5 Great Macro-Level Social Work Jobs

5 Careers in Macro-Level Social Work

  • Attorney
  • Politician
  • Community or Field Organizer
  • Social Work Researcher
  • Advocate

What are the best macro-level social work jobs? The broad approach of this field of social work means you have many options for combining your passions with your commitment to others. Macro-level social workers can be found in many diverse career paths, from public service to academic research to political office. Here are five careers in macro-level social work for all education levels.

1. Attorney

You can amplify your voice, and that of your clients, as a licensed attorney with a social work background. For macro-level work, you might take on class-action lawsuits against dirty corporations or join a non-profit like the Americans for Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). You can also hang up your shingle as a private practice attorney and help immigrants, battered women or other vulnerable populations. Many schools offer dual-degree programs so you can combine a Master of Social Work (MSW) with a law degree.

2. Politician

Not too many social workers dream of becoming politicians, but the world might be a better place if they did. What's a better place for you to change the world in a positive way than at the top? Politicians write laws and set policies for entire cities, states and even countries to follow. The compassionate approach of a social worker can ensure those laws for the betterment of everyone, not just lobbyists and elites. You can start small as a city council member or go for the big leagues as a federal legislator.

3. Community or Field Organizer

Do you love working with people? Field-based positions are a great way to channel that extroversion into exciting and meaningful work. Organizers recruit volunteers and entry-level employees to go door-to-door and educate communities. You might jump between political campaigns every season or set up shop at an established non-profit organizing group. A typical workday involves using software to choose canvassing locations, motivating volunteers, training new workers on the campaign's pitch and educating the public. You can advance to higher management roles or take on a lobbying position as you try to channel the voice of the people into legislative change. You can work in this field with your bachelor's of social work (BSW).

4. Social Work Researcher

You don't have to be an extrovert to be a macro-level social work professional. Research is a great way to advance the profession and make big-picture changes. As a social work researcher, you'll choose your area of focus and pursue your own grants to fund your vision. For a macro perspective, you might analyze how needle-exchange laws affect HIV/AIDS rates or see if increased funding for social work leads to lowered crime rates. You'll need a PhD in Social Work for this career path.

5. Advocate

Social work starts and ends with advocacy. Think about Jane Addams, the second woman to win the Noble Peace Prize according to the Nobel Prize Committee. She's also considered the mother of social work for her tireless commitment to the less fortunate. You can be an advocate too, although you probably won't use family resources like Addams did. Instead, you can join a non-profit or government agency and earn a salary for your macro-level social work.

Related Resource: The 14 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the North East

Whether you choose macro, mezzo or micro social work, it all starts with a BSW. Once you've finished your education, you'll be ready to start empowering your community.