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Social Workers: Schools and Careers

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Social Workers

Social workers enable clients to identify and work through the particular struggles or difficulties they face in their lives. They do this by creating steps for action, offering support, and providing resources to help people find better ways to manage and cope with their difficult circumstances

Social Workers picture    Social Workers image

Schools with Social Worker Programs

The following social worker programs offer bachelor's degrees in social work, which is the minimum educational requirement for a social worker. Some employers may consider an applicant who has a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as sociology or psychology.

  • Brandman University: This university, located in Irvine, California, offers an on-campus and online version of their Bachelor of Arts in social work program.
  • Portland State University: This state university in Portland, Oregon trains individuals to assume roles of generalist social workers within diverse populations.
  • San Francisco State University: The goal of this on-campus program is to prepare graduates to work as social workers, particularly in urban settings.
  • The University of Pittsburgh: The School of Social work at this university prepares graduates to work in a wide variety of social work settings.
  • The University of Texas: This state university offers a bachelor's of social work at their Austin campus that includes 480 clock hours of fieldwork in a social services agency.

Social Worker Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in social work is typically needed to enter the field, although a degree in psychology, sociology or another field may enable some people to seek entry-level positions. A master's degree in social work may be more desirable in some cases.

For example, those who want to go into clinical work or find positions in school settings should pursue a master's degree in social work. Some jobs might require a master's degree with an emphasis in a certain area, such as administration or social welfare policy. If you intend to go into research or seek a university teaching position, a doctorate in social work is usually the requirement.

Social Worker Training and Coursework

Coursework within a bachelor's degree program is designed to help you approach culturally diverse, at-risk populations with professionalism and knowledge. Courses that train you how to become a social worker typically focus on the following areas:

  • Social work values and ethics
  • Working with cultural diversity
  • Social and economic justice
  • Human behavior and the social environment
  • Social welfare policy and services

Beyond in-class learning, accredited social work programs require a minimum 400 hours of field experience. To become a licensed clinical social worker, most states require two years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical work. All states have licensing, certification, and registration requirements, and you should be aware of your state's rules before committing to a degree program.

Advancing to a supervisory position typically means earning an additional degree and attaining more years of work experience. Going into private practice requires earning a master's degree and undergoing a period of supervised work.

Social Worker Resources

Sources:

  1. Brandman University, https://www.brandman.edu/arts-sciences/ba-social-work
  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
  3. The Certified Social Work Case Manager, National Association of Social Workers. https://www.socialworkers.org/credentials/specialty/c-swcm.asp
  4. How Does a Social Worker Obtain a License? USC Social Work Virtual Academic Center, https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/how-does-a-social-worker-obtain-a-license/
  5. Portland State University, https://www.pdx.edu/ssw/bachelors-in-social-work
  6. San Francisco State University, http://socwork.sfsu.edu/content/basw-program-information
  7. University of Pittsburgh, http://www.socialwork.pitt.edu/
    University of Texas, https://socialwork.utexas.edu/bsw/

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Social Workers by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Social Workers, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

  • Overview
  • Top Cities
  • Career Stories
  • Top Industries
  • Browse Schools

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Social Workers

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Social Workers relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary
(2013)
Relative
Popularity

Alabama

     
Birmingham 80 $68320 0.37
Hoover 80 $68320 0.37
Montgomery 40 $39350 0.61
Tuscaloosa 50 $70270 1.24

Alaska

     
Anchorage 90 $70350 1.23

Arizona

     
Phoenix 810 $58870 1
Mesa 810 $58870 1
Scottsdale 810 $58870 1
Tucson 230 $64420 1.52

Arkansas

     
Little Rock 280 $42790 1.91
North Little Rock 280 $42790 1.91
Conway 280 $42790 1.91

California

     
Bakersfield 100 $46130 0.78
Fresno 370 $54670 2.5
Chico 160 $48410 5.11
Oxnard 420 $53330 3.31
Thousand Oaks 420 $53330 3.31
Ventura 420 $53330 3.31
Redding 110 $45320 4.45
Riverside 1450 $62600 2.56
San Bernardino 1450 $62600 2.56
Ontario 1450 $62600 2.56
Sacramento 690 $70640 1.82
Roseville 690 $70640 1.82
Arden 690 $70640 1.82
Arcade 690 $70640 1.82
San Diego 0 $78900 0
Carlsbad 0 $78900 0
Los Angeles 2210 $66210 0.91
Long Beach 2210 $66210 0.91
Anaheim 2210 $66210 0.91
Modesto 210 $61210 2.9
Napa 0 $56460 0
Santa Cruz 130 $82530 3.28
Watsonville 130 $82530 3.28
Santa Maria 240 $58210 3.09
Santa Barbara 240 $58210 3.09
Santa Rosa 0 $73570 0
San Francisco 1600 $76750 1.69
Oakland 1600 $76750 1.69
Hayward 1600 $76750 1.69
Stockton 220 $64670 2.37
Lodi 220 $64670 2.37
San Jose 0 $86660 0
Sunnyvale 0 $86660 0
Santa Clara 0 $86660 0
Vallejo 180 $65700 3.4
Fairfield 180 $65700 3.4
Visalia 840 $43710 13.74
Porterville 840 $43710 13.74
Yuba City 50 $58160 2.76

Colorado

     
Fort Collins 110 $37410 1.7
Greeley 70 $30520 1.59
Boulder 170 $40910 2.27
Colorado Springs 150 $70180 1.3
Denver 470 $54080 0.79
Aurora 470 $54080 0.79
Lakewood 470 $54080 0.79
Pueblo 30 $68320 1.25

Connecticut

     
Hartford 140 $38530 0.57
West Hartford 140 $38530 0.57
East Hartford 140 $38530 0.57
New Haven 100 $72640 0.81

Florida

     
Gainesville 120 $70190 2.24
Jacksonville 120 $66370 0.43
Cape Coral 40 $64420 0.42
Fort Myers 40 $64420 0.42
Orlando 210 $66370 0.43
Kissimmee 210 $66370 0.43
Sanford 210 $66370 0.43
Palm Bay 60 $57840 0.75
Melbourne 60 $57840 0.75
Titusville 60 $57840 0.75
Pensacola 50 $76150 0.69
Ferry Pass 50 $76150 0.69
Brent 50 $76150 0.69
Port St. Lucie 30 $48970 0.54
Miami 580 $59730 0.55
Fort Lauderdale 580 $59730 0.55
West Palm Beach 580 $59730 0.55
North Port 40 $56740 0.35
Sarasota 40 $56740 0.35
Bradenton 40 $56740 0.35
Tallahassee 40 $66370 0.59
Tampa 410 $68310 0.77
St. Petersburg 410 $68310 0.77
Clearwater 410 $68310 0.77

Georgia

     
Atlanta 680 $65090 0.64
Sandy Springs 680 $65090 0.64
Roswell 680 $65090 0.64
Savannah 40 $54010 0.51

Hawaii

     
Urban Honolulu 180 $77690 0.94

Idaho

     
Boise City 60 $70270 0.52

Illinois

     
Carbondale 70 $62460 3.12
Marion 70 $62460 3.12
Champaign 70 $50090 1.68
Urbana 70 $50090 1.68
Rockford 130 $50520 2.09
Kankakee 70 $60810 3.64
Springfield 160 $60810 3.48

Indiana

     
Indianapolis 300 $66100 0.71
Carmel 300 $66100 0.71
Anderson 300 $66100 0.71
Elkhart 40 $30720 0.67
Goshen 40 $30720 0.67

Iowa

     
Iowa City 40 $68320 1.09
Des Moines 180 $66360 1.24
West Des Moines 180 $66360 1.24

Kansas

     
Topeka 100 $44460 2.08

Louisiana

     
Baton Rouge 60 $46360 0.35
New Orleans 290 $36810 1.22
Metairie 290 $36810 1.22
Shreveport 70 $72540 0.88
Bossier City 70 $72540 0.88

Maine

     
Lewiston 50 $46200 2.37
Auburn 50 $46200 2.37
Portland 70 $47680 0.83
South Portland 70 $47680 0.83
Bangor 50 $48360 1.94

Maryland

     
Baltimore 560 $61250 0.98
Columbia 560 $61250 0.98
Towson 560 $61250 0.98

Michigan

     
Ann Arbor 100 $70030 1.1
Battle Creek 70 $70270 2.89
Flint 0 $60090 0
Grand Rapids 70 $42420 0.31
Wyoming 70 $42420 0.31
Detroit 440 $52410 0.54
Warren 440 $52410 0.54
Dearborn 440 $52410 0.54
Saginaw 50 $70260 1.36
Lansing 40 $56840 0.41
East Lansing 40 $56840 0.41

Mississippi

     
Gulfport 90 $70280 1.37
Biloxi 90 $70280 1.37
Pascagoula 90 $70280 1.37
Jackson 300 $38140 2.68

Missouri

     
Jefferson City 60 $35000 2.09
Springfield 40 $33800 0.42

Montana

     
Great Falls 60 $34110 3.61
Billings 100 $34570 2.79
Missoula 120 $34110 4.98

Nevada

     
Reno 120 $68400 1.34
Las Vegas 140 $74880 0.37
Henderson 140 $74880 0.37
Paradise 140 $74880 0.37

New Hampshire

     
Manchester 50 $76820 1.09

New Jersey

     
Trenton 50 $64430 0.48
Vineland 40 $62180 1.44
Bridgeton 40 $62180 1.44

New Mexico

     
Albuquerque 290 $49680 1.81
Las Cruces 50 $49090 1.5
Santa Fe 150 $52620 5.69

New York

     
Albany 470 $63750 2.49
Schenectady 470 $63750 2.49
Troy 470 $63750 2.49
Glens Falls 50 $44470 2.37
Ithaca 60 $50480 2.98
Buffalo 720 $50790 3.05
Cheektowaga 720 $50790 3.05
Niagara Falls 720 $50790 3.05
Elmira 60 $50270 3.62
Kingston 90 $56550 3.43
Rochester 770 $53710 3.53
Syracuse 370 $59020 2.83
Utica 170 $50170 3.38
Rome 170 $50170 3.38
Watertown 100 $55590 5.82
Fort Drum 100 $55590 5.82

North Carolina

     
Asheville 80 $64430 1.08
Fayetteville 130 $74740 2.34
Durham 120 $66380 0.93
Chapel Hill 120 $66380 0.93
Raleigh 50 $33640 0.19
Winston 30 $30160 0.29
Salem 30 $30160 0.29

Ohio

     
Akron 240 $37950 1.69
Canton 60 $38660 0.78
Massillon 60 $38660 0.78
Cleveland 600 $51980 1.37
Elyria 600 $51980 1.37
Columbus 610 $44310 1.4
Dayton 190 $61610 1.2
Lima 110 $50320 5.41
Mansfield 0 $43150 0
Springfield 0 $35030 0
Toledo 140 $44090 1.12

Oklahoma

     
Oklahoma City 300 $38140 1.15
Tulsa 60 $38720 0.31

Oregon

     
Grants Pass 40 $50490 3.74
Bend 60 $45310 1.98
Redmond 60 $45310 1.98
Eugene 100 $52900 1.52
Salem 170 $43770 2.59
Medford 130 $53720 3.64

Pennsylvania

     
Altoona 40 $70010 1.76
Harrisburg 40 $0 0.26
Carlisle 40 $0 0.26
Erie 50 $66360 0.87
Pittsburgh 210 $61690 0.42
Lebanon 50 $68310 2.57
Scranton 80 $66350 0.7
Wilkes 80 $66350 0.7
Barre 80 $66350 0.7
Hazleton 80 $66350 0.7

Puerto Rico

     
Ponce 120 $21250 4.32
San Juan 1030 $29220 3.53
Carolina 1030 $29220 3.53
Caguas 1030 $29220 3.53

South Carolina

     
Florence 130 $38090 3.57
Greenville 400 $38250 2.38
Anderson 400 $38250 2.38
Mauldin 400 $38250 2.38
Hilton Head Island 50 $39180 1.82
Bluffton 50 $39180 1.82
Beaufort 50 $39180 1.82
Charleston 520 $40400 3.82
North Charleston 520 $40400 3.82
Columbia 840 $39450 5.36

Tennessee

     
Jackson 0 $34550 0
Johnson City 70 $68320 2.17
Knoxville 200 $31270 1.26
Nashville 200 $66360 0.51
Davidson 200 $66360 0.51
Murfreesboro 200 $66360 0.51
Franklin 200 $66360 0.51

Texas

     
Amarillo 40 $66360 0.76
Austin 120 $48910 0.29
Round Rock 120 $48910 0.29
Houston 310 $81770 0.24
The Woodlands 310 $81770 0.24
Sugar Land 310 $81770 0.24
Corpus Christi 30 $40600 0.37
Dallas 310 $72230 0.21
Fort Worth 310 $72230 0.21
Arlington 310 $72230 0.21
San Antonio 270 $72550 0.67
New Braunfels 270 $72550 0.67
Waco 40 $74880 0.76

Utah

     
Provo 80 $39870 0.85
Orem 80 $39870 0.85
Salt Lake City 270 $54270 0.94

Vermont

     
Burlington 0 $55430 0
South Burlington 0 $55430 0

Virginia

     
Richmond 120 $69710 0.46

Washington

     
Seattle 520 $66650 0.66
Tacoma 520 $66650 0.66
Bellevue 520 $66650 0.66
Spokane 100 $48090 1.07
Spokane Valley 100 $48090 1.07
Walla Walla 0 $62470 0

West Virginia

     
Beckley 40 $68310 2.22

Wisconsin

     
Madison 310 $58570 1.9
Milwaukee 280 $57960 0.79
Waukesha 280 $57960 0.79
West Allis 280 $57960 0.79
  • Overview
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Social Workers

To find out more about building a career as Social Workers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Social Workers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
(2008)
Government 33,550 49% $53,560
Social Service 15,850 23% $35,460
Hospital 4,800 7% $55,190
Nursing And Residential Care 4,040 5% $37,590
Medical Office 2,460 3% $40,440
Non-profit 2,320 3% $36,290
Education 1,990 2% $48,720
Business Management 1,000 1% $40,500
Professional And Technical Services 870 1% $38,410
  • Overview
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  • Career Stories
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