Quick Search

The Value of a Masters Degree in Social Work

Many new careers in social work require only a Bachelors Degree in Social Work in order be hired. However, in order to move up the ladder or move into a different field of social work, a Masters Degree in Social Work is necessary. These new careers offer increase in pay and a variety of new tasks. No longer are social workers only hired by the government.

The highest paying positions are with some of the private sector employers. Many private companies are discovering that a person qualified in certain types of social work can prevent job rage and help to promote those who are more emotionally mature and stable. These jobs require a MSW and the starting pay makes the possibility enticing.

There are ample opportunities in hospital social work including the field of psychiatry. Not only is a masters degree required, but also the Bachelor’s degree must be in psychology, sociology or a related field. In addition to the educational requirements, most psychiatric hospitals require an additional 1,000 – 2,500 hours of contact care under a supervisor that is licensed. You can expect to pass another written exam for placement in this field.

The psychiatric social worker coordinates and plans the outreach programs for the clients and their family members. This career includes budget oversight and policy of the programs for which the client and family participate. In large institutions, supervising other social workers directing councilors, and working with probation officers may be required.

Another new career for those with a masters degree in social work is as a Marriage and Family Therapist. This position is usually called Licensed Clinical Social Worker. This career requires a background in psychotherapy. Usually, a degree in psychology and a masters degree that concentrates on that interest will be a good first step. Additionally, directly supervising or managing family therapists or associates in the field – such as in a government setting – will meet many of the requirements. Additional client contact hours, as a trainee, ranging from 15 to 200 hours are mandated. Hospice care facilities are now hiring social workers for their client contact, as well. This is a new career in the medical social work field. A background education in nursing or as a CNA with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology is expected. This is a highly stressful position that mandates strong emotional maturity in order to handle all the issues of the patient and the family.

This social work includes meeting with individuals and families for assessing their particular needs. Knowing how to research low-cost programs and locating state or federal money to assist them is an essential skill. There are expected to be an additional 169,000 positions open by 2014.

With the variety of new careers in social work, the value of a Masters Degree becomes more and more important to advancement. No longer are social workers restricted to casework for poor families and abuse assessments. They are becoming integrated into the medical industry for after care and for preventative care.