Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
They provide counseling and services to clients and work to improve social conditions.
They often work with persons who are homeless, unemployed, disabled, seriously ill,
mentally ill or handicapped. They assist people of all ages with emotional and physical
illness, behavior management, substance abuse, child/spouse abuse and other issues.
• interview and counsel individuals, families and groups regarding their concerns.
• assess needs and then plan, develop, implement, oversee and evaluate programs
and activities designed to meet those needs.
• help people obtain community services, education and job training.
• refer clients to other professional or community resources.
• coordinate or work with civic, religious, business and union organizations to
combat social problems through community programs.
• advocate positive social and institutional change.
Social workers may specialize in areas such as: health care, mental health, occupational, family and child welfare, adult and juvenile justice, aging studies, school social
work, substance abuse or physical disability.
Social workers work in a variety of settings, such as agency offices, hospitals, clinics,
nursing homes, group homes, learning centers, schools, prisons, businesses or courts of
law. Some work independently, while others practice as part of treatment teams that
include physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, therapists, teachers, clergy and
Average Salary Range
$23,000 – $45,000
Students interested in becoming social workers should prepare by taking the most challenging high school courses available in science, English and math, including advanced placement courses. Social workers must earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited school of social work. In order to become licensed in a particular State , they must complete two years of post-master’s (M.S.W) work experience and pass an examination.