Social Work Careers

As access to healthcare expands, social workers will become more necessary than ever, with the field projected to expand 25% between 2010 and 2020 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012). If you're looking for a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, consider social work. 

Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference. For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work, which offers the broadest range of opportunities and settings. Here are just a few of the possible career directions for a social work major:

  • Adoption specialist
  • Adult day care worker
  • Boy Scout district executive
  • Career counselor
  • Case manager
  • Case worker
  • Child welfare worker
  • City manager/planner
  • Clinical social worker*
  • Community organizer
  • Community service agency director
  • Consultant
  • Cooperative extension worker
  • Counselor for developmentally disabled
  • Counselor (vocational rehabilitation)
  • Drug rehabilitation counselor
  • Educator*
  • Employee assistance counselor*
  • Family services social worker
  • Federal service (professional careers)
  • Foster care worker
  • Gerontologist
  • Girl Scout executive staff worker
  • Grant writer
  • Group home supervisor
  • Home care social worker
  • Hospital administrator*
  • Housing specialist
  • Human services worker
  • Income maintenance worker
  • Information and referral coordinator
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Marriage counselor*
  • Medical social worker*
  • Mental health worker
  • Military social worker
  • Nursing home social worker
  • Occupational social worker
  • Outreach worker
  • Patient advocate
  • Peace Corps/VISTA volunteer
  • Personnel manager
  • Police officer
  • Policy analyst
  • Political advocate
  • Prison social worker
  • Probation officer
  • Program evaluator
  • Protective service worker
  • Psychiatric social worker*
  • Public administrator
  • Public relations manager
  • Public welfare administrator
  • Recreation worker
  • Rehabilitation worker
  • Research assistant
  • Residential counselor
  • School social worker*
  • Social service aide
  • Survey worker
  • Technical writer
  • Youth worker

* May require master's degree

For more information about social work as a career choice, visit http://www.naswdc.org/pubs/choices/default.asp

For more information about social work's current and future statistics, visit http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm

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