Social Work Programs

November 7, 2011

Jobs For Social Workers After Graduation

Filed under: social work jobs — Tags: — admin @ 1:42 am

social work job after graduationThough many social work graduates may believe that virtually no social work job opportunities exist for them without a clinical license, jobs for those with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) do exist.
Some ideas for jobs for those recently graduated with a BSW are temporary programs such as Americorps, the Peace Corps, City Year, or Teach for America. These positions often offer a small salary while giving recent graduates excellent on-the-job training in a variety of settings.

Peace Corps volunteers usually live overseas for at least two years, while Americorps and City Year volunteers devote a year of their lives to a social work position. Teach for America teachers are often placed in underprivileged schools and are offered intensive training. All of these positions offer excellent experience and an impressive background for students planning to apply to graduate social work programs. There are also jobs for those with the BSW that are in specific social services settings.


For BSW graduates not interested in volunteer programs, there are many additional opportunities for paid positions. Opportunities for entry level positions such as case managers, residential counselors, program coordinators, program associates, or administrative assistants for non-profits or community service agencies. Idealist.org has an excellent database that allows for job searches based on the type of degree earned.

Some specific organizations hire social workers with a BSW degree. For example, Catholic Charities USA hires for positions such as Client Advocate, Program Coordinator, and Bilingual Legal Caseworker without requiring a Master of Social Work degree. Some school social workers and social workers in departments of social services are only required to have a BSW degree or some undergraduate degree in human services in order to be considered for the position. However, it does seem as if more clinical positions, such as positions for psychotherapists and counselors, do require an official licensure from the state in which the social worker is practicing.

For recent graduates of an MSW program, the options for social work jobs are slightly improved. Pay is typically higher than for those with only a BSW degree, but often even MSW graduates must continue to work toward an official clinical licensure in order to secure a position in direct clinical practice. However, many agencies will hire MSW graduates without the promise of clinical licensure, and many social workers do not wish to pursue direct practice.

Some positions available to MSW graduates include program officers with more responsibility than positions meant for BSW graduates, therapists, social workers in psychiatric hospitals, directors of various departments, housing specialists, international social workers, and other more supervisory positions. For example, while someone with a BSW degree may be considered for a position as a case manager, only someone with an MSW degree may be considered for a position as the team lead for intensive mental health services in the home. If you check craigslist, there are also often creative jobs where someone with a msw degree might be asked to do writing for a drug addiction center or work in the human resource department of a new corporation.

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