Where Could You Work?

There are many different systems that call upon Social Workers within the country. Many local and state government agencies require Social Workers to assist with providing benefits and welfare to the public. Social Workers are also common within schools, hospitals, and even correctional facilities. While most Social Workers are found in social services, it is not uncommon for them to also engage in private practice.

As you can see through this guide, a career in Social Work can change, depending on what you desire as a professional.

Who Should Work in Social Work?

As part of the daily grind, Social Workers may also be required to engage in regular multi-tasking as part of the job role. Answering phone calls while preparing for a court case – with someone waiting to see you in the lobby – are just some of the daily tasks that could await you in this field. You should have the patience to take one step at a time and accomplish your goals through organization and hard work.

Hearing about family stress, child abuse, and criminal activity can sometimes wear on the mind. In this field, it is vital to have a strong sense of direction and backbone in order to stay on track throughout your career. Social Workers can sometimes work in positions that require them to travel to client homes and unfamiliar territories, making personal safety and awareness another important trait for this career field.

People that have traits comparable to those listed above may do well in the field of Social Work. It takes a hard-working and strong individual to continually help others on a daily basis, especially when there are troubling circumstances surrounding their clients. Even with all of these traits to consider, this field can provide a great sense of accomplishment for the professionals that work as Social Workers.

Average Starting Salary for MSW Graduates

Social Workers – Working in Private Practice

As a method for making a profound impact on society, some professionals in the field of Social Work enter into private practice. Private practice is a wise choice for those that have made connections within the field and have a designated specialty in which they can offer to the public. Substance Abuse Social Work, Medical Social Work, and Mental Health Social Work are popular fields in which professionals choose to pursue private practice in lieu of working for a company or state department.

Before you make the decision to pursue a private career, you should be aware of the requirements set forth for those wishing to go this route. The first and most primary step is to obtain licensure as a Social Worker within your states. The licensing requirements may vary by state, so be sure to review what your state requires before entering into any degree program.

In order to display your knowledge and experience in the field of Social Work, you should have some experience working in the field prior to moving to private practice. In this sector of Social Work, you may not have the references and support that traditional Social Workers receive while working, so your knowledge is key to your success.

Social Work professionals that choose to pursue careers in private practice must also purchase liability insurance to cover malpractice or other incidents that occur under their care. Once you have obtained all of the necessary licensure and insurance documents, you are free to start recruiting clients and referrals into your care.

Degrees Required for a Career in Social Work

  • Bachelor’s: At the bachelor’s level, graduates can pursue careers working in social services or other entry-level professions working with the public.
  • Master’s: In order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Licensed Master Social Worker, you must obtain a minimum of a MSW along with supervised work experience. Careers in leaderships may also require advanced education in Social Work.
  • Doctorate/PhD: Higher tier clinical positions in Social Work may require you to obtain higher graduate-level degree programs for consideration. Research positions in the advancement of Social Work may call upon PhD holders to be a part of their development team.