How Much Can You Make with a Master's in Social Work? - Jobs & Salary

A Master of Social Work is a two-year program that provides individuals with instruction and practice of social work topics that can be applied to a multitude of careers with varying salaries. Continue reading below. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers and Salaries with a Master of Social Work

Social Worker

Social workers assist communities, groups, and individuals needing assistance by assessing their needs and looking for ways to solve any issues that they may be facing. Some social workers may assist with post-crisis services. Individuals who've completed an MSW are able to articulate their understanding of social work and problem-solving with their educational background.

Marriage or Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists assist people with managing their problems and improving their relationships by counseling and providing advice when appropriate. Within a master's program, individuals learn about relationship functions, how relationships affect mental and emotional health, and ways to improve any problems that may exist for clients.

School or Career Counselor

School and career counselors help individuals with academic and social skill development, often through goal setting. These counselors search for issues that might be negatively affecting individuals, and counsel those individuals in order to increase their chances of success. In an MSW program, students gain knowledge of how to recognize, assess, and solve problems, which are essential skills for counseling positions.

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, or Mental Health Counselor

Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors assist individuals who suffer from addictions, eating disorders, and many other behavioral or mental health problems. These counselors treat and support clients, and refer those clients to outside services and resources when appropriate. An MSW allows an individual to provide more services with less supervision because of the social work training received during their program.

Sociologist

Master's degrees are typically required for sociologists because the job duties require extensive understanding of social sciences. Sociologists analyze behaviors of organization, cultures, and individuals in order to better understand them. They research and analyze data, as well as create reports of their discoveries.

Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist

Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists assist in the rehabilitation of criminals who are in custody or are on parole. They interview, evaluate, and advise offenders, as well as maintain cases and write reports. The rehabilitation service providers must have an education in social services, and an MSW provides more than the minimum instruction in social science topics.

Social or Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers organize and supervise social and community programs and organizations. They are responsible for managing other social work providers and writing funding proposals. An MSW can provide individuals with analytical and problem-solving skills related to social work, as well as provide them with hands-on experience that is essential for these positions.

Postsecondary Teacher

Individuals who hold master's degrees in social work typically possess extensive knowledge in the field, making them prime candidates for postsecondary educator positions in social work, social sciences, and sociology, especially in community colleges. These teachers not only create and implement lessons and course structure, they also grade and advise students.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Social Worker $49,470 11%
Marriage or Family Therapist $50,090 22%
School or Career Counselor $56,310 8%
Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, or Mental Health Counselor $44,630 22%
Sociologist $82,050 9%
Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist $53,020 3%
Social or Community Service Manager $65,320 13%
Postsecondary teacher: All
Sociology
Social Sciences
Social Work
$78,470
$74,140
$71,600
$68,300
11%
6%
1%
8%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Admittance Requirements for a Master of Social Work

MSW programs are offered to students who hold a bachelor's degree and take an average of two years to complete. Typically, programs require a student to have a bachelor's in a social sciences field or to have completed certain liberal arts prerequisites. Schools may require applicants to have a certain GPA on their undergraduate work, usually around 3.0, references, a resume, and a personal statement. Additionally, some schools do require a GRE or an equivalent, and relevant work history.

Individuals can complete an MSW in around two years and will typically explore several common topics and practices related to social work. Upon receiving the degree, individuals should have extensive knowledge that appeals to employers and enables the individual to work in many different roles in counseling, management, and academics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Liberty University

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    • Master

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  • Walden University

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Strayer University

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  • Saint Leo University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Howard University

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    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia