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Social workers can find employment opportunities with government agencies, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, employee-assistance programs, home health care services, family service agencies, substance abuse centers and more.Common duties of social workers may include providing emotional support to families dealing with diseases such as cancer and AIDS, running support groups, helping families find government assistance programs and writing grant proposals for social programs.Others counsel families dealing with domestic violence, poverty or divorce, which may include children or parents specifically or the family unit as a whole.
Social workers require extensive educational training. Entry-level social work positions, which at times are mostly clerical, require at minimum a bachelor's degree in social work or a related area.
Many social work positions, especially clinical work in school and health settings, now also require a master's degree.
Licensed social workers often focus on serving a specific area of the population.
Common specialization areas include medical, public health, gerontological and children and family social work.
Although all social workers share a common goal of helping others, professionals have the opportunity to specialize their services and focus on certain populations.
The National Association of Social Workers lists 10 specialty practice sections in the field. For example, some social workers, such as those in private practice, provide clinical services including one-on-one therapy.Others may have positions with a greater emphasis on developing education initiatives for families, schools or communities.Some social workers lead group sessions in rehabilitation clinics to assist those battling addiction.In April 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual income of ,930 for healthcare social workers.The top 10 percent of the profession made a median wage of about ,940 or higher.To summarize, a career as a social worker requires a great deal of training.The job can be stressful, but a 12% projected growth rate (BLS), numerous government related roles, and the opportunity to help those in need make social work a stable and rewarding career for individuals who value personal care and relationships.This guide goes over everything there is to know about pursuing the profession, including responsibilities, earnings and the many concentrations across the spectrum of social work.Social workers offer a broad range of services at the federal, state and local levels.Social workers identify those who need help, assess their situations and develop plans to address their needs.Duties may include face-to-face counseling, resource assessment, responding to crisis situations and advocating for the wellbeing of clients.