According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2012 and 2022. More than 650,000 people currently hold social work degrees.

Importance of Social Work in Our Society

The primary mission of social work is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, especially those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty. Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients.

Social workers impact our lives by helping the elderly, the poor, those in hospitals, children, mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts and those with physical and mental disabilities. They not only help the afflicted, but they also help the families of the afflicted.

A Society In Need

In High Demand

  • More than 40 percent of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers.

Education

  • For entry-level positions, you will need an undergraduate degree with a focus on social work.
  • Before becoming a full-fledged social worker, you will need work experience under the supervision of a mentor. The number of hours of supervised work depends on your state’s requirements, but 1,500 hours is a common number.

Salaries

Most of us equate social work with low-paying jobs, but although social work has historically been a lower-paying profession, the current demand for individuals with specific skills sets and specialized education has improved social work salaries across the board.

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a social worker employed in an elementary or secondary school earns on average $54,260 per year.
  • Salaries can vary based on several factors, including educational background, qualifications, geographic location, and specialization.