Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. One group of social workers—clinical social workers—also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.
Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, settlement houses, community development corporations, and private practices. They generally work full time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Although most social workers need a bachelor's degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master's degree and 2 years of post-master's experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.
The median annual wage for social workers was $45,900 in May 2015.
Employment of social workers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialty.
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for social workers.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of social workers with similar occupations.
Learn more about social workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.