Social Work Career Requirements
Social work is an excellent career choice for those who care about people, human behavior, sociology, and social justice and advocacy. The field is diverse and encompasses serving individuals, families, and communities - often all of these simultaneously. Social workers strive to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities and are committed to the welfare of people.
A career as a social worker will, at minimum, require a bachelor's degree in social work or a closely related field. A master's degree is required by clinical social workers, along with a requirement of two years post-master experience in a supervised setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice. While licensing requirements vary within each state - all states have a specific set of standards and associated licensure or certification requirements. Most programs will require coursework in related areas, such as psychology and sociology.
As a profession, social work is dynamic, requiring staying informed of the latest research, being knowledgeable about new regulations and their implications, maintaining your license or professional credential, and gaining additional training accreditation, as necessary, which will enable you to meet the needs of an aging population.
Continuing education as a social worker will facilitate those who choose to focus within specialized areas. Credentials and certification enhance your state license and attest to your commitment of advanced social work practice and with knowledge, skills, and experience. Different specializations will enable a social worker to work in a variety of settings including schools, mental health clinics, social service agencies, hospitals, or in private practices.
This career requires strong people skills, a sense of compassion, patience, time-management skills, the ability to organize, problem-solving and listening skills, and the ability to develop productive relationships with clients, as well as co-workers. A career in social work requires the social worker to be professional, and to possess inner strength and personal emotional resiliency. Following a code of ethics which emphasize service, integrity, dignity and value of self, importance of relationships, competence, and social justice will be the key to a successful career and a social worker.
Get Your Degree!
Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.
Powered by Campus Explorer