Licensed Social Workers are duly and legally recognized to carry out activities related to social work. They identify individuals or groups of people in need and assess what kind of help they require. They may assist these people in connecting to agencies that would cater to their needs. Licensed Social Workers also help people cope with their challenges. They are responsible for crafting treatment plans or well-being improvement plans for the individuals they help. They may also be called on during times of crisis to provide emotional support to the individuals involved.

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Licensed Social Worker Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real licensed social worker resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Provide clinical supervision to MSW students.
  • Supervise and train MSW students during their final concentration practicum.
  • Identify and coordinate legal counsel for birth parents and adoptive parents.
  • Educate, counsel, and refer patients and families to resources as indicated and maintain documentation accordingly.
  • Screen intake referrals and frequent weekend emergency referrals, identifying and investigating abuse and neglect allegations.
  • Provide emergency financial/housing/medical assistance as necessary.
  • Collaborate with nursing staff to provide long-term and discharge planning for skil nursing department and APS reporting.
  • Provide psychosocial case management and discharge planning to patients and families on the telemetry, ICU and medical/surgical floors.
  • Provide casework supervision to a multidisciplinary staff.
  • Provide psycho-education to families of mentally ill children and adolescents.
  • Provide individual, group and family therapy to mentally ill and emotionally disturb adolescents and their families.
  • Develop and maintain communication and cooperation with colleagues, individuals and groups in the community and other statutory or voluntary agencies.

Licensed Social Worker Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a Licensed Social Worker does, you may be wondering, "should I become a Licensed Social Worker?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, Licensed Social Workers have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 11% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of Licensed Social Worker opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 81,200.

On average, the Licensed Social Worker annual salary is $55,840 per year, which translates to $26.85 an hour. Generally speaking, Licensed Social Workers earn anywhere from $43,000 to $72,000 a year, which means that the top-earning Licensed Social Workers make $29,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a Licensed Social Worker, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a Family Therapist, Mental Health Professional, Mental Health Counselor, and Behavioral Health Specialist.

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Licensed Social Worker Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Licensed Social Workers are proficient in Treatment Plans, Lcsw, and Substance Abuse. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Licensed Social Workers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Treatment Plans, 11%

    Incorporate various treatment models to provide individual therapy to adults and children with psychological or emotional problems.

  • Lcsw, 9%

    Worked under supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

  • Substance Abuse, 7%

    Conducted psycho-social assessments of adults and teenagers diagnosed with alcohol/substance abuse and mental health issues in an outpatient clinic.

  • Patient Care, 7%

    Participated in in-service and patient care conferences at other facilities as required.

  • Facility, 6%

    Participate in facility marketing projects to encourage positive community relations and build connections that would lead to increased census.

  • Crisis Intervention, 6%

    Conducted Undergraduate and Graduate counseling for students, crisis intervention, provided supervision, participated in weekly case consultation rounds

Most Licensed Social Workers list "Treatment Plans," "Lcsw," and "Substance Abuse" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important Licensed Social Worker responsibilities here:

  • The most important skills for a Licensed Social Worker to have in this position are Communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a Licensed Social Worker resume, you'll understand why: "Clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" According to resumes we found, Communication skills can be used by a Licensed Social Worker in order to "Provided clear communication to multi-disciplinary colleagues to allow safe transition of patient care. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling Licensed Social Worker duties is Emotional skills. According to a Licensed Social Worker resume, "Social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." Here's an example of how Licensed Social Workers are able to utilize Emotional skills: "Provide counseling and emotional support to patients and families through end-of-life process Lead community support groups Counselor at Kids Scene Camp"
  • Another skill that is quite popular among Licensed Social Workers is Interpersonal skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a Licensed Social Worker resume: "Social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "Worked with residents and their families around admission adjustments, interpersonal adjustments, health changes, and health care plans. "
  • A Licensed Social Worker responsibilities sometimes require "Organizational skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "Social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment." This resume example shows how this skill is used by Licensed Social Workers: "Developed and composed written policies addressing sensitive organizational issues such as suicide, domestic violence in the work place and bullying. "
  • Another common skill for a Licensed Social Worker to be able to utilize is "Problem-solving skills." Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems. A Licensed Social Worker demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "Facilitate group therapy sessions specializing in the areas of shame and guilt resolution. "
  • See the full list of Licensed Social Worker skills.

    We've found that 55.1% of Licensed Social Workers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 38.2% earned their master's degrees before becoming a Licensed Social Worker. While it's true that most Licensed Social Workers have a college degree, it's generally impossible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine Licensed Social Workers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The Licensed Social Workers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied Social Work and Psychology, while a small population of Licensed Social Workers studied Sociology and Mental Health Counseling.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a Licensed Social Worker. We've found that most Licensed Social Worker resumes include experience from Encompass Health, New York State Education Department, and HCR ManorCare. Of recent, Encompass Health had 123 positions open for Licensed Social Workers. Meanwhile, there are 40 job openings at New York State Education Department and 36 at HCR ManorCare.

    Since salary is important to some Licensed Social Workers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Fresenius Medical Care North America Holdings Limited Partnership, DaVita, and Aetna. If you were to take a closer look at Fresenius Medical Care North America Holdings Limited Partnership, you'd find that the average Licensed Social Worker salary is $64,843. Then at DaVita, Licensed Social Workers receive an average salary of $64,128, while the salary at Aetna is $63,691.

    View more details on Licensed Social Worker salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Jewish Child Care Association Of New York, Private Practice, and Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. These three companies have hired a significant number of Licensed Social Workers from these institutions.

    For the most part, Licensed Social Workers make their living in the Health Care and Non Profits industries. Licensed Social Workers tend to make the most in the Technology industry with an average salary of $49,126. The Licensed Social Worker annual salary in the Non Profits and Government industries generally make $45,330 and $42,604 respectively. Additionally, Licensed Social Workers who work in the Technology industry make 31.9% more than Licensed Social Workers in the Health Care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious licensed social workers are:

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      What Family Therapists Do

      A Family Therapist works with couples and families to help ameliorate marital and family issues. They can work in hospitals, treatment programs, government agencies, health organizations, and private practices.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take Family Therapist for example. On average, the Family Therapists annual salary is $18,618 lower than what Licensed Social Workers make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both Licensed Social Workers and Family Therapists positions are skilled in Treatment Plans, Substance Abuse, and Crisis Intervention.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a Licensed Social Worker responsibility requires skills such as "Lcsw," "Patient Care," "Facility," and "MSW." Whereas a Family Therapist is skilled in "Trauma," "Clinical Supervision," "FFT," and "Family Systems." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Family Therapists receive the highest salaries in the Government industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $40,679. But Licensed Social Workers are paid more in the Technology industry with an average salary of $49,126.

      On average, Family Therapists reach higher levels of education than Licensed Social Workers. Family Therapists are 12.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 4.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Mental Health Professional?

      The duties of a mental health professional will revolve around observing the behavior of patients. They are responsible for knowing their medical history, conducting consultations and assessments, diagnosing conditions, devising particular treatments and prescribing medication, and providing emotional support to patients. Furthermore, a mental health professional must coordinate with families and other mental health experts to monitor patients' behavior and develop care plans to help them in their road to recovery.

      The next role we're going to look at is the Mental Health Professional profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $10,573 lower salary than Licensed Social Workers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Licensed Social Workers and Mental Health Professionals both include similar skills like "Treatment Plans," "Substance Abuse," and "Crisis Intervention" on their resumes.

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that Licensed Social Worker responsibilities requires skills like "Lcsw," "Patient Care," "Facility," and "MSW." But a Mental Health Professional might use skills, such as, "CPR," "Communication," "Clinical Supervision," and "Direct Care."

      Mental Health Professionals may earn a lower salary than Licensed Social Workers, but Mental Health Professionals earn the most pay in the Hospitality industry with an average salary of $50,266. On the other side of things, Licensed Social Workers receive higher paychecks in the Technology industry where they earn an average of $49,126.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, Mental Health Professionals tend to reach similar levels of education than Licensed Social Workers. In fact, they're 2.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 4.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Mental Health Counselor Compares

      A mental health counselor is responsible for helping patients deal with their emotional and mental disorders by developing treatment plans and conducting regular counseling to track the patient's progress and condition. Mental health counselors encourage active communication from their patients, provide coping strategies for triggering situations, seek advice from other health care professionals, and guide patients on doing other activities that would help them relax. A mental health counselor must have excellent knowledge of the mental health disciplines to assist patients in their healthy lifestyle development.

      The third profession we take a look at is Mental Health Counselor. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than Licensed Social Workers. In fact, they make a $12,739 lower salary per year.

      Using Licensed Social Workers and Mental Health Counselors resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "Treatment Plans," "Substance Abuse," and "Patient Care," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from Licensed Social Worker resumes include skills like "Lcsw," "Facility," "MSW," and "Medicaid," whereas a Mental Health Counselor might be skilled in "CPR," "Communication," "Independent Living," and "Vital Signs. "

      Additionally, Mental Health Counselors earn a higher salary in the Health Care industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $39,311. Additionally, Licensed Social Workers earn an average salary of $49,126 in the Technology industry.

      Mental Health Counselors typically study at lower levels compared with Licensed Social Workers. For example, they're 6.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 1.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Behavioral Health Specialist

      Typically working for clinics and learning institutions, a behavioral health specialist is in charge of counseling and treating patients with behavioral issues. Their responsibilities revolve around conducting initial assessment through interview and observation, maintaining records and data, developing treatment plans, and referring patients to other support services when necessary. Moreover, a behavioral health specialist must communicate with the patient's families or guardians, discuss conditions, and provide advice on taking care of them. Aside from treating patients, it is also essential to continuously monitor their behavior while building positive relationships with them.

      Now, we'll look at Behavioral Health Specialists, who generally average a lower pay when compared to Licensed Social Workers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $9,205 per year.

      According to resumes from both Licensed Social Workers and Behavioral Health Specialists, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "Treatment Plans," "Substance Abuse," and "Patient Care. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "Lcsw," "Facility," "MSW," and "LSW" are skills that have shown up on Licensed Social Workers resumes. Additionally, Behavioral Health Specialist uses skills like Independent Living, Vital Signs, CPR, and Communication on their resumes.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The Government industry tends to pay more for Behavioral Health Specialists with an average of $52,804. While the highest Licensed Social Worker annual salary comes from the Technology industry.

      In general, Behavioral Health Specialists reach lower levels of education when compared to Licensed Social Workers resumes. Behavioral Health Specialists are 18.8% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.