Social workers contribute to society’s functioning by helping vulnerable and struggling families get through difficult situations. It is a role that requires a lot of hard work and empathy, with the outcome being a fulfilling career with a high job satisfaction rate. There are many different areas to work in with social work, each as rewarding as the last.
If you have ever thought about a career in human services, then you should consider social work, and here is why.
The Varying Levels of Education
You can become a social worker whether you want to attain a bachelor’s degree or you are ambitious enough to strive for your MSW. While an MSW will give you more career options, both levels of education will allow you to get your social worker license.
Also, whether you choose to study for a bachelor’s degree or an MSW, you can choose to apply for an in-person course or an online course. Online courses are brilliant for those who want to advance their careers but don’t have the time or the funds to travel to university each day. So, no matter what your responsibilities are, you have the option to study social work.
The Choice of Work Setting
Like education, the work setting is also varied when it comes to social work. There are plenty of options when it comes to deciding on a work environment, including schools, hospitals, and clinics. Not only does this mean you have more choice when it comes to where you work, but it also means there will be more opportunities for roles once you qualify.
Every Day is Different
If the idea of a nine ’til five job, which only involves staring at a computer screen, terrifies you, you don’t need to worry about this with social work. While the work can be difficult, there is no denying that it is also dynamic and exciting.
When working as a social worker, you barely have a minute to feel boredom. With a long list of clients and numerous family problems to solve, your brain will be working full-time, even on the quieter days. One day you might experience a family dispute, while the next day, you need to resolve a situation involving drug addiction. For those who hate sitting around all day, this is perfect.
You’ll Have a Stable Career
The job outlook for social work is good, so you won’t have to worry about being out of a career any time soon. Many people fear the stability of their careers once they go into them, especially when technology is steadily taking over many roles, but social work is here to stay. As long as there are communities, there will always be a need for social workers. After all, robots can’t provide the essential human touch that comes from social work!
Advanced Positions are Available
Don’t assume that becoming a social worker is one straight path to one held career – there are options to advance and earn more. You could start as a social worker and then work your way up to becoming a social work practitioner or case manager. If you are an ambitious type and you want to climb the ladder, then it is recommended that you pursue an MSW. This way, you will gain the qualifications and experience you need to progress.
The People You Meet
Social work is anything but an isolated career. Each day, you will work with both co-workers and clients to provide solutions to family problems. While not all interactions will be positive, you will never be lonely on the job.
The friends you make while working as a social worker will be like no other. You will all understand the intensity of the job and will find a way to laugh about everything that you must deal with. Plus, from time to time, you will work with a client whose resilience restores your faith in humanity. It is a job that is all about people, so you’ll come to see the best of them throughout your career.
The Chance to Earn a High Salary
If you choose to go into social work, you are entering a career whose average salary is above the American average, as it pays an average of $50-60K per year. While this isn’t a driving factor for many social workers, it does provide you with more stability.
Plus, if you want to earn even more, then you have the chance to by opening your private practice. This also means that if you obtain your MSW, you have the opportunity to work for yourself, which is a dream for many. Not only do you have the chance to earn a decent wage, but you will most likely be offered excellent benefits on top of that. Most human service careers, such as nursing, doctors, and social work, come with additional benefits, which is brilliant for those who want a job helping others!
You will See a Noticeable Difference
In many jobs, you do not have the privilege of seeing the physical changes your work makes in the world. This isn’t the case with social work. When you are helping families through a messy divorce, or you are ensuring a child is well looked after, you witness the immeasurable difference you make in people’s lives. This has a massive influence on job satisfaction. If you can go home each day knowing that you had a positive influence on the world, you can go home happy.
The Variety of Roles
When people think about social workers, they usually assume it is just one straightforward career, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As well as varying work settings, there is also a variety of roles to choose from. This means that you can work in an area that maximizes your talents. For example, if you are particularly good with children, you can choose to take on a role that focuses on their well-being.
Once you complete your MSW, you have a lot of options. You could work with patients who have mental illnesses, who struggle with drug addiction, or you could even work towards a more senior role. The one thing that connects all of these roles is that they help people and communities live better lives.
The Flexible Schedule
Social work isn’t a career that is the typical nine until five. People need help every minute of every day, so there is no reason why you can’t work unusual shifts. This is great for those who need to work their career around other responsibilities.
This is also beneficial for those who want to pursue their MSW after completing their bachelor’s degree in social work, as you can work and study at the same time, especially if you choose to study online.
You Will Gain Respect from Others
As a social worker, you will gain respect from those around you. This is because most people understand how tough of a job it is and how much you do to better the whole community’s lives.
This is especially true if you gain your MSW and end up becoming a clinical social worker helping those with mental health issues. While this might not be the reason you join the career, it is a nice bonus.
The Skills Learned are Transferable
The skills you learn while studying your MSW and the ones you learn on the job can be used in many other areas of life. When you work with so many people, you’ll become an excellent conversationalist, which is great for everyday life as well as your career.
Knowing how to calm people down and help them out of difficult situations is another highly valuable skill. It means, if you come across your own difficulty in life, you will be equipped for dealing with it sensibly.
A Chance to Pursue Your Dream of Helping People
Many people have the dream of entering a career where they can help people. For some, however, the idea of becoming a doctor or nurse makes them feel queasy. This can be because of the blood, the other bodily fluids, or the type of environment they tend to work in.
Fortunately, even the most squeamish people can help others with social work. While this doesn’t mean it’s any easier, it does open the door for more people. Going home at the end of the working day knowing you’ve worked hard to improve others’ lives is a feeling like no other, and social work allows you to do just that.
You’ll Witness the Strength in People
Sometimes, without expecting it, you will meet somebody that makes you see the world in a different light. Social work has you face situations that you never thought you would, and you will see the resilience in the people who suffer most. Meeting people like this is as valuable as any lesson, and you’ll find you grow attached to some of the people you are helping.
There is no denying that there will be times where you see the negative side of humanity, but it will be made worth it when you see people overcome the worst. When you see people deal with situations you cannot even imagine, you will understand how strong humans can be.
The Chance to Improve the Community
All careers have goals. A teacher’s goal is to educate others; managers strive to lead a team, and social workers work towards making the community a better place while improving individual lives. Who wouldn’t want a career that allows you to make the world a better place overall?
As a social worker, you get to go home each day knowing that you contributed to a better community. It is even more fulfilling if you live in the area that you work, as you will have made your own home a better place to live.
You will become a Better Human
You will find that you are not the same person you were when your first started as a social worker. You will have learned to control your emotions, how to talk to people better, and how to calm down a situation. Most of all, you will have learned so much about yourself. After all, you can’t go through each day working to help others without discovering who you are as a person!
Not many people can say they go to work each day and come home a better individual, but social workers can. Growing is something every person does as they age; with social work, it happens at an accelerated rate.
How do You Become a Social Worker?
There are several ways you can become a social worker. First of all, you could obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work before getting your license, which will allow you to work within the communities. If you want the chance to become a clinical social worker, which includes the ability to diagnose mental illnesses, then you need to achieve your MSW.
While you will most likely work on placements throughout your education, once you have gained your qualifications, then it is time to gain experience. If you’ve completed your MSW and you wish to become a clinical social worker, then you are usually required to do two years of experience before you get your official license.
Knowing the role is right for you is another step of becoming a social worker. After all, you don’t want to wake up one day after you’ve completed your education, only to figure out that you cannot handle it. You should understand everything that the role entails, including both the positives and the negatives, and then decide whether or not it’s for you. If it is, then you can be sure of a long and fulfilling career.
Whether you have just decided to go into social work or you have a specific specialized route in mind, if you are motivated to help others, it is a decision you won’t regret.