulnerable and oppressed, focusing on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and all forms of social injustice.

Social workers value the inherent dignity and worth of each person, treating them with care and respect.  They engage people as partners in the helping process, seeking to strengthen human relationships to promote well-being.

Social workers honor their profession with honest and trustworthy behavior.   They continually strive to build upon their professional knowledge and skills so they may apply them with competence.

In a recent survey of social work practitioners, the median income was $51,900.  Over 10 percent earned $80,000 or more and 95 percent earned over $30,000 annually.  Most surveyed held the MSW degree.  Those starting out with a BSW can expect an annual salary ranging up to $30,000 depending on type of work, experience, and geographic factors.

Social work is a broad and diverse profession.  Take a brief tour through some of the more popular career areas where social workers serve.

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Information provided by National Association of Social Workers


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