Social Worker Career Outlook

$A career in social work can cover a broad range of occupations within a variety of work settings. Basically, any job that revolves around fixing social issues in our society can be considered social work. Social workers most often work with children and families, those with disabilities, those with substance abuse or criminal issues or those receiving medical care. Social workers are most often employed by government agencies, schools, police departments and medical facilities.

Required Education and Skills

Those interested in a career in social work in any setting can get a degree focused on social work. There are associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate options. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. Field-work positions usually require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in addition to a number of supervised hours under a senior social worker. Associate’s degrees usually open up only very basic entry-level positions revolving around office work and clerical tasks at a government. It is highly recommended to enter the field with a bachelor’s degree.

Employers are also looking for other skills, including a desire to help others and improve their lives. Unsurprisingly, social skills and charisma are important, as is conflict resolution and problem solving. Social workers often deal with very difficult clients and situations, and they must be able to handle both accordingly. Social workers are not expected to be lawyers, but they should have some working knowledge of applicable laws and regulations. They are usually held to strict regulatory practices, and will often be appearing in court for various cases.

Social worker positions can sometimes be attained by those without a degree in social work, but with a degree in a similar field. Similar fields often include education, criminal justice, or counseling. The appropriate degree in this case can vary depending on the location and type of services needed.

Career Settings
Where social workers are employed is about as broad as the institutions that employ them. State institutes that handle cases of abuse or foster care are prime employers of social workers. Unfortunately, these jobs are usually the lowest paying options.

School districts are the next largest employer of social workers. Social workers are often needed to handle Special Education cases. They also work with children currently in State care to ensure they get the necessary educational services. These social workers are often a bridge between a child’s home and educational life. They are also guidance counselors who assist youth with graduation, college entry and career goals.

Hospitals are the third largest employer of social workers. Each hospital has at least one social worker. These individuals help patients realize their care goals and help them with insurance paperwork and other tasks to complete the legal or clerical side of their visit. In cases where long-term care or additional out-patients services are needed, the social worker will help patients and families set up the necessary care situation. They may provide information or contact various other institutions or providers on the patient’s behalf.

It's Interesting

  • "Charity Case" is the third episode of the eighth season of the American television medical drama series House and the 158th overall episode of the series. It aired on Fox Network in the United States on October 17, 2011.
    When a philanthropist collapses after making a rare and generous donation, House isn't the only one who believes the man's...

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