5 Top Careers in Micro-Level Social Work
- Hospital Social Worker
- Child and Family Support Services
- Case Manager
- School Social Worker
Micro-level social work jobs are easy to find. Because a social work degree teaches so many useful and transferable skills, micro-level social workers find employment at government, private and non-profit organizations. Here are five great career options for micro-level social workers.
As a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), you provide talk therapy to clients in many settings. You might work out of a private practice and offer one-on-one support to people with emotional or mental difficulties. Group therapy sessions at rehabilitation facilities or hospitals are another common practice area. You might also combine individual and group counseling sessions or work with multiple facilities to keep your practice varied. You'll need a master's degree in social work (MSW) with a focus on counseling to earn your license.
2. Hospital Social Worker
Hospitals need social workers because patients need social workers. As a hospital social worker, you'll provide counseling for patients facing difficult experiences. You'll also coordinate transportation to ensure patients make their appointments and housing so patients have a safe space to recover. In some departments, you might be the resident Medicare and Medicaid expert to help patients find funding for the treatment they need. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that hospital social workers earn $58,490 per year, the highest of any specialty. However, this micro-level social work career isn't for everyone. You need extra-strong resiliency skills to cope with the emotional needs of patients. You can specialize as a geriatric social worker, hospice social worker or oncology social worker in a hospital setting.
3. Child and Family Support Services
Starting your career as a child protective worker is a great move when you're finishing up a bachelor degree in social work (BSW). These agencies are always hiring full-time employees for tough but meaningful work. This is a smart way to build experience in case management, family support and counseling as well as legal social work. You'll wear many hats as you help children achieve safe and healthy lives. Many agencies offer tuition assistance if you want to earn a Master's in Social Work (MSW) degree. You can advance to management after a few years.
4. Case Manager
Another great micro-level social work career option is a case manager. Non-profit and healthcare organizations need professionals to support clients. Your duties will include keeping in close contact with clients and ensuring they have the support they need, whether that's a helping hand to fill out an application for food stamps or a reminder phone call on the day of an important appointment. Ultimately, you'll help clients reach self-sufficiency, but it can be a long journey for some.
5. School Social Worker
A school social worker is similar to a case manager, but you'll focus on students in K-12 organizations in this role. You might provide counseling to a student with emotional disturbances, train teachers to recognize the warning signs of abuse or ensure your school offers lunch options for students during school breaks. You might work with one large school or an entire district of elementary, middle and high schools. As a school social worker, you'll combine micro- and mezzo-level social work.
Related Resource: Top 10 Online Social Work Degree Programs
Most of these jobs offer professional-level benefits like paid time off, health insurance and continuing education options. You can make a great career as a micro-level social worker.