How to Commence a Job in Social Perform

More than 600,000 social personnel try every single working day to make a good impact on the life of many others. If you’re passionate about serving to people today, family members, corporations, and communities, a vocation in social function could possibly be suitable for you. Social staff locate by themselves helping individuals from all walks of lifestyle in a variety of atmospheres from faculties to hospitals to prisons to nursing residences and cope with casework, policy analysis, investigation, counseling, and educating. They offer with issues these kinds of as poverty, abuse, dependancy, unemployment, loss of life, divorce, and physical sickness. If a career change to social perform appeals to you, subsequent is a transient qualifications of social function basic principles and how to make a sleek transition.

Occupation Outlook: In accordance to the U.S. Office of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Studies (BLS), the social do the job job is anticipated to develop by 30% by 2010 and is anticipated to improve more rapidly than typical for all occupations via 2014.

Median Annual Earnings for Social Employees (U.S., 2004)

• Youngster, Relatives, And College Social Personnel: $34,820

• Professional medical And General public Health and fitness Social Employees: $40,080

• Mental Overall health And Material Abuse Social Personnel: $33,920
• All Other Social Workers: $39,440

Schooling Prerequisites: All social employees should have a bachelors (BSW), masters (MSW), or doctoral degree (DSW or Ph.D.) and complete a predetermined number of hours in supervised fieldwork. Social employees also have to graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Social Get the job done Education and learning (CSWE). The CSWE reports that in 2004 there were being 442 BSW packages and 168 MSW courses. When some men and women perform with only a BSW, profession choices are far more constrained, so the MSW or DSW is much more typical.

• BSW: Accredited BSW plans generally get four several years to finish and require 400 hrs of supervised subject working experience. With a BSW, a graduate can perform in an entry-stage placement, these types of as a caseworker.

• MSW: An MSW calls for two many years of research and has a prerequisite of an undergraduate diploma in social work, psychology, or a comparable discipline. An MSW will allow a social employee to perform in a medical setting to diagnose and handle psychological issues.

• DSW: A doctoral degree normally takes any place from 4-7 yrs. A DSW has comprehensive teaching in treatment and research and is certified to instruct in a university placing.

If you deficiency the academic or professional history, an associate’s diploma may well be a good spot to start off to see if you’re keen to make the needed educational dedication.

For info pertaining to accredited social work systems, check out the Council on Social Do the job Education’s internet site:

Licensing and Examinations: Social workers need to be accredited. For licensing uses, each and every condition has its own prerequisites, but an MSW is ordinarily a bare minimum. In addition, licensing demands 2 many years or 3,000 several hours of supervised medical practical experience.

Just after finishing faculty and hour needs, social work candidates need to pass an test. The Affiliation of Social Function Boards (ASWB) develops and maintains 4 types of social perform licensure examinations: Bachelors, Masters, Highly developed Generalist, and Medical. Candidates should examine with individual boards to locate out which exams are acceptable for the jurisdiction the place they want to be certified.

According to the ASWB’s web site:

“Each assessment is made up of 170 4-choice many choice questions developed to evaluate least competencies at four groups of apply. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored the remaining 20 concerns are “pretest” merchandise involved to evaluate their efficiency as things on upcoming examinations. These pretest items are scattered randomly in the course of the evaluation. Candidates have 4 hours to total the exam, which is administered electronically.”

For info on state licensing necessities, see the Affiliation of Social Work Boards site:

For information and facts on exams, stop by [

Continuing Education: As part of renewing licenses every two years, almost all states require continuing education (CE) courses. Each state’s CE requirements vary in number of hours and approved courses, so be sure to check with the board over your jurisdiction to make sure you are in compliance with CE requirements. Many courses are available online, at sites such as, which save time and money.

Types of Licenses: There are several different kinds of licenses available:
L.C.S.W. (or A.C.S.W., L.C.S., L.I.C.S.W., C.S.W.)

The licensed clinical social worker has a graduate academic degree, has completed supervised clinical work experience and has passed a national- or state-certified licensing exam. This advanced practitioner holds a license that allows him or her to receive health-care insurance reimbursements. (National Association of Social Workers)

SSW: School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession. School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services team. School social workers are instrumental in furthering the purpose of the schools: to provide a setting for teaching, learning, and for the attainment of competence and confidence. School social workers are hired by school districts to enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission, especially where home, school and community collaboration is the key to achieving that mission. (School Social Work Association of America)

Other specialties and certifications, offered by the National Association of Social Workers, include:

• Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)

• Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW)

• Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW)

• Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW)

• Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW)

• Certified Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-CYFSW)

• Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM)

• Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM)

• Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC)

• Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS)