Career Opportunities

Social work is a versatile, purpose-driven profession that prepares you to positively impact the lives of individuals and families, as well as the performance of groups and organizations. An advanced degree in social work can open doors to new job opportunities that can strengthen our communities and the world.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth and compensation will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services. Relative to a number of factors within a community, the most competitive employers include hospitals, government agencies, and educational institutions based in urban areas.

Whether you’re preparing for a position that extends traditional social work practice, or one that doesn’t include “social worker” in its title, this versatile degree builds critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills that are necessary for any position.

Industries employing social workers include:

Child, Family and School Social Work

  • Work with families to strengthen parenting skills
  • Prevent child abuse
  • Identify alternative homes for children who are unable to live with their biological families
  • Provide counseling and support services to school age children and teenagers
  • Advocate for student success

Medical Social Work

  • Help aging populations and their families
  • Advise family care givers
  • Provide patient education and discharge planning
  • Make referrals for other services

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work

  • Help clients adjust to major lifestyle changes
  • Assist with disaster relief programs
  • Provide substance abuse assessment and referrals
  • Make referrals for social rehabilitation and crisis intervention

Criminal Justice Social Work

  • Serve as probation and parole officers
  • Work with juveniles in detention centers
  • Work in an alternative sentencing program

Military Social Work

  • Work with active duty military members and their families
  • Work with veterans as they transition from service to civilian life
  • Work in veteran hospitals

Administration and Community Social Work

  • Raise funds for community projects
  • Write grants to sustain communities
  • Plan and implement community infrastructure projects
  • Assist and advocate for state and federal policies that assist community projects

 

Career Outlook

Image Career Outlook Chart - Job Outlook graph showing jobs on the rise - $42,364 Estimated Salary of Graduates from this program

Job Outlook graph shows jobs for training and development on the rise through 2022 - $42,364 estimated salary of graduates from this program.
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Wage Premiums for a Master’s Degree 

Image wage premiums for a social work master's degree

    Footnotes:
             (1) The wage premium represents the wage increase for workers with a master's degree over that for workers with a bachelor's degree in the occupation. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey

 

Employment Outcomes

Graduate Occupations


Social and Human Service Assistants



Child, Family, and School Social Workers


First-Line Supervisors of Office and
Administrative Support Workers


Community and Social Service Specialists


Educational, Guidance, School, and
Vocational Counselors


Healthcare Social Workers

Graduate Employers


Cabinet For Health and Family Services


Division of Protection Permancy 



Eastern State Hospital



Hope Center, Inc.



Kentucky River Community Care, Inc.



Benchmark Family Services, Inc.

Graduate Job Titles


Social Work Case Manager



Customer Service Representative


Assistant Manager



Mental Health Counselor



Family Support Worker



Home Care Social Worker

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