Social Worker

Imagine you’re walking down the street, and you see a person who is struggling to make ends meet, battling with a mental health issue, or searching for a safe place to call home. This is where a social worker steps in. As a social worker, you have the opportunity to make a real difference in someone’s life and improve the well-being of entire communities.

What is the Average Annual Salary of 'Social Worker'?


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Social workers play a vital role in helping individuals, families, and communities navigate complex social issues and improve their quality of life. They often work with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those living in poverty. From providing support and counseling to advocating for policies that benefit those in need, social workers are on the front lines of addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges.

Also known as

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Child and Family Social Worker
  • Healthcare Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Social Worker
Females account for around 83% of all social workers.

Typical Job Responsibilities

  • Assessing the needs of clients and their families
  • Developing and implementing individualized care plans
  • Providing counseling and support to clients
  • Linking clients with community resources and services
  • Advocating for clients and their families
  • Collaborating with other professionals, such as doctors and lawyers
  • Conducting research and keeping up to date with best practices in the field

Standard Work Environment

Social workers typically work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private practices. The work can be emotionally challenging and demanding but also incredibly rewarding.

Work Schedule

Social workers often work full-time hours but may also work evenings and weekends to meet the needs of clients.


  • Schools
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities
  • Government agencies (e.g. Department of Child Services, Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Private practices

Unions / Professional Organizations

Social workers may choose to join professional organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), to access continuing education opportunities, networking opportunities, and advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession.

Workplace Challenges

  • High caseloads and limited resources
  • Emotional and mental strain from working with vulnerable populations
  • Navigating complex and bureaucratic systems to advocate for clients
  • Balancing the needs of clients with workplace and ethical considerations
  • Keeping up to date with changing laws and policies

Projected Career Map

Social workers can advance their careers by obtaining advanced degrees and certifications, taking on leadership roles in their organizations, and pursuing specialized areas of practice. Social workers may also choose to open their own private practices.

Job prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 11% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by increasing demand for healthcare and social services, particularly for an aging population.

Beneficial Professional Development

Social workers play a crucial role in helping vulnerable individuals, families, and communities. To be effective in this role, social workers need to continuously improve their skills and knowledge through various professional development opportunities, including:

  • Obtaining advanced degrees (e.g. Master of Social Work, Doctor of Social Work)
  • Pursuing specialized areas of practice (e.g. child and family social work, healthcare social work)
  • Participating in continuing education and training opportunities
  • Attending seminars and workshops

Professional development opportunities in social work can help practitioners understand their role within the broader context of the field, and the versatility of the profession can foster a big-picture perspective, even for those with specialized areas of expertise. By pursuing continuing education, social workers can expand their knowledge and skills, scale their impact, and explore different sectors within the field.


Social work is a challenging but rewarding field that offers the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. With a growing demand for social services, a career as a social worker offers stability, growth opportunities, and the satisfaction of helping others. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to advance in your career, a career in social work is worth considering.

Advice from the Wise

 Don’t be discouraged — It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.


Holland Codes, people in this career generally possess the following traits













United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals that this career profile addresses

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