A social worker can expect to work with a range of people including young offenders, people with mental health conditions, truant students, drug and alcohol abusers, people with learning and physical disabilities, and the elderly. Daily tasks and activities include:
- Composing assessments according to specific standards
- Interviewing clients and their families to evaluate and review their situation
- Advising clients using relevant information and counseling support
- Coordinating support plans in order to help clients live at their better
- Deciding about the best sort of treatment for a client
- Communicating with other agencies
- Taking part in multidisciplinary meetings
- Updating records for accuracy and organizing reports for legal activity
- Presenting evidence in a court room setting
- Contributing in teaching, management, and conferences (Prospects).
Here are some quick facts about what life is like for social workers. We have divided the topics into job outlook, salary, training, and general information.
- Job prospects in the social work field are great: Employment is expected to increase 16% through 2018, which is faster than average. There is an especially great need for social workers in rural areas of the U.S. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Medical social workers will be in particularly high demand, with employment growth estimated at 22% through 2018. This is because of the large expected rise in the elderly population. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- There is more potential for growth in the field of social work than in the narrower field of counseling. Social workers can pursue a broader range of specialties than counselors can, such as government, nonprofit, educational, or welfare social work. Indeed, social workers can conduct counseling themselves. (Mayo Clinic)
- Of all of the social work jobs, approximately 54% are in the field of health care and social assistance industries, while 31% are with the government. (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- The median expected salary for a social worker in 2009 was $44,591. (Salary.com)
- Requirements for becoming a licensed social worker vary state-by-state, but most require around two years of field work followed by a licensing examination. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Social workers in the field of medical and public health currently have the highest median annual wage in comparison with other social workers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Social workers need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) in order to be certified. More advanced graduate degrees, such as a master’s level social workers degree (MSW) or a doctorate level social workers degree (DSW), may open up more job opportunities. (College Crunch)
- There are 471 accredited baccalaureate social work programs and 201 accredited master’s social work programs in the United States. (Council on Social Work Education)
- A bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) is the most common minimum requirement for an entry-level job in social work. However, it is often preferred or required that an individual has pursued social work at a more advanced level, through either a master's or Ph.D. program. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Most social work graduate school programs require at least a bachelor's degree. Recommended majors include social work, psychology, and sociology. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Over 600,000 people in the United States alone hold social worker degrees (National Association of Social Workers).
- Social work is an diverse and growing profession. According to the Center for Social Work Education surveys, there are currently approximately 50,000 social work students enrolled in accredited social work degree programs in United States (CSWE).
- Since the first social work class was offered in the summer of 1898 at Columbia University, social workers have led the way developing private and charitable organizations to serve people in need. Social workers continue to address the needs of society and bring our nation's social problems to the public's attention (Columbia University).
- Today, Americans enjoy many privileges because early social workers saw miseries and injustices and took action, inspiring others along the way. Many of the benefits we take for granted came about because social workers—working with families and institutions—spoke out against abuse and neglect (Boise State University).
- In addition to working directly with individuals, part of a social worker's job often involves referring people to other services, such as counselors, psychologists, health educators, and correctional treatment specialists. However, at the same time, professionals like counselors and psychologists are considered social workers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Full-time social workers have a typical 40-hour work week, though they may sometimes need to be available at other times for emergencies, client meetings, and community events. Many volunteer social workers work part time. (National Institutes of Health)
- Social workers can specialize in a variety of areas, the most popular of which are children, families, and school social work. Other common fields are medical, public health, mental health, and substance abuse social work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Social workers perform their duties in a variety of environments, including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, police departments, private businesses, clinics, and more. (National Association of Social Workers)
- Counseling is a major portion of social work, whether clients need this guidance as a result of a medical illness, substance abuse, depression, or domestic issues. This counseling occurs in various settings, including private practices and schools. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Social workers help a range of different people from all stages of life, from children to elderly people. They also help with a range of different issues including adoption, hospice care, and many other issues (National Association of Social Workers).
- Because social workers constantly engage with people, social workers benefit greatly from the exchange of professional advice and experiences. Check out the Clinical Dialog portal at the Clinical Social Work Association, to keep abreast of the latest trending topics.