Since the world seem to continue lacking its social values this is an appropriate time to highlight an employment field where demand for highly trained professionals is simply enormous. And the catch-up is not in sight!

Not so long ago, the social worker was typecast: the caseworker counseling welfare clients, the youth worker helping poor children, the agency representative visiting the sick and aged.

Modern Metamorphosis

Today, the social worker is seen in many other settings too:
– as an executive of a large voluntary or government agency, administering multi-million dollar budgets,
– as a community organizer, helping people to work together to change social conditions,
– as a counselor in middle-income individuals and families who need help with family relationships or other problems,
– as employees of industry, courts and schools – contributing their professional talent to understanding people’s problems and helping to find solutions.

Salaries for social workers are going up. The National Association of Social Workers says: for those with a master’s degree, a ball-park range is $40,000-$43,000. The median salary for fresh graduates is about $34,000. Most experienced social workers exceed $43,000; some top administrators earn $60,000 and up.

About 40 percent of the social work positions are held by men. There are part-time opportunities, it’s a good field for women with lessening family responsibilities, and a good second-career as well as a first.

Education For Best Jobs

Requirements for a professional social worker include a B.A. degree (preferably with a major in social sciences) plus two years in an accredited graduate school of social work that combines classroom with supervised field work, culminating in a master’s degree in social work. Four out of every five graduate students in social work receive some form of financial assistance; fellowships, scholarships, non-interest loans and work-study grants. Money comes from many sources .

For the many positions in social welfare that don’t require graduate training, the usual requirements are a B.A. degree, with a major in liberal arts, including courses in the social, biological and political sciences, and those having social welfare content.

Rewards

As a Florida social worker expresses it: “The real satisfaction is being able to actually see some change or growth. Social work is not for the timid or the weak at heart. It requires great empathy with mankind and it demands that those involved in it be able to put themselves in the other person’s shoes and still remain objective enough to be able to be of assistance.”

If you would like additional information check out the official website of the Council on Social Work Education at www.cswe.org. You could also request a brief pamphlet. “A Career in Social Work” for free from the National Commission for Social Work Careers.

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