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Social Work in America: A Need for Service Providers

The need for practitioners of social work in America continues to rise.  In fact, double-digit growth in career opportunities is expected over the next decade, with nearly 20% growth anticipated in fields such as medical and substance abuse social work.  For many positions in the social service landscape, a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and a clinical license are required.  A CSWE-accredited MSW program pairs those with a passion for social service with the education and training they need to practice social work at an advanced level.

Why is the need so great?

The positive impact that social workers can make in a community or organization is evident across the country.  Social workers provide therapy, crisis intervention services, access to community-based resources, substance abuse treatment, school counseling, homelessness prevention, and child welfare support - among a host of other services.  Wherever there are individuals or populations experiencing injustice, poverty, oppression, or trauma, social workers are vital.  And since people face these unfortunate circumstances in every type of community, there are opportunities throughout the U.S. for social workers to intervene and empower individuals with the resources and skills they need to thrive.

In which fields is the need greatest?

The field of healthcare social work is experiencing rapid growth as the U.S. sees an increase in the population of older adults, who often require more health services than younger individuals.  Medical social workers find employment in hospitals and other healthcare settings, where they help patients to access quality medical care, find options to pay for their treatment, and cope with the emotional impact of illness.  Mental health and substance abuse social workers are also in high demand.  Nearly 44 million adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year, so the nation needs social workers who are educated and trained to diagnose, treat, and support those with mental health challenges.

Where are social workers in America practicing?

Social work positions exist throughout the country, with the highest employment percentages in California and New York. Other important considerations include salaries and type of employment:

  • Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts offer the highest annual mean wage for social workers – above $70,000 yearly in each location for the social work profession overall.
  • State and local government agencies employ the greatest number of social workers.Other common employers include hospitals, residential care facilities, and individual or family service providers.

Are you prepared to rise to the challenge?

Demand is high in nearly every social work specialization.  If you are eager to earn the credentials which will allow you to practice effectively and promote positive social change, request more information or call 855-295-5711 to learn more about the online MSW program from The Catholic University of America.