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Deal with People
Although most social workers need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.Education
A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the most common requirement for entry-level positions. However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology.
A BSW prepares students for direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. These programs teach students about diverse populations, human behavior, social welfare policy, and ethics in social work. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship.
Some positions require a master’s degree in social work (MSW), which generally takes 2 years to complete. Master’s degree programs in social work prepare students for work in their chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. All programs require students to complete a supervised practicum or an internship.
A bachelor’s degree in social work is not required in order to enter a master’s degree program in social work. Although a degree in almost any major is acceptable, courses in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended. Some programs allow graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work to earn their master’s degree in 1 year.
In 2015, there were more than 500 bachelor’s degree programs and more than 200 master’s degree programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Some universities offer doctoral programs in social work, where students can earn a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) or a Ph.D. Most doctoral programs in social work require students to have a master’s in social work and experience in the field. Many doctor’s students go on to work as postsecondary teachers.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states have licensure or certification requirements for nonclinical social workers. Requirements vary by state.
All states require clinical social workers to be licensed. However, some states provide exemptions for clinical social workers who work in government agencies. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of 2 years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed.
Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested should contact their state board. For more information about regulatory licensure boards by state, contact the Association of Social Work Boards.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives. To effectively help, social workers must be able to listen to and understand their clients’ needs.
Empathy. Social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.
Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different groups of people is essential for social workers. They need strong people skills to foster healthy and productive relationships with their clients and colleagues.
Organizational skills. Social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment.
Problem-solving skills. Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems.
Time-management skills. Social workers often have many clients and administrative responsibilities. They must effectively manage their time to provide adequate service to all of their clients.
Hispanic or Latino11.3%
Black or African American0.7%
Mental Health Worker
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
Average Length of Employment
University of Phoenix14.6%
University of Alabama6.7%
University of Southern California5.7%
Shelton State Community College4.5%
Pennsylvania State University4.3%
Grand Canyon University4.0%
Southern Connecticut State University3.4%
University of Utah3.4%
Chicago School of Professional Psychology3.3%
San Diego State University3.3%
Saint Cloud State University3.3%
Southern New Hampshire University3.1%
Mental Health Worker
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County||San Jose, CA||Sep 04, 2013||$70,040|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||California State Prison-Sacramento||CA||May 06, 2009||$66,612 -
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||New York State, Office of Mental Health D/B/A Creedmoor Psychiatric Center||Queensbury, NY||May 13, 2011||$62,918|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Sunset Park Health Council||New York, NY||Jul 10, 2014||$60,044|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Youth Connection of Ventura County (Casa Pacifica)||Camarillo, CA||Nov 13, 2007||$60,000|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Eliot Community Human Services||Salem, MA||Aug 02, 2011||$60,000|
|Mental Health Social Workers||Patton State Hospital||Patton Village, CA||Nov 15, 2007||$57,324|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||University Settlement||New York, NY||Nov 01, 2011||$57,000|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Creedmoor Psychiatric Center||Queensbury, NY||May 09, 2011||$55,168|
|Mental Health Social Worker||Instituto Familiar de La Raza, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 15, 2010||$55,000|
|Mental Health Worker||Queens Child Guidance Center, Inc.||NY||Sep 15, 2015||$53,000|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Transitional Living Center Inc.||Devils Lake, ND||Jun 08, 2011||$53,000|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Clifford W. Beers Guidance Clinic, Inc.||New Haven, CT||Jun 24, 2011||$52,788|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Absolute Health, Inc.||Laplace, LA||Jun 13, 2014||$52,175|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker||Interfaith Works||Rockville, MD||Nov 01, 2011||$44,720|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker||Interfaith Works, Inc.||Rockville, MD||Nov 01, 2011||$44,720|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker||Interfaith Works||Gaithersburg, MD||Mar 01, 2014||$43,867|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Norman Regional Health System||Norman, OK||Feb 11, 2010||$43,347|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Riverside Community Care||Norwood, MA||Sep 18, 2009||$43,180|
|Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Worker||Telecare Corporation/Garfield Neurobehavioral Cent||Oakland, CA||Oct 21, 2009||$43,046|
|Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Worker||Telecare Corporation/Garfield Neurobehavioral Cent||Oakland, CA||Oct 16, 2009||$43,046|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Asian Community Mental Health Board||Oakland, CA||Dec 06, 2010||$37,608|
|Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Worker||Queens Child Guidance Center||NY||Feb 06, 2008||$37,170|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker||Community Counseling Centers of Chicago||Chicago, IL||Aug 22, 2008||$37,054|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker||Interfaith Works||Gaithersburg, MD||Sep 17, 2014||$37,024|
|Mental Health Social Worker||Salisbury Behavioral Health, Inc.||Glenside, PA||Oct 01, 2013||$36,773 -
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Friends of Grace Seniors Inc.||Englewood, NJ||Dec 16, 2010||$36,608|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||University Settlement||New York, NY||Jan 05, 2011||$36,608|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc.||Omaha, NE||Sep 23, 2014||$36,125|
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