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So You Want To Be A Social Worker

Careers in Health Care : So you Want to be a Social Worker

Overview: Social Work as a Career
Social work represents a fascinating opportunity to work with people, to help families, and to be a contributing member of the health care and social care system. The profession of social worker is great for people who want to help improve the lives of other people. Social workers help people to deal with problems and troubles in their lives, to improve personal relationships, and to solve family difficulties. Some social workers may work with disabled or ill patients, or who face economic, social and psychological problems such as the homeless, the unemployed, and persons suffering from substance abuse. Social workers may work with families who are victims of domestic violence, child and spousal abuse. Other social workers are primarily researchers and writers, advocating for more and better social services, or participate in policy development and planning. Social Workers Directory
Employment for social workers is projected to be among the fastest growing occupations. There are currently over 700,000 social workers, and job growth is expected to be about 24 per cent over the next 10 years. (bls.gov) The median annual earnings of a social worker vary from about $30,000 per year to $50,000. Social workers employed by schools and hospitals tend to be the highest earners, while residential care, mental health and substance abuse social workers earned less.

Job Description:
Child, family and school social workers manage assistance and social services programs, to help families, provide support groups, assist children with academics, and find foster homes for neglected and abused children. Medical and public health social workers counsel patients with medical problems, help arrange for discharge and home care, and in some cases may assist with insurance claims processing. Mental health and substance abuse social workers generally work in detox and rehab centers, hospitals, or for local governments. Social work is primarily an office job, however many social workers travel locally to meet with clients individually, attend meetings and deal with emergency situations. Social workers generally have a 40-hour work week.
While a BSW degree (Bachelor in Social Work) is usually the minimum required, a masters or doctorate degree is preferable. However, many social workers have degrees in psychology, counseling, or related field and may qualify, particularly in small rural agencies. Your instructors will train you how to manage crises, allocate resources, build relationships with patients and clients, and provide the best service possible. There are approximately 450 bachelor's programs, 180 master's and 70 PhD social work programs available. Career advancement usually requires an advanced degree as well as work experience. Schools with Social Work Programs and Majors
All states have licensing standards, and while they vary from state to state, the trend is to place more emphasis on cultural sensitivity and communications skills. A requirement of 2 years supervised experience is generally a licensing requirement for clinical social workers. State Social Work Boards
Additional resources:
National Association of Social Workers
State Social Worker Associations
Council on Social Work Education
Psychiatric Social Workers Directory
Association of Social Work Boards

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