What Can You Do With Your Degree in Social Work?
With nearly 700,000 social workers already employed in the U.S and a predicted increase of 16% by 2026, the field of social work is growing. If you are looking for an in-demand profession with opportunities of doing meaningful work based on helping the community, you should think of a career in social work. The role of social workers varies based on their level of education and industry.
Nonetheless, social workers mainly help people overcome various mental, emotional, behavioral, and environmental challenges. The perfect entry level for social work responsibilities is a bachelor’s degree in social work. However, you can unlock other career opportunities by enrolling in an MSW online program from an accredited university. Below are career opportunities for social workers.
1. Medical Social Worker
Most social work graduates dream of becoming medical social workers after graduating. Generally, social workers specialize in palliative, geriatric, and general public health. Medical social workers can practice in different medical settings with specialties. Most social workers work with medical specialists, doctors, and nurses as providers of interdisciplinary care services for their clients.
Medical social workers can also be assigned to hospice and long-term care facilities to help patients and families of aging adults. Working as a hospice medical social worker is emotionally and mentally taxing and requires a lot of courage.
2. Counselor or Therapist
Counselors are certified professionals who help clients improve their mental health and quality of life by acquiring better emotional and cognitive skills. Therapists help their clients learn coping skills to reduce symptoms associated with mental illnesses and other challenges. Depending on their line of work, therapists can work in different locales, including clinics, hospitals, community centers, and even online as freelancers.
3. Probation Officer
Social workers can also venture into the criminal justice system by becoming probation officers. Probation officers typically monitor and guide offenders to prevent them from committing more crimes. They also find possible treatment and rehabilitation measures to improve the quality of life of those on probation.
4. School Social Worker
Social work graduates can also work in teaching institutions as school social workers. These are trained mental health professionals who help students and other people within the school environment improve their mental health and academic life. They also discuss ways of supporting the students’ well-being with teachers, administrators, and parents. School social workers should make the school atmosphere safe for students to learn.
5. Caseworker or Community Outreach Worker
Community outreach workers are the backbone of social work in the community. They work with nonprofits, government agencies, and local community groups to improve the living standards of community members. Caseworkers are primarily tasked with creating events and other promotional services that improve the healthcare and social services available to the community.
Social workers can also work as substance abuse counselors, foster care workers, habilitation specialists, and workshop directors. Regardless of your preferred career, social work revolves around improving the wellness of different communities across the world.
If you are concerned about your earning potential, the salaries of social workers vary depending on multiple factors, including education level, licensure and credentials, and area of specialty. Advancing your knowledge by enrolling in an MSW program can improve your wages and broaden your career options.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well-reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.