For students with a Master of Social Work degree, job opportunities are plentiful in variety of areas. Types of jobs fall into one of several categories: case management services, social services, children’s services, and mental health. Case management services include everything from working in a medical hospital and arranging for appropriate discharge services; to working with the elderly; to working in a community center; to assisting immigrants in accessing services. Social services are typically associated with social welfare, but can also include areas such as public health education, working with those with developmental disabilities, and domestic violence intervention. Children’s services refer to areas such as foster care, pregnancy prevention, youth corrections services, school social work, and child care. Mental health services include providing individual, group, and family therapies; working in a psychiatric facility; working as an addictions counselor; and providing services as a community outreach worker. In order for social workers to serve in the mental health field, they are often required to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Qualifications and requirements vary by state, so any social work students interested in pursuing mental health as a career should consult with the local social work board.
Social workers’ salaries can vary greatly depending on the field of practice, area of the country, and years of experience. However, a recent graduate of a BSW program can expect to earn between $27,000 and $39,000, while graduates of an MSW program can expect to earn between $35,000 and $49,000. Social workers in more managerial, executive positions tend to earn more than those involved in direct care with clients, such as in a school or mental health setting. Working with clients in private practice can be a higher pay per hour and many who do this hire their own billing person to help with insurance forms as well as filling out the papers to be accepted into insurance panel networks. Fortunately for social work students, recent graduates, and professionals, the field of social work is a relatively fast-growing one despite the poor state of the economy. Social workers are a valuable and inexpensive commodity, as they are able to perform a wide range of tasks, and are always needed in various capacities to assist with human services.
How To Find The MSW Jobs
In terms of how to find social work positions appropriate to specific fields of work, the internet is likely the most helpful place to begin looking for openings, salary ranges, and qualifications expected for social workers. Sites like indeed.com, socialworkjobbank.com, craigslist and local newspaper websites often post updated openings. You can also check at any schools near you that have social work postings as there may be bulletin boards there where jobs are posted. Most local chapters of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) have postings online for jobs within the state that NASW members can search. However, networking is probably both the best way to hear about job openings and the best way to be considered for a position before an employer posts it online. Much like graduates in other academic fields,
MSW graduates can serve themselves well by talking to other professionals, professors, and employees of agencies they find interesting as a way of “getting to know you” even if a job opening is not available. It can be worthwhile to join NASW locally so that you can attend the montly meetings and be able to network with other members there who may know about changes at work.