Job in Social Work in Brief
Mental and behavioral health care and support have been making headlines since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. As more people are openly admitting to struggling with their mental health at times, demand is growing for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW).
There has never been a better time to start a career in social work or expand the horizon of your current professional life. Social work can be highly varied. Whether you work in a corporate setting, support the students and faculty of a high school, or set up a consulting practice, caring for others opens many doors.
Getting Started in Social Work
Most people looking to pursue a career in social work start with a bachelor’s degree. They may not necessarily major in social work itself. Related fields like sociology or psychology also offer a great path toward a career focused on supporting others. A bachelor’s degree is the start of a social work career, but it is not yet enough to secure a position as a clinical social worker.
Anyone looking to become an LCSW must complete a master’s degree in social work. An easy way to think of the difference between the two levels is to consider the bachelor’s degree as the foundation on which an advanced qualification later builds.
Even if you completed your initial degree outside of social work, it is still possible to build a career in the area. Many master’s programs are open to people with related degrees.
Adding Practical Experience
In most cases, social work is a hands-on career. Most LCSWs will spend their time interacting with clients, looking for a solution for various issues related to family life and relationships and mental and physical health.
That is why the practical part of a social worker’s education is so important. Internships and volunteer work are excellent places to start. But to become licensed, social workers need to develop the practical job skills required for their careers. For most, that means completing supervised fieldwork under the guidance of an experienced colleague.
Pursuing these careers is worth it. Licensed clinical social workers have a wide range of job opportunities.
Building a Social Work Career
Social work is a growing industry sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment for social workers will grow by 12% between 2020 and 2030. This increase equals more than 78,000 new openings every year.
With that many opportunities open to them, it is possible to build a varied, rewarding career. While some social workers specialize early on, others choose to gain experience in several different aspects of social work.
Finding a position does not need to be difficult either. Simply entering “social work vacancies” into a search engine will yield hundreds, if not thousands, of results. At the time of writing, LinkedIn boasted over 130,000 social work vacancies in the United States alone. Finding a position in social work could be as simple as answering one of those adverts.
Approaching potential employers proactively is another option. Networking in-person or online is a great place to start. With basic research, social workers can identify organizations whose work they are interested in and contact their HR team directly.
Moreover, many universities have close relationships with potential employers looking to hire social work graduates.
Finding the Right Social Work Job
Despite social workers being highly sought after, it can be not easy to find a suitable position.
Many seasoned professionals find they spend more of their time completing paperwork than seeing clients. Others feel overwhelmed by their workload and start to suffer from burnout.
That is where platforms like TrueCare™ can help. One of our focus areas is providing highly qualified and experienced medical personnel to assisted living facilities, corporations, schools, colleges, and many other employers. In addition, the platform connects LCSWs with their counseling practice to private clients.
The premise is simple: our goal is to allow social workers to focus all their time and energy on their clients. To prevent burnout, LCSWs remain in charge of their workload and choose whether to accept a new client or not.
At the same time, the administrative side of counseling is taken care of. Counselors and social workers do not need to spend their time on tedious administrative work or marketing. Instead, they can take advantage of a supportive team in the background.
As a social worker, you dedicate your time to the clients and do not need to worry about the rest. By partnering with a platform like TrueCare™, social workers gain easy access to clients and retain control over their careers.
Taking the Next Step
Social work is one of the most rewarding careers available today. As a growing sector, social work offers job security and growth opportunities for anyone in the field.
Building a career as a licensed clinical social worker is not about finding a job but finding the right job that allows professionals to balance their career and personal life.