5 Great Careers with an Associate’s Degree in Social Work

5 Best Associate's Degree in Social Work Jobs

  • Social Work Assistants
  • Residential Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Community Outreach Workers
  • Gerontology Aides

Earning an associate's degree in social work, or ASW, is a great way to begin a career in the highly-rewarding field of social work. These degrees provide graduates with job opportunities that can fulfill career goals or act as stepping stones to higher-paying positions in the field. While there are several terrific options for persons holding ASWs, the following five careers are certainly worth considering.

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1. Social Work Assistants

Many graduates who have earned social work associate's degrees begin their careers as social work assistants. Also known as social services assistants, social work assistants typically hold many administrative-type responsibilities in social services centers, nursing homes, group homes, and assisted-living facilities. Their daily duties often include answering telephones, providing referrals, greeting clients, and determining clients' eligibility for such programs as Medicaid, Food and Nutrition services, childcare, and transportation.

2. Residential Counselors

Residential counselors, sometimes referred to as residential advisers, work in a variety of settings including group homes, nursing homes, youth shelters, and higher-education facilities. Their main responsibilities are to advise clients in the areas of daily living and work goals, help them locate essential resources, provide transportation when needed, and plan various recreational activities. The average yearly salary for residential counselors is $27,710 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

3. Case Managers

Other terrific careers for people with an associate's degree in social work are case managers. These positions are ideal for graduates who do not want to be confined to office settings. Case managers travel about in their community visiting clients wherever they may reside. This could include such places as nursing or group homes, hospitals, hospice care centers, or the clients' own homes. The main goals of case managers are to ensure that clients obtain necessary resources and to assist them in following plans relating to medical treatments and career goals.

4. Community Outreach Workers

Social work graduates who would like to make a difference in their communities may want to consider obtaining positions as community outreach workers. These professionals are employed by a variety of organizations aimed at providing the public with information pertaining to such issues as domestic violence, child abuse, and poverty. Common tasks of community outreach workers include organizing educational activities, locating funds for outreach programs, and providing the public with educational materials associated with the issue at hand.

5. Gerontology Aides

Another career that is perfect for graduates with a social work associate's degree involves providing assistance to elderly clients. Gerontology aides help elderly persons in many different ways from helping them create workable budgets and paying their bills on time to ensuring that they get the medical services and medications they need. Depending on the needs of particular clients, other tasks of gerontology aides may include performing light housework, cooking meals, and helping clients with personal hygiene.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Online Masters in Social Work

Careers in social work offer many fantastic benefits including flexible job options, comfortable salaries, and personal satisfaction. But what is even more appealing about the field of social work is that there are a number of great careers for people with an associate's degree in social work, and the five described above are among the best.