What Can You Do With a Social Work Degree?

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For those who want to be on the front line of helping others through challenging situations or improving the community, a degree in social work is a great way to get started in a rewarding, challenging career.

Social Work Careers

From child advocacy to working as a business advisor or community liaison, there are a number of exciting ways you can utilize your social work degree to make a difference in society.

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While many graduates of a social work degree program go on to careers as social workers within a variety of settings, there are a number of other career opportunities that will be available to you after earning your degree. Below we have put together a list of 40 popular careers within the field as well as their median annual salaries:

Careers Annual Median Salary
Human Resources Advisor $64,498
Community Relations Manager $58,675
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) $58,660
Social Work Supervisor $58,277
Clinical Social Worker $57,217
Social Services Director $55,947
Medical Social Worker $55,155
Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization $52,431
Community Outreach Director $52,316
Guidance Counselor $52,212
Social Worker, Hospice $51,927
Community Relations Specialist $51,435
Patient Relations Liaison $51,059
Licensed Social Worker $49,528
Case Management Coordinator $49,169
School Social Worker $48,891
Mental Health Clinician $48,324
Social Worker (MSW) $48,215
Social Worker $47,915
Community Relations Coordinator $45,666
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program Coordinator $45,630
Mental Health Therapist $45,439
Care Coordinator $45,223
Community Health Coordinator $45,179
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization $43,755
Customer Service Advisor $43,121
Patient Advocate $43,066
Academic Advisor $42,964
Community Outreach Coordinator $42,220
Behavior Specialist $42,030
Community Organizer $40,569
Crisis Counselor $40,442
Substance Abuse Counselor $39,852
Early Intervention Specialist $39,835
Case Manager, Social Service $39,242
Adoption Counselor $38,985
Family Service Worker $36,385
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist $36,002
Family Advocate $35,705
Community Support Worker $35,693


*Data provided by Payscale.com

What Can You Do With a Social Work Degree?

As you can see from the information above, there are countless opportunities to get started in a rewarding and varied career with a degree in Social Work.

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Those who choose to become a social worker can find employment in a variety of settings, including education, family services, or adoption and foster care. Others that have earned this degree go on to work within the field of customer service, as an advisor, or with outreach programs and non-profits that work to bridge gaps within their community.

In the information above, we have highlighted the average annual salaries for those in the social work field. While many of these career ideas have pay equal to or above the national average across all occupations, you may make more or less depending on your specialty within the field.

What Is a Social Work Degree?

Social Worker visiting a family

A Social Work degree will teach you the knowledge and skills you need to excel in careers that work directly with clients and the public.

With a focus on interpersonal communication and crisis management, you will be prepared to help individuals and their families through challenging situations by providing support and access to community services. Throughout the course of your Social Work degree program, your classes will cover a variety of essential topics, including:

  • Multicultural concerns and diversity
  • Psychology
  • Behavior modification
  • Sociology
  • Social welfare

For those who would like to work directly as a social worker or counselor after graduating with a Social Work degree, it is essential to look into the licensing requirements and regulations that govern your specific state.

Many states require social workers and those in the counseling field to hold advanced graduate degrees and pass comprehensive examinations in order to apply for professional licensing. However, requirements often vary for social work vs. counseling licensing.

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With the advancement of technology and changing needs of the student body, many colleges are now offering online degree programs to students that need extra flexibility in class scheduling. By enrolling in programs that lead to online social work degrees, you can complete your education at a pace that suits your busy schedule while still maintaining career and family obligations.

Social Work Career Outlook

Clinical Social Worker in a session with a client

There is a great need throughout society for skilled social work professionals capable of compassionately and efficiently assisting families through difficult situations. Whether you want to work directly in client care or as an administrative professional with a non-profit, educational, or government organization, the job outlook for those in social services has an overall positive occupational trend.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers will experience an overall job growth of 13% between the years 2019 and 2029 – which is much faster than the national average across all occupations! More specifically, child, family, and school social workers will see a 12% growth and healthcare social workers are projected to have 14% occupational growth within this same timeframe.

With a positive job outlook and a variety of career opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those within the community, working in the field of social services is the perfect choice for motivated and caring graduates of a Social Work degree program!

You can also view our Science Careers and Theology Careers guides for more options.

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Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.