Social workers provide valuable services that can enhance the quality of life for their clients. By assisting others with adjustment issues and other problems, these dedicated professionals can make a positive difference in the world. Social work offers real rewards and challenges for those who pursue this path. Here are five key reasons to consider a career as a social worker.
A Profession in Demand
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average growth in social worker jobs over the next seven years. Healthcare social workers will be in especially high demand; the BLS currently estimates a 27 percent increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022 for this sector of the social work field. Higher demand can sometimes translate into increased compensation for qualified applicants, especially in large metropolitan areas. Students interested in pursuing this career path can often increase their employability and salary levels by obtaining a master’s degree in social work and becoming licensed as a therapist in their state of residence.
A Sense of Accomplishment
By working with clients to resolve serious issues in their lives, social workers can have a positive impact not only on the individuals they serve but also on the community at large. This can provide a real sense of accomplishment and pride for those who dedicate their lives to this worthy cause. According to Forbes Magazine, social work supervisors rank seventh on the list of most meaningful occupations. Pursuing this career path can provide added job satisfaction and a sense of purpose for social workers while allowing them to do the most good for their clients and for their communities.
A Variety of Job Choices
The BLS divides social work jobs into three primary categories:
• Mental health and substance abuse counselors
• Family, child and school social workers
• Healthcare social workers
Within these categories, social workers who have earned a bachelor’s degree can typically qualify for positions as caseworkers or assistants in the mental health field. Clinical social workers must be licensed and must have earned a master’s degree in social work from an accredited institution. Job duties may be performed in a wide range of environments that include state and local government agencies, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, military bases, prisons and private practices.
An Added Degree of Independence
Most social workers operate with relative autonomy in dealing with clients and providing services for families and individuals. Clinical social workers can even open their own practices, allowing them to enjoy control over their office hours, their clients and the environment in which they work. Even in educational and governmental positions, social workers typically enjoy a great deal of flexibility in setting their schedules and may spend much of their time outside the office in meetings with clients. This added measure of independence can be a valuable benefit for working parents and others who require a more flexible schedule to manage personal obligations.
Resource: Top 25 MSW Online Programs
A Lasting Impact on the World
Social workers provide support for families and individuals in securing housing, employment and educational opportunities. The services provided by these caring professionals can improve the quality of life for children and adolescents and can create brighter futures for the most vulnerable members of society. By dedicating their time and efforts to the well-being of others, social workers can have a lasting impact on the individuals and families they serve and, by extension, the communities in which they work and live. The positive influence exerted by social workers can provide hope for families now and for generations yet to come.
For those with a real commitment to helping others and making the world a better place, a career in social work can provide unique challenges and personal rewards. By pursuing the right educational programs, students can achieve success in the respected and in-demand field of social work.