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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/

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Social Workers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Social Workers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 80 $68,320
Hoover 80 $68,320
Tuscaloosa 50 $70,270
Montgomery 40 $39,350
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 90 $70,350
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 810 $58,870
Mesa 810 $58,870
Phoenix 810 $58,870
Tucson 230 $64,420
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 280 $42,790
North Little Rock 280 $42,790
Little Rock 280 $42,790
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 2210 $66,210
Long Beach 2210 $66,210
Anaheim 2210 $66,210
Oakland 1600 $76,750
San Francisco 1600 $76,750
Hayward 1600 $76,750
Ontario 1450 $62,600
San Bernardino 1450 $62,600
Riverside 1450 $62,600
Visalia 840 $43,710
Porterville 840 $43,710
Arcade 690 $70,640
Roseville 690 $70,640
Arden 690 $70,640
Sacramento 690 $70,640
Oxnard 420 $53,330
Thousand Oaks 420 $53,330
Ventura 420 $53,330
Fresno 370 $54,670
Santa Barbara 240 $58,210
Santa Maria 240 $58,210
Lodi 220 $64,670
Stockton 220 $64,670
Modesto 210 $61,210
Vallejo 180 $65,700
Fairfield 180 $65,700
Chico 160 $48,410
Santa Cruz 130 $82,530
Watsonville 130 $82,530
Redding 110 $45,320
Bakersfield 100 $46,130
Yuba City 50 $58,160
Napa N/A $56,460
Santa Rosa N/A $73,570
Carlsbad N/A $78,900
San Diego N/A $78,900
San Jose N/A $86,660
Sunnyvale N/A $86,660
Santa Clara N/A $86,660
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 470 $54,080
Lakewood 470 $54,080
Denver 470 $54,080
Boulder 170 $40,910
Colorado Springs 150 $70,180
Fort Collins 110 $37,410
Greeley 70 $30,520
Pueblo 30 $68,320
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 140 $38,530
West Hartford 140 $38,530
Hartford 140 $38,530
New Haven 100 $72,640
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 580 $59,730
Fort Lauderdale 580 $59,730
West Palm Beach 580 $59,730
Tampa 410 $68,310
Clearwater 410 $68,310
St. Petersburg 410 $68,310
Sanford 210 $66,370
Orlando 210 $66,370
Kissimmee 210 $66,370
Jacksonville 120 $66,370
Gainesville 120 $70,190
Palm Bay 60 $57,840
Melbourne 60 $57,840
Titusville 60 $57,840
Ferry Pass 50 $76,150
Pensacola 50 $76,150
Brent 50 $76,150
Sarasota 40 $56,740
Bradenton 40 $56,740
North Port 40 $56,740
Cape Coral 40 $64,420
Fort Myers 40 $64,420
Tallahassee 40 $66,370
Port St. Lucie 30 $48,970
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 680 $65,090
Sandy Springs 680 $65,090
Atlanta 680 $65,090
Savannah 40 $54,010
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 180 $77,690
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 60 $70,270
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 160 $60,810
Rockford 130 $50,520
Urbana 70 $50,090
Champaign 70 $50,090
Kankakee 70 $60,810
Marion 70 $62,460
Carbondale 70 $62,460
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 300 $66,100
Anderson 300 $66,100
Carmel 300 $66,100
Goshen 40 $30,720
Elkhart 40 $30,720
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 180 $66,360
Des Moines 180 $66,360
Iowa City 40 $68,320
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Topeka 100 $44,460
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 290 $36,810
Metairie 290 $36,810
Bossier City 70 $72,540
Shreveport 70 $72,540
Baton Rouge 60 $46,360
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 70 $47,680
Portland 70 $47,680
Lewiston 50 $46,200
Auburn 50 $46,200
Bangor 50 $48,360
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 560 $61,250
Columbia 560 $61,250
Baltimore 560 $61,250
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 440 $52,410
Warren 440 $52,410
Detroit 440 $52,410
Ann Arbor 100 $70,030
Grand Rapids 70 $42,420
Wyoming 70 $42,420
Battle Creek 70 $70,270
Saginaw 50 $70,260
Lansing 40 $56,840
East Lansing 40 $56,840
Flint N/A $60,090
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 300 $38,140
Pascagoula 90 $70,280
Biloxi 90 $70,280
Gulfport 90 $70,280
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 60 $35,000
Springfield 40 $33,800
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 120 $34,110
Billings 100 $34,570
Great Falls 60 $34,110
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 140 $74,880
Henderson 140 $74,880
Las Vegas 140 $74,880
Reno 120 $68,400
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 50 $76,820
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 50 $64,430
Bridgeton 40 $62,180
Vineland 40 $62,180
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 290 $49,680
Santa Fe 150 $52,620
Las Cruces 50 $49,090
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 770 $53,710
Cheektowaga 720 $50,790
Buffalo 720 $50,790
Niagara Falls 720 $50,790
Schenectady 470 $63,750
Troy 470 $63,750
Albany 470 $63,750
Syracuse 370 $59,020
Utica 170 $50,170
Rome 170 $50,170
Watertown 100 $55,590
Fort Drum 100 $55,590
Kingston 90 $56,550
Elmira 60 $50,270
Ithaca 60 $50,480
Glens Falls 50 $44,470
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayetteville 130 $74,740
Durham 120 $66,380
Chapel Hill 120 $66,380
Asheville 80 $64,430
Raleigh 50 $33,640
Salem 30 $30,160
Winston 30 $30,160
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 610 $44,310
Elyria 600 $51,980
Cleveland 600 $51,980
Akron 240 $37,950
Dayton 190 $61,610
Toledo 140 $44,090
Lima 110 $50,320
Canton 60 $38,660
Massillon 60 $38,660
Springfield N/A $35,030
Mansfield N/A $43,150
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 300 $38,140
Tulsa 60 $38,720
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 170 $43,770
Medford 130 $53,720
Eugene 100 $52,900
Redmond 60 $45,310
Bend 60 $45,310
Grants Pass 40 $50,490
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 210 $61,690
Barre 80 $66,350
Scranton 80 $66,350
Hazleton 80 $66,350
Wilkes 80 $66,350
Erie 50 $66,360
Lebanon 50 $68,310
Harrisburg 40 N/A
Carlisle 40 N/A
Altoona 40 $70,010
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 1030 $29,220
Carolina 1030 $29,220
San Juan 1030 $29,220
Ponce 120 $21,250
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 840 $39,450
North Charleston 520 $40,400
Charleston 520 $40,400
Mauldin 400 $38,250
Greenville 400 $38,250
Anderson 400 $38,250
Florence 130 $38,090
Hilton Head Island 50 $39,180
Bluffton 50 $39,180
Beaufort 50 $39,180
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 200 $31,270
Murfreesboro 200 $66,360
Franklin 200 $66,360
Davidson 200 $66,360
Nashville 200 $66,360
Johnson City 70 $68,320
Jackson N/A $34,550
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 310 $72,230
Fort Worth 310 $72,230
Arlington 310 $72,230
The Woodlands 310 $81,770
Sugar Land 310 $81,770
Houston 310 $81,770
San Antonio 270 $72,550
New Braunfels 270 $72,550
Austin 120 $48,910
Round Rock 120 $48,910
Amarillo 40 $66,360
Waco 40 $74,880
Corpus Christi 30 $40,600
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 270 $54,270
Orem 80 $39,870
Provo 80 $39,870
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington N/A $55,430
Burlington N/A $55,430
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 120 $69,710
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 520 $66,650
Bellevue 520 $66,650
Tacoma 520 $66,650
Spokane Valley 100 $48,090
Spokane 100 $48,090
Walla Walla N/A $62,470
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Beckley 40 $68,310
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 310 $58,570
West Allis 280 $57,960
Milwaukee 280 $57,960
Waukesha 280 $57,960

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

Most Popular Industries for :
Social Workers

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

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
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
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Get Info links.
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Social Workers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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