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Career Options

Social Work Careers

Social work is one of the most flexible, personally rewarding graduate degrees you can earn; providing economic stability and financial security, while opening the door to a virtually endless variety of careers that manifest in a range of settings that include schools, hospitals, government agencies, and family services organizations.

Excellent job prospects

According to the 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U. S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in social work, for today's MSW graduates, is high and continues to grow:

  • Employment of social workers is expected to increase by 16 percent during the coming decade, and
  • Social work employment in all areas is "projected to grow much faster than average" through 2016.

Job growth is projected to be particularly strong for social workers in:

  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse (31 percent increase)
  • Healthcare (34 percent increase)
  • Child, Family and School Social Work (20 percent increase)

Social work with aging populations (gerontology) and urban social work also will experience significant growth.


Social work salaries vary by specialty and practice setting. For example, the median annual wages of social workers in May 2010 were as follows:

  • $47,230 for healthcare social workers
  • $40,210 for child, family, and schools social workers
  • $38,600 for mental health and substance abuse social workers
  • $51,500 for all other social workers

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