Social Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 15% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Licenses/Certifications
All states require clinical social workers to be licensed, and most states require licensure or certification for nonclinical social workers. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of 2 years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed.
Median pay: How much do Social Workers make?
$46,890 Annual Salary
$22.54 per hour

Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

What do Social Workers do?

Social workers typically do the following:

  • Identify people and communities in need of help
  • Assess clients’ needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals
  • Help clients adjust to changes and challenges in their lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment
  • Research, refer, and advocate for community resources, such as food stamps, childcare, and healthcare to assist and improve a client’s well-being
  • Respond to crisis situations such as child abuse and mental health emergencies
  • Follow up with clients to ensure that their situations have improved
  • Maintain case files and records
  • Develop and evaluate programs and services to ensure that basic client needs are met
  • Provide psychotherapy services

Social workers help people cope with challenges in their lives. They help with a wide range of situations, such as adopting a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Advocacy is an important aspect of social work. Social workers advocate or raise awareness with and on behalf of their clients and the social work profession on local, state, and national levels.

Careers for Social Workers

  • AIDS social workers
  • Bachelor's social workers
  • C-CYFSW
  • C-SWHC
  • Certified children, youth, and family social workers
  • Certified social workers in health care
  • Child abuse workers
  • Child and family services workers
  • Child and family social workers
  • Child protective services social workers
  • Child protective services specialists
  • Child welfare social workers
  • Child welfare workers
  • Clinical social workers
  • Community mental health social workers
  • Criminal justice social workers
  • Drug abuse social workers
  • Family preservation caseworkers
  • Family preservation workers
  • Family service caseworkers
  • Family services social workers
  • Forensic social workers
  • Foster care social workers
  • Foster care workers
  • Geriatric social workers
  • Gerontology social workers
  • Healthcare social workers
  • Hospice home care social workers
  • Hospice social workers
  • Hospital social workers
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Master's social workers
  • Medical social workers
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers
  • Mental health social workers
  • Neonatal social workers
  • Nephrology social workers
  • Occupational social workers
  • Oncology social workers
  • Palliative care social workers
  • Pediatric social workers
  • Psychiatric social workers
  • Psychotherapist social workers
  • Public health social workers
  • Renal social workers
  • School social workers
  • Sexual assault social workers
  • Substance abuse social workers

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