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Career Opportunities with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW)

Find out about the types of jobs you can have with a social work bachelor's degree. Read on and learn about different career options, salary information, and training requirements.

Careers Options with a Social Work Bachelor's Degree: Salary and Job Facts

Social services work is basically providing assistance to individuals in need and helping them solve their problems and live healthy and fulfilling lives. As a social work graduate, you will be working with people with different needs and concerns. In this article, you will learn more about career options as a social work graduate, the requirements needed, and salary information.

Social WorkersSocial & Community Service ManagersProbation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists
Training RequiredSupervised fieldwork or internshipNoneShort-term on-the-job training
License/CertificationNoneNoneCertification required
Job growth (2018-2028) 11% (much faster than average)*13% (much faster than average)*3% (slower than average)*
Median Salary (2018)$49,470*$65,320* $53,020*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Careers Can I Find as a Graduate of a Social Work Program?

Graduates of social work programs can either become social workers, social and community service managers, or probation officers and correctional treatment specialists. Social workers help people to cope with their problems and struggles in their everyday lives. Social and community service managers implement and supervise social service programs and community activities. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists provide social services to law offenders as part of their rehabilitation.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

These three careers only require a bachelor's degree. Social workers who want to advance their careers to become clinical social workers are required to obtain a master's degree in social work. Other related programs for social and community service managers who wish to continue their education are public and business administration and public health. Graduates of criminal justice and behavioral sciences programs are preferred for a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist position.

What Training and Certifications Do I Need?

Some states require licenses for nonclinical social workers, while all states require a license for clinical social workers. Candidates for social and community service management positions do not need to be certified and will only need enough experience as a social worker or a similar occupation to become a manager. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are required to undergo a training program sponsored by the state and federal government and should pass the required certification test.

Where Can I Work and How Much Is the Salary?

Social workers and social and community service managers typically work for non-profit organizations, private companies, and government agencies. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists may be assigned to work in institutions or do fieldwork in high-crime areas. As of 2018, social workers and social and community service managers earned a median annual salary of $49,470 and $65,320, respectively, while probation officers and correctional treatment specialists earned $53,020 yearly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Are Other Related Alternative Careers?

Aside from the three careers mentioned in the article, social work graduates can work in other areas of social services as social and human services assistants, health educators and community health workers, and medical and health services managers. Other social service careers include school and career counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and marriage counseling. These careers, however, usually require a master's degree.