A Guide to Social Work Careers

Social work is a highly rewarding vocation for people who want to assist others and improve their well-being. Social workers are counselors and problem-solvers. From housing to healthcare, social workers help people cope with complex challenges in their everyday lives.

Social workers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in social work. Some social work jobs require a master’s degree and/or a clinical license. Others need extensive on-the-job training. Students interested in pursuing a career as a social worker can find jobs in schools, hospitals, courts, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Some social workers counsel people one-on-one. Others assist agencies in helping people connect to services. Social workers also lead organizations, train people, conduct research, and develop local, state, and federal policies.

While social workers can work with people of all different ages and needs, there are child, family, and school social workers as well. A social worker may help with child welfare, child protective services, assisting single parents, or facilitating the best well-being of a child in an educational setting.

Social workers also play a critical role in the adoption process. In addition to matching children with prospective families, they work with governmental institutions to place children who have been legally separated from their parents into adoptive homes. Social workers can even specialize in different areas within this field, such as international adoptions for children from specific regions of the world or domestic placements — or both.

Here are some of the many social work careers:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Social Work Case Manager
  • School Counselor
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Social Work Executive Director
  • Probation Officer
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Behavior Analyst
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • School Social Worker
  • Eligibility Worker
  • Community Outreach Worker
  • Child Welfare Worker
  • Juvenile Court Liaison
  • Social Work Professor

Considering a career as a social worker? The team at BestColleges has created a new guide, “15 Social Work Jobs & Careers for Social Workers.” This resource is a comprehensive overview of careers, salaries, and education requirements in the field of social work. It’s designed to help social workers navigate the job market and find meaningful, rewarding work that aligns with their passions and interests.

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