What's the Job Description of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

Social workers assist children, adults, and families with their ability to function in everyday society. They work with individuals personally or in groups. If you enjoy helping others through troubling times, social work could be your calling. Schools offering Clinical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Social workers help others through some of life's complex challenges, including family abuse, mental illness, disability, and the loss of loved ones. As a social worker, you work with diverse individuals through counseling to help them understand and deal with the difficulties of everyday life. You can work in public or private schools, hospitals, senior citizen centers, corporations, the military, and many other businesses. Most often, social workers specialize in a particular sub-field, serving the needs of a particular population.

Important Facts About Licensed Clinical Social Workers

On-the-Job Training Not provided formally, but experience acquired through time spent working
Key Skills Social awareness, close listening, critical thinking, problem solving, clear written and spoken communication, customer focused, time management, reading comprehension, empathy
Work Environment Typically full-time during traditional work hours, but evenings, weekends, and holidays may be required
Similar Occupations Psychologist, rehabilitation counselor, substance abuse and behavioral disorders counselor, social and human service assistant, mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist

Families and Children

As a social worker, you may find yourself assisting families in their homes or helping children in a school environment. You will make sure that children enter foster care if they are in a home where they are abused or neglected. Also, social workers may find themselves employed in schools where they help to make sure children have every advantage they need to reach their full potential.

Medical and Public Health Community

Social workers help families deal with terminal illnesses, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and other life altering medical conditions. Social workers can arrange in-home meals, transportation, and different forms of care. Within this capacity, you may work for the hospital, nursing home, the local government, or a family service agency.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health

In the world of substance abuse and mental-health problems, social workers fill many roles that involve caring for individuals and their families. As a social worker, you work to assess and assist those living with addiction problems in counseling and group therapy sessions. Social workers also provide counseling services to families with addicted loved ones.

Education and Licensure

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), almost all social worker positions (including entry-level positions) require a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Licensed clinical social workers, however, must hold a master's degree, if not a doctorate. Additionally, all social workers must be licensed; the BLS notes that licensing requirements differ per state.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, social workers will see an increase in jobs of about 12% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). More specifically, the BLS predicts that child, family, and school social workers will likely see employment growth of about 6% during the decade, healthcare social workers will enjoy growth of about 19%, and mental health and substance abuse social workers will witness employment increases of approximately 19% during the time frame.

The BLS also reports in 2014 that social workers in the child, family, and school settings earned a median annual salary of $42,120. In healthcare, social workers made $51,930 as their median annual earnings. The median annual wage of social workers in the mental health and substance abuse field was $41,380. All other types of social workers earned a median annual salary of $59,100 in May 2014, per the BLS.

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  • Strayer University

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  • Capella University

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  • Regent University

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  • Colorado Christian University

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  • Independence University

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • Saint Leo University

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