Though you can get started in the social work field with just a bachelor’s degree, many positions in the world of social work require you to have at least a master’s degree in the field. After you graduate with a masters of social work, you can take many career paths depending on your specific interests. Let’s take a look at job responsibilities, career outlook, and other information for this field:
Social Work Job Responsibilities
What can you do with a masters degree in social work? That depends on the type of job you take! While in college, you can specialize in a certain field within the larger social work field in order to prepare fora job you’ll enjoy. These specializations can be split into two main categories: clinical/practical or management. If you go the clinical route, you’ll work in a practical job, helping clients directly working for employers like child protective services or adoption agencies. On the other hand, if you take the management or administrative route, you’ll work completing tasks such as reviewing policies, political advocacy, and human service management. Most social workers, no matter what route they take, make a career out of working with a specific group of people, such as families, the elderly, or the homeless.
Social Work Career Outlook
From 2008 to 2018, it is expected that the social work field will grow by about 16 percent, which is faster than average among all industries. Some niches within the social work field, such as mental health, substance abuse, and medical/public health, are expected to grow much faster than average, while others are expected to grow slightly more slowly. The middle 50 percent earn $31,040 to $52,080 annually, and with your master’s degree, you can expect to be on the high end of that range, if not higher. The top ten percent earn more than $66,430 annually.
Social Work Education
What will your masters of social work education entail? It depends on your specialization, but most social work programs pick up where your bachelor’s degree education leaves off. In addition to classroom learning, most social work graduate programs have a hands-on component as well, and in order to graduate you’ll likely need to complete a research project based on your area of interest. From there, you can also go on to earn a doctorate degree, which opens even more doors for you in the social work field.