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! 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!

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:

Job Title Job Summary Median Salary
Human Resources Advisor Responsible for handling and mediating personnel and staffing issues within an organization. $64,498
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Mental health care professionals that provide psychological counseling and assist in the practical aspects of mental conditions. $58,660
Social Work Supervisor Holds a supervisory position that is responsible for guiding less experienced social workers within an organization. $58,277
Community Outreach Director Responsible for creating outreach programs in living centers, supervising outreach teams, and communicating with employees, volunteers, and the public. $52,316
Clinical Social Worker Provides therapy and coordinates services for individuals who are in need of mental and emotional support. $57,217
Medical Social Worker Responsible for completing administrative medical tasks, including initial contact with clients and background screening. $55,155
Community Relations Manager In charge of representing businesses and organizations to their community both directly and through the media. $58,675
Social Services Director Responsible for directing social services tasks, including admissions, transfers, and coordination of social services staff. $55,947
Social Worker, Hospice Works with individuals and families going through the process of palliative care to serve their emotional and logistical needs. $51,927
School Social Worker Works within an elementary or secondary school setting to assess social, psychological, and outside influences affecting a child’s progress. $48,891
Guidance Counselor Works in a school setting to assist students with achieving academic goals and coordinating special services. $52,212
Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization Responsible for handling the projects and activities of their organization to ensure they are in line with their stated goals and mission. $52,431
Community Relations Specialist Works for a variety of organizations to build contacts within the community and implement public relations activities. $51,435
Patient Relations Liaison Provides information and support to patients and families to covey questions and concerns to the proper medical personnel. $51,059
Case Management Coordinator Works directly with clients to determine their specific needs and match them with appropriate services. $49,169
Licensed Social Worker Works to assess and determine a client’s needs and develop plans of action to accomplish their goals. $49,528
Social Worker (MSW) Provides support and services to children and families in need to help them cope with issues in their daily lives. $48,215
Mental Health Clinician Works directly with patients to treat and diagnose a variety of psychological issues. $48,324
Social Worker Works with patients and their families to assess and treat a variety of social and mental health related concerns. $47,915
Community Health Coordinator Typically works for local governments or non-profits to manage health education programs within the community. $45,179
Mental Health Therapist Professionals that conduct mental health therapy for clients using a variety of psychological treatment methods. $45,439
Patient Advocate Assists patients at a medical facility by answering their questions and resolving concerns regarding their care. $43,066
Customer Service Advisor Responsible for interacting with their company’s clients and ensuring that accounts are handled appropriately. $43,121
Care Coordinator Works in a health care setting to develop and implement treatment plans to assist their patients. $45,223
Community Relations Coordinator Works to evaluate the needs of the general public and develop community outreach programs to meet those needs. $45,666
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Program Coordinator Works in the educational setting to coordinate institutional programs and communicate with faculty members to ensure students are properly trained. $45,630
Academic Advisor Assists current and incoming postsecondary students with making appropriate decisions for their education. $42,964
Behavior Specialist Responsible for assessing individuals and collecting data to implement behavioral plans for students or those with disabilities. $42,030
Community Outreach Coordinator Acts as the face of their organization to bridge the gap between their company and the general public. $42,220
Program Coordinator, Non-Profit Organization Employed by a social service or charity organization and works with the service population and volunteers of the non-profit. $43,755
Crisis Counselor Works with clients who have been through a crisis and provides support and resources to assist with their specific needs. $40,442
Community Organizer Leadership role in the community that is in charge of organizing and managing community members for a specific purpose. $40,569
Adoption Counselor Works directly with clients on both ends of the adoption spectrum to help guide them through the process. $38,985
Substance Abuse Counselor Provides therapy and support to individuals that are struggling with issues related to alcohol and drug use. $39,852
Early Intervention Specialist Works for non-profit organizations, the government, or schools to help children with developmental delays. $39,835
Case Manager, Social Service Responsible for managing caseloads and working to resolve client issues in order to best meet their needs. $39,242
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist Works primarily to provide care and treatment to children that have been diagnosed with autism. $36,002
Family Advocate Works within a social service agency to support assigned children and families through difficult situations. $35,705
Family Service Worker Professionals who work directly with a family unit to educate, advise, and offer services to stabilize their situation. $36,385
Community Support Worker Works in a day program or group home to provide care and support to participants with disabilities. $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. 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 careers 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?

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.

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 an online degree program in Social Work, you can complete your education at a pace that suits your busy schedule while still maintaining career and family obligations.

Social Work Career Outlook

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!

Ready to start your journey?
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.