Social workers are there to help people in the community deal with the most difficult challenges in their lives. For example, they might work with individual families to connect them with resources like food stamps and childcare or develop programs to help entire communities.

They can work in various settings, including; mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, and private practices.

Choosing your degree

If you want to work as a social worker, you have to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. You can take your degree in person or online, so long as it meets the requirements for state licensure.

Marian University in Wisconsin offers a range of Online Human Services Degrees, including social work.

If you plan to study online, it’s essential to ensure that you can still get the attention from your tutors that you need to get the most out of your studies and have the opportunity to do work in the field.

Fieldwork is essential for your learning and development, and it’s also part of the requirement to be licensed as a clinical social worker.

Fieldwork

You will have to complete a certain number of supervised hours in the field to qualify as a clinical social worker. The exact number of hours will depend on which state you are applying to work in, as each has slightly different requirements.

Your fieldwork is also an essential part of understanding what is involved in social work and applying all that you learn in the classroom in a real-life setting. Therefore, it’s vital to choose a degree emphasizing fieldwork where your school will pair you with an experienced mentor who can guide you.

Fieldwork can also lead to opportunities for paid employment, as you will be working with agencies and individuals in the social work sector.

Licensure

To become licensed as a clinical social worker, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree, enabling you to work as a caseworker or mental health assistant. Then, you will need to complete a master’s degree, which usually takes around two years.

Your master’s degree will usually include an element of supervised work.

To be licensed to practice as a clinical social worker by your state, you will need to have your master’s degree, a set number of hours of clinical work experience (which varies by state), and pass a written exam.

The requirements for licensure vary by state, so it’s essential to understand the conditions where you intend to practice before embarking on a course of study.

Career outlook

It’s expected that the requirement for new social workers will grow by thirteen percent between 2019 and 2029, which is a much more significant increase than in other sectors.

The largest field for growth within social work is the mental health field, which is expected to grow by seventeen percent. The increase in mental health social work is due to more people seeking treatment for mental health conditions and people with drug offenses being offered treatment for their addictions rather than being sent to jail.

On average, social workers are paid $59,556 per year, although they can earn as much as $66,402 per year.