Social Work

Social Work

Over 600,000 social workers strive each day to make a optimistic impact on the lives of others. If you are passionate about assisting individuals, households, organizations, and communities, a career in social work might be proper for you personally. Social workers locate themselves assisting individuals from all walks of life inside a number of atmospheres from schools to hospitals to prisons to nursing properties and manage casework, policy analysis, study, counseling, and teaching. They deal with issues like poverty, abuse, addiction, unemployment, death, divorce, and physical illness. If a profession switch to social work appeals to you, following is really a short background of social work fundamentals and how you can make a smooth transition.

Career Outlook: Based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the social work profession is anticipated to grow by 30% by 2010 and is expected to develop more quickly than typical for all occupations through 2014.

Median Annual Earnings for Social Workers (U.S., 2004)

• Child, Family, And School Social Workers: $34,820

• Medical And Public Health Social Workers: $40,080

• Mental Well being And Substance Abuse Social Workers: $33,920
• All Other Social Workers: $39,440

Education Requirements: All social workers should have a bachelors (BSW), masters (MSW), or doctoral degree (DSW or Ph.D.) and full a predetermined variety of hours in supervised fieldwork. Social workers also have to graduate from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The CSWE reports that in 2004 there have been 442 BSW programs and 168 MSW programs. While some people work with only a BSW, profession options are more limited, so the MSW or DSW is more typical.

• BSW: Accredited BSW applications usually take 4 years to finish and demand 400 hours of supervised field encounter. Having a BSW, a graduate can work in an entry-level position, including a caseworker.

• MSW: An MSW requires two years of study and features a prerequisite of an undergraduate degree in social work, psychology, or perhaps a equivalent field. An MSW permits a social worker to work within a clinical setting to diagnose and treat psychological issues.

• DSW: A doctoral degree requires anyplace from 4-7 years. A DSW has substantial coaching in therapy and research and is certified to teach in a university setting.

Should you lack the educational or skilled background, an associate’s degree may be a good place to start to determine if you’re prepared to produce the essential educational commitment.

For information concerning accredited social work programs, visit the Council on Social Work Education’s website:

Licensing and Exams: Social workers has to be licensed. For licensing purposes, each state has its own needs, but an MSW is generally a minimum. Furthermore, licensing demands two years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Following completing school and hour needs, social work candidates need to pass an exam. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) develops and maintains four categories of social work licensure examinations: Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Candidates ought to verify with individual boards to find out which examinations are proper for the jurisdiction where they want to be licensed.

In accordance with the ASWB’s site:

"Each examination includes 170 four-option multiple choice queries created to measure minimum competencies at 4 categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 things are scored; the remaining 20 concerns are "pretest" things included to measure their effectiveness as things on future examinations. These pretest products are scattered randomly throughout the examination. Candidates have four hours to complete the test, that is administered electronically."

For information on state licensing needs, see the Association of Social Work Boards site:

For information on exams, go to []

Continuing Education: As part of renewing licenses each and every two years, virtually all states need continuing education (CE) courses. Every state’s CE specifications differ in quantity of hours and authorized courses, so make sure to verify with the board over your jurisdiction to make sure you're in compliance with CE specifications. Several courses are accessible online, at web sites like, which save time and money.

Types of Licenses: There are several distinct Types of social work degrees of licenses accessible:
L.C.S.W. (or a.C.S.W., L.C.S., L.I.C.S.W., C.S.W.)

The licensed clinical social worker includes a graduate academic degree, has completed supervised clinical work experience and has passed a national- or state-certified licensing exam. This advanced practitioner holds a license that permits him or her to get health-care insurance reimbursements. (National Association of Social Workers)

SSW: College social work is actually a specialized region of practice within the broad field in the social work profession. School social workers bring unique information and abilities towards the college program as well as the student solutions group. College social workers are instrumental in furthering the goal from the schools: to provide a setting for teaching, understanding, and for the attainment of competence and self-assurance. School social workers are hired by school districts to improve the district's ability to meet its academic mission, particularly where house, school and community collaboration will be the key to achieving that mission. (School Social Work Association of America)

Other specialties and certifications, supplied by the National Association of Social Workers, include:

• Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW)

• Qualified Clinical Social Worker (QCSW)

• Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (DCSW)

• Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco along with other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW)

• Certified Sophisticated Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW)

• Certified Kids, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-CYFSW)

• Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager (C-ASWCM)

• Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM)

• Certified Social Worker in Health Care (C-SWHC)

• Certified College Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS)
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