Career change?

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ATX in Durham, North Carolina

69 months ago

Thanks for the comments. I definitely hear the "underpaid and under appreciated" sentiment of both of your comments. I've got a sense of this already, but of course it is a good reminder.

I will be looking into this a little more and giving this deeper thought as the Fall semester gets closer and making some decisions then.

Thank you again for your insight, it is extremely helpful.

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Nursing Home Social Worker in Bradenton, Florida

62 months ago

If you like working harder than other professionals and getting less pay chose Social Work. If you find making the same amount of money if you have your BSW or MSW go into Social Work. If you can find social work jobs on the internet, paper or anywhere then go into it but I don't recommend it at all. Been doing it for 7 years, can't do anything else and work my butt off making less than others where I work with less education than me. Explore nursing or Occupational Therapy, you will make more money, have less paperwork and not get burned out as fast if at all. Your pay will be so much more also if that maters. You can still "Help People" and get "Paid" what your worth in everthing else but Social Work.

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laurachandler in Downingtown, Pennsylvania

61 months ago

I work in Chester County. I have a BA in psychology and I work about 60 hours a week and make 30,300 a year. I am salary. I arrive at work a little before 8:00am and sometimes I don't get done until 9:00pm. Yes, I do have to be on call once in a while. I was told that there are no raises this year. I am going to be taking classes in accounting so that I can become a CPA. Yes, you get to help people but you work a lot of hours and the pay is crap. I knew someone working in Berks with a MA and she started at 27,000 a year as an MSW.

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Mo7514 in Boston, Massachusetts

61 months ago

I agree with many of the comments. I've been a social worker for 10 years and I'm fortunate enough to currently have a job that I can shape to my strengths. This is the exception rather than the rule.
School, Medical, Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Geriatric, Trauma, etc. All have their own cultures, working conditions, pay, and demands. If you are considering Medical Social Work you may want to meet with some of the social workers for an informational interview. I worked mainly in hospitals for the first part of my career and was not treated well. I told myself that if my current job did not work out I would leave the field. Lucky for me it did.
Still as much as I love my job I don't know how much longer I can do the work. There are rare individuals that can do direct service their whole career. I am clearly not one of them. Yet I don't want to run an agency. There isn't much in between.
I understand your current career is frustrating, but I think social work is such a dramatic change that you may find yourself feeling the same way about this career in a couple of years.
Think about what drew you to your current field and what you think social work would give you. There may be another career somewhere in the middle.

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Christina in North Liberty, Iowa

57 months ago

I am currently a social worker and work with adults in the CMI (chronic mental illness) population. I have been working in the field for about 7 years now and have worked with a wide range of populations in a wide range of environments. I got into the field because I had an urge to help others and felt that there was little else for me to do. I am currently looking into a career change. I am burnt out and have been for several years now...I struggle finanically every month which adds to my overwhelming stess level. This is a noble field to work in, but unrealistic for majority of individuals to make it a life long career. My problem now is...whats next?? Being a social worker helps you develop a wide range of skills, but does not qualify you for any one specific job outside of social work. I understand you being bored with your current profession, but perhaps there are other ways you can help people...there is a current need for volunteers. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Original poster in Durham, North Carolina

57 months ago

Thank you to everyone for your frank, insightful comments. They have been immensely helpful in helping me decide whether I should consider the field or not. It has always been clear to me that social workers are a vital but unappreciated group and this thread as underscored that.

I have decided against a career in social work partially because of the additional time in school required and partially because of many of the practical reasons discussed here. Since posting the original question, I have taken my career in a different direction. One which should make more use of my current skills and be more rewarding than market research. But I would love to volunteer for any organizations or individuals working in the Durham, NC area. If you have a need, please feel free to contact me at thespamhouse@gmail.com.

I for one think the work social workers do is invaluable, thank you all very much.

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Betty in Montclair, New Jersey

56 months ago

Hi all,

I am a social work in the adoption world and enjoy my work a lot. I have been doing it for over a year but I am starting to wonder for how long I can struggle every month with my bills. Besides I have accumulated over 50,000 to get my MSW. Now, I am thinking to make a career change and become an Occupational Therapist any thoughts please.

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ingrid in Riverdale, Georgia

56 months ago

I can't speak a/b a career in OT, but I think if you're going to make a career change, it should be in something where you can earn a good bit more than you would in social work. I'm an LCSW/LICSW, depending on the state, and have been out of grad school since 1996. As a social worker with just one year experience, you're not going to make much money, but you're potential has not yet been realized. Once you're able to sit for the LCSW/LICSW exam (usually 2-3 years post grad, with appropriate spvsn, etc.), you'll be able to make a better decision, based on your earning potential. Also, adoption work is one of the lower paying social work jobs. I did that too for a while. You may find it more enjoyable to do adoption home studies, etc., as a contractor, and find another social work job that pays a bit more. You may want to consider govt, hospital, or school settings. Don't give up on social work yet, but it's fine to begin looking at other careers. I would try to find one where you could use your MSW as a compliment to the new field in a way that would make you more marketable.

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Betty in Watertown, Massachusetts

56 months ago

Thanks for your thougtfull reply. I have been looking further into hospital jobs and would be starting a new part time position at hospital. I am looking forward to it. It tends to be a slightly better pay but I am very excited about getting the expereince. When I first decided to get into social work I was hoping to work mostly with agencies that work in bettering the lives of children in impovershied countries and adoption is the closest I could get. Thanks

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Preethi Ashokkumar in Madras, India

53 months ago

Hi, is an MSW through distance education good enough to become a social worker. I am currectly working in a software company and would like to do a degree in social work. Kindly advise.

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sharewic in mobile, Alabama

52 months ago

ingrid in Riverdale, Georgia said: I can't speak a/b a career in OT, but I think if you're going to make a career change, it should be in something where you can earn a good bit more than you would in social work. I'm an LCSW/LICSW, depending on the state, and have been out of grad school since 1996. As a social worker with just one year experience, you're not going to make much money, but you're potential has not yet been realized. Once you're able to sit for the LCSW/LICSW exam (usually 2-3 years post grad, with appropriate spvsn, etc.), you'll be able to make a better decision, based on your earning potential. Also, adoption work is one of the lower paying social work jobs. I did that too for a while. You may find it more enjoyable to do adoption home studies, etc., as a contractor, and find another social work job that pays a bit more. You may want to consider govt, hospital, or school settings. Don't give up on social work yet, but it's fine to begin looking at other careers. I would try to find one where you could use your MSW as a compliment to the new field in a way that would make you more marketable.

i KNOW this was posted 4 months ago.
i am interested in MSW. I wont lie. I have no interest in becoming an underpaid and overworked social worker. My question is how much more money could one earn my becoming licensed ?

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Betty in Montclair, New Jersey

52 months ago

Thank you Ingrid and all for a thoughtful suggestions and guidance. I really appreciate it. Since then I have started doing hospital social work on a part time basis and making a little more and doing my adoption work as well. I am going to work toward my clinical license and see what doors that would open up. Right now, I am investing my time to explore further as a social worker. Thank you so much for your advices.

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ingrid in Lawrenceville, Georgia

52 months ago

Betty in Montclair, New Jersey said: Thank you Ingrid and all for a thoughtful suggestions and guidance. I really appreciate it. Since then I have started doing hospital social work on a part time basis and making a little more and doing my adoption work as well. I am going to work toward my clinical license and see what doors that would open up. Right now, I am investing my time to explore further as a social worker. Thank you so much for your advices.

You're very welcome! I wish you all the best.

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ingrid in Lawrenceville, Georgia

52 months ago

sharewic in mobile, Alabama said: i KNOW this was posted 4 months ago.
i am interested in MSW. I wont lie. I have no interest in becoming an underpaid and overworked social worker. My question is how much more money could one earn my becoming licensed ?

Unfortunately, there's no firm answer to your question. Some "better paying" MSW positions deal more with job function and industry, rather than license. However, an LCSW/LICSW is the top of the chain, so you will be in a position to take advantage of any opportunity, rather than just a few. Think of it like a person who goes to college and one who doesn't. The non-college grad may be able to do very well and make more money than the college grad, but is it more the exception or the rule? Be advised, coming out of grad school, you will take your lumps and be "under paid", at least for a little while. I suggest you take a look at search engines or agencies in your area. Look at jobs for MSWs and LCSWs to get a better idea.

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ingrid in Lawrenceville, Georgia

52 months ago

Preethi Ashokkumar in Madras, India said: Hi, is an MSW through distance education good enough to become a social worker. I am currectly working in a software company and would like to do a degree in social work. Kindly advise.

I would say, no. You'll have to do internships and you'll need the "hands on" experience to be taken seriously and to "learn the trade", if your plan is to actually work as a social worker.

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gu17 in London, United Kingdom

52 months ago

Nursing Home Social Worker in Bradenton, Florida said: If you like working harder than other professionals and getting less pay chose Social Work. If you find making the same amount of money if you have your BSW or MSW go into Social Work. If you can find social work jobs on the internet, paper or anywhere then go into it but I don't recommend it at all. Been doing it for 7 years, can't do anything else and work my butt off making less than others where I work with less education than me. Explore nursing or Occupational Therapy, you will make more money, have less paperwork and not get burned out as fast if at all. Your pay will be so much more also if that maters. You can still "Help People" and get "Paid" what your worth in everthing else but Social Work.

Hi there

I South African trained there but work in England, I thought coming here would make my life better but I think social workers are poorly paid wherever you go. I have heard that in America social workers are well paid,not sure. I am very proud of what we do no other profession can bring about change in people`s life like we do, that is the consolation for me job satisfaction.

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Ms Carla BSW in Louisville, Kentucky

51 months ago

Hello all,

I am glad I am not the only one that feels burned out and underpaid. I have been ponding the fact I HATE being a social worker. I am tired of having to work two jobs to make my ends meet. I help individuals that make more money than I do correct their lives. I have work with the welfare system, teen pregnancy, homeless man, mental disable, and just to name a few.

I can't think of any position in the social work field I would want to work in this day. I am 42 years old and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I was considering applying for the Master's program however; when I looked at how much cost verse how much I would make. I am not sure if I want to bite the cost. If I was younger I would consider a career in the medical field.

What a social worker to do... I just paid of the BSSW i received.HELP

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Virginia Tulip in Yorktown, Virginia

51 months ago

Ms. Carla,
I hear ya loud and clear. I have also worked with similiar populations(homeless families, teen pregnancy, mentally disabled) and feel the lack of support and recognition for the work we do is ALWAYS overlooked.Not to mention always having 2 jobs to make a living; I do not live extravegently by any means. Try surviving on 30K in San Francisco!!!! For this reason, I am suggesting graduate school in social policy or public policy. I had the oppurtunity to work for a private research firm (MDRC) that works on creating social policy for low income and homeless families. You are able to use your social work skills in helping to create policy that influences former clients; so much more gratifying than handing out food and diapers.

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kelly london in London, United Kingdom

47 months ago

Hi all,

I know it has already been asked but I have my masters in social work and have been qualified for 10 years working with older adults, mental health and substance misuse. I am really burnt out and really need a career change. I have looked and I think the qualifications limit what I can do - any siggesstions or similer views
all welcome :)

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Burned out in Pineville, Louisiana

46 months ago

I have been a social worker for 6 years and an LCSW for 2 1/2 years. I have a better paying job than most social workers. However, I am so burned out on this field that I am actually considering selling my house and cutting way back on my budget in order to make a career change and take a cut in pay. I work with many wonderful people who are great social workers and help many people. The profession itself is noble, however thankless, under paid, and under appreciated it is. My advise would be just to really think hard about this field before you decide. For me, it was a mistake and I am finding it difficult to make a career change without returning to school. But at this point, I am willing to do just that. I have been struggling with this decision for 2 years now. But dealing with the populations that I have dealt with has made me cynical, hard, and depressed. I am getting out before I become one of the ones who needs a social worker.

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squeak

42 months ago

I have been a social worker for almost 5 years now. I am SICK OF IT! THe productivity demands, the 8 STRAIGHT HOURS of clients, no lunch break and oh my God,...dare I say it,..THE MOUNTAINS OF PAPERWORK THAT KEEP US WORKING 60 HOURS A WEEK!!!! I have HAD it, i'm tired of the sexually abused children, the HORRIBLE parents, the products of their environment, and all the other BS that simply CANNOT be CHANGED! I want to make more money at a job that I don't wake up and DREAD going to every day of my life! But switching professions? Yeah right. Ok, there's NO money for school so that's out. I would love to do something in the hotel and restaraunt field but they all want expreience,..I HAVE A SOCIAL SERVICES DEGREE! Sigh! I don't know what to do! Help!!! Hell! At this point, I wouldn't mind dumping the stress to go be a delivery driver! I would KILL for a FedEx job. I just don't want to take too much of a pay cut...I make 36 thousand. HELP!

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Meka in Winter Haven, Florida

42 months ago

Christina in North Liberty, Iowa said: I am currently a social worker and work with adults in the CMI (chronic mental illness) population. I have been working in the field for about 7 years now and have worked with a wide range of populations in a wide range of environments. I got into the field because I had an urge to help others and felt that there was little else for me to do. I am currently looking into a career change. I am burnt out and have been for several years now...I struggle finanically every month which adds to my overwhelming stess level. This is a noble field to work in, but unrealistic for majority of individuals to make it a life long career. My problem now is...whats next?? Being a social worker helps you develop a wide range of skills, but does not qualify you for any one specific job outside of social work. I understand you being bored with your current profession, but perhaps there are other ways you can help people...there is a current need for volunteers. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

I know how you feel. I have been working as a social worker for eight years and I have a MSW but I don't get paid like I have a Masters. All of my friends who did social work have changed fields and went into nursing, buisness or teaching. The field is great helping others but at the end you are so burnt our you need help. I would not honestly recommend social work to anyone...

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Meka in Winter Haven, Florida

42 months ago

squeak said: I have been a social worker for almost 5 years now. I am SICK OF IT! THe productivity demands, the 8 STRAIGHT HOURS of clients, no lunch break and oh my God,...dare I say it,..THE MOUNTAINS OF PAPERWORK THAT KEEP US WORKING 60 HOURS A WEEK!!!! I have HAD it, i'm tired of the sexually abused children, the HORRIBLE parents, the products of their environment, and all the other BS that simply CANNOT be CHANGED! I want to make more money at a job that I don't wake up and DREAD going to every day of my life! But switching professions? Yeah right. Ok, there's NO money for school so that's out. I would love to do something in the hotel and restaraunt field but they all want expreience,..I HAVE A SOCIAL SERVICES DEGREE! Sigh! I don't know what to do! Help!!! Hell! At this point, I wouldn't mind dumping the stress to go be a delivery driver! I would KILL for a FedEx job. I just don't want to take too much of a pay cut...I make 36 thousand. HELP!

Look into teaching if you like working with kids...Im thinking about getting our of Social work too bc teachers make more then me and at least they get out at 3pm and have summers off.Its either that or Im going to have to go back to school for something in the medical field but I have no $$$$$$$$$$$$....Im still paying off my Masters

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Meka in Winter Haven, Florida

42 months ago

Betty in Montclair, New Jersey said: Hi all,

I am a social work in the adoption world and enjoy my work a lot. I have been doing it for over a year but I am starting to wonder for how long I can struggle every month with my bills. Besides I have accumulated over 50,000 to get my MSW. Now, I am thinking to make a career change and become an Occupational Therapist any thoughts please.

Hi Betty,
How is your search in the OT field coming along? I am in the same boat as you with student loans from my MSW program. They have been in deferment for 2yrs now b/c with my income I can't afford to pay them and my regular bills. I have to do something quick...I feel like I am at a dead end in this field and the only way out is to do something different. Some of my friends have gone on to do nursing but I was thinking more OT or PT...what do you think since you have been looking too???

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Carla in Louisville, Kentucky

42 months ago

I understand what both of you ladies are saying. For I have the same problems, it said to help indiviudals with more money in the bank and drive better care than youself. Plus in my state we are going though a mandatory furlough (day of without pay) you want to take about stress. I have to get another job just to make the my bills. Vacation when and where.

I am currently in school again for a degree in IT. With this degree I am either going to teach or work in the Information Tech world. I can no longer take other peoples problems home with me. I am just not that strong, my hat is off to the social workers that can.

My goals are to complete my degree and relocate. wish me luck..

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socialwkr in Missouri

42 months ago

Squeak, you definitely sound burnt out and on fire.........take time off for you and relax! Stress is bad and if unchecked, you know how it affects our physical health also! I think one of the things we as social workers often forget is self-care. For those who work with clients on a daily basis, self care is so important because you are dealing with often the negatives of life which weighs one down. It sounds like your place of employment may be playing a factor also. Everyone deserves lunch and breaks and not to work 80 hours a week to do paper-work.

I like to read comments in other job forums, and I have seen that no matter the field, the employer plays a big role in whether one can take the stress of their jobs. There are nurses and others also talking of working where they do not get breaks, always up on their feet, etc.And their jobs being too stressful.

With hospitality services (like hotels and food establishments) they are not without stress either! Customers love to complain LOL

Maybe it is more of a employer issue, than necessarily a social work issue? Hopefully you ca find a position where you can take lunches, and feel less stressfuln

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Squeak in Cincinnati, Ohio

42 months ago

I thought about switching to teaching too, but I spend part of my day at a school which my agency contracts me out to (the rest of the day I'm back in the office.) Do a lot of research before you go into teaching, and talk to some teachers. That's what I did. Turns out the ones I talked to, work about 70 hours a week and have more paperwork and reports than us SW's do. So just be careful!

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Betty in Montclair, New Jersey

42 months ago

Meka in Winter Haven, Florida said: Hi Betty,
How is your search in the OT field coming along? I am in the same boat as you with student loans from my MSW program. They have been in deferment for 2yrs now b/c with my income I can't afford to pay them and my regular bills. I have to do something quick...I feel like I am at a dead end in this field and the only way out is to do something different. Some of my friends have gone on to do nursing but I was thinking more OT or PT...what do you think since you have been looking too???

Hi there,
I actually didn't pursue the OT field. You have to be in school for almost 3 years full time and starting salary didn't impress me that much. Definitely better than social work but when you factor the years in school and additional loan it didn;t make sense to me. I am focusing on other ways to capitalize on my degree. So i am doing more hospital social work in addition to my adoption work and it is going well. I just pick some days here and there per-diem at a hospital. Good luck for you and keep me posted.

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Sunny in El Macero, California

42 months ago

Yikes. Now I am considering AGAINST the LCSW route.
Is it really that bad for all social workers? Even those with the LCSW (no private practice though?

You can't do much with a bachelor's degree these days anyway. That's why I wanted to purse the MSW, and go the clinical route (LCSW).

Now, after reading all of these negative comments... no thanks!!!

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socialwkr in Missouri

42 months ago

Sunny in El Macero, California said: Yikes. Now I am considering AGAINST the LCSW route.
Is it really that bad for all social workers? Even those with the LCSW (no private practice though?

You can't do much with a bachelor's degree these days anyway. That's why I wanted to purse the MSW, and go the clinical route (LCSW).

Now, after reading all of these negative comments... no thanks!!!

Hey Sunny, don't let the negative comments on these boards make you change your goals. I know myself included, I have left some frustrated posts......no matter what you do in life, there will always be negatives. However, I can say that even if possible, I am still glad I pursued my BSW and MSW/LCSW. I know I can do many different things with these degrees and wouldn't change a thing. If you take a look at all other job boards, we as people and human tend to only talk about negatives and forget to say the positives. There are people on nursing boards, pharmacy boards, OT boards and the like who leave negative posts.....I think it is more of a way just to get it out, since most of us do not have that outlet.

So, it does come across on these boards that there are no good jobs. But that is truly not the case. Sometimes we just need to get out those frustrations. But I would not let the sway you in your goals for life.

I read an excellent saying "The grass may be greener on the other side, but it still has to be mowed".

No matter what choices we make in life, there will be pros and cons. Every job has them, no matter the degree or the field. Ultimately, we need to find the field we really love and go with that. The best social workers are those who love social work, the best doctors are those who love doctoring, the best teachers are those who love to teach..........and the list goes on!

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Susan in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

I have a social work degree (MA U of Chicago) but it is in policy and administration. I am planning to change to a clinical social work concentration. Trying to find out what course I need, how I get the supervisory hours, and how to proceed in changing my emphasis has been an exercise in frustration. I live near West Chester University and can’t seem to locate a person in their social work school who can help me with this transition. Anybody have any ideas about how proceed either with West Chester University or the process of changing concentrations?

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socialwkr in Missouri

41 months ago

Hi Susan,

Do you already have your MSW? If so, no one asks what your concentration is once you graduate. It is the degree itself--MSW. Some universities no longer even have tracks or concentrations anymore, and students just pick what classes they want to add up to their required hours for their degree. If you already have your MSW, then you would not go back for any other classes (unless you had the extra money and just wanted to take a college class!!). In my 8 years as a social worker, I have never heard anyone asking about someone's concentration. The employers want to know experience and skills, etc.

As far as obtaining your license, you would just need to contact the Social Work board in your state and read their requirements for licensure. Some states have a LMSW where you only need to take the ASWB exam, others do not. Each state is so different.

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GettingThrough in Mobile, Alabama

41 months ago

I could not finish my MSW program. I was told that I was in violation of the Social Work Code of Ethics because God is more important to me than Social Work. I am a Christian and a conservative, but do not push my views or voice them to anyone unless asked. I was expected to accept, encourage, and condone homosexual relationships and lifestyles. I was taught that we must make the government care for the people. The word "accountability" is pure evil -- we must blame people's criminal/problematic behavior on their environment or circumstance and cater to people who spit on us in return. We are told to be "change agents," but in reality, universities are training social workers to be pawns in a broken system (just do the job and don't think about how ineffective or wasteful it is or we'll get rid of you). You will be ostrasized and/or fired if you try to change anything! The only jobs available in social work pay no more than 30-40K/year and is working with violent psych patients or even more violent teenagers who will literally pull the hair out of your head. I couldn't bring myself to even teach social work at the university level -- I'd be doing a great disservice to students who desire a fulfilling career. If you are a Christian, consider being an LPC or a personal life coach if you like the clinical path. Personally, I will only be helping people in a volunteer capacity. I believe in correcting the root cause of a problem, not tapping the surface. There is money made in people's misery, so it is not desirable in today's workplace to completely rid the world of it's problems.

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Ingrid in Atlanta, Georgia

41 months ago

I am a Christian, but not a conservative. You can hold and follow whatever beliefs you have, even as a social worker. You work with the populations you choose to work with. If there is a group that clashes with your beliefs, or that you don't feel equipped to work with... you don't have to work with that group. One is not taught to excuse behavior, but have not quickly judge behavior and to try and understand behavior so that one can get to the root cause of the problem. Social Workers are taught to hold people accountable for their actions, that there are consequences, and to empower people to make their own choices. Your job "is" to change the system, though we all understand it to be a difficult process. The beauty of social work is that there are a variety of areas one can go into.. I've been out of grad since 1996 and am an LCSW. I've worked for Christian adoption agencies that had some restrictions (based on beliefs) of who could work with the agency, but I've also worked for other adoption agencies. I've worked as a therapist, an instructor at a university, an independent contractor, a mental health managed care clinician, etc. I've worked in hospitals, for non-profits, and for for-profits. While social workers are underpaid, I make well over $30-$40k and haven't that low a pay for a/b 10 years. I am considering a career shift to a more managerial, non-profit mgmnt or corporate social responsibility area, but I still greatly respect the field of social work and will always maintain my commitment to people and change. I will always keep my license and I will always respect the work social workers do. A profession is a very personal thing and it sounds like you made the right decision to not continue in the profession of social work.

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socialwkr in Missouri

41 months ago

I agree you can hold whatever beliefs you want as a social worker! That is with anything in life. It is important that no matter what school you go to that you ensure that your social work school teaches equally on all topics and is not a place for a professor's personal opinions.

Social workers are taught to allow people to make THEIR own choices. Some people go into social work for all the wrong reasons, because they want to "help those people". Instead, what I walked away from is the tools, interventions and skills to apply human behavior in the environment, systems theory, cognitive behavior, and on and on....on how to work with clients. .

In Missouri, LCSW's are more marketable than a LPC. Insurance will pay for more services for a LCSW than a LPC.

I think it is important that as social workers we realize that everyone has their own beliefs, values and morals. It is not up to me to preach or push my beliefs on others. The same issue goes for personal beliefs and values.

Ultimately, it is not my role as a social worker to "help" or "tell" people what to do. My responsibility is to learn who my clients are as people and work with them to create ways for them to meet their goals (not my goals). Depending on the setting a social worker works in, that is going to depend on the role the social worker will take on.

Getting Mobile--as a little sermonette, aren't you glad that Jesus did not take your view of the world? Amazing grace....how sweet the sound! The way we are supposed to live life is to love others and let our lights shine. Sometimes when we are in situations, it may be easier to look and point the finger at how bad others are...but there is the saying when we point at others, there are fingers pointing back at us. I am far from perfect, just living day to day!

The only jobs for social workers are not in psych situations!! From from it...that is why I like the versatility of my social work degree.

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Turquoise Wallace in Memphis, Tennessee

41 months ago

Im looking for a job

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Dez

41 months ago

Hello I briefly read most of everyones comments, and I must say thanks for the honesty and sry most of u are unhappy. I'm a 23yr male and Was looking into this Social Work, but not anymore Maby OT or PT I love helping Plp was in the Military 4 years and glad there paying for my school.

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socialwkr in Missouri

41 months ago

Dez said: Hello I briefly read most of everyones comments, and I must say thanks for the honesty and sry most of u are unhappy. I'm a 23yr male and Was looking into this Social Work, but not anymore Maby OT or PT I love helping Plp was in the Military 4 years and glad there paying for my school.

Hey Dez, I love social work. While I have some gripes, there are pros and cons with any job or field. Do whatever you enjoy! If you go on any job board at any given time you will find negative comments. Sometimes we need to vent, but when it is all said and done I have no regrets of getting my BSW and MSW degrees.

Good luck to you!

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giving up on social work in Chicago, Illinois

41 months ago

What can you do with a MSW outside of direct service practice? I have been unemployed for almost a year and cannot find employment in social work and I am trying to look at other options instead of going back to school and accumulate more loan debt.

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socialwkr in Missouri

41 months ago

Hey giving up, depending on what your interests are....with a MSW in my opinion, one is qualified to do grant writing if that is of interest; fund raising for not-for-proft; state government jobs (not just isolated to social services); management positions in social service related agencies; some become consultants with their MSWs; teach at the community college level and many Universities will also hire adjunct MSWs to teach certain classes. One could also be a college academic advisor too; work in HR departments; health education coordinators.

I have had a job where I assisted an agency with grant writing and fund-raising endeavors, and with what I learned in my MSW I felt comfortable with what I had to do. Here are a couple of grant writing position job ad examples...an MSW would be highly qualified... www.npo.net/job/2011-04-15/24280?offset=10&utm_source=Indeed&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Indeed

www.npo.net/job/2011-04-13/24123?offset=30&utm_source=Indeed&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=Indeed

We had to do research, community social work organizational classes, public policy, etc etc in our MSW level course work. One thing I did was try to save my course work itinery so I could use that if needed right out of school. Most schools I think now have basic course definitions of what is done in the courses, which might benefit recent grads if they are looking for things to add more experience of things into their resume. This is great when someone may not have "work" experience in an area.

I wish you the best of luck!

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On track in Humacao, Puerto Rico

40 months ago

I am currently going on to my third year in the university and second semester with my social work concentration. (Going for a B.A) I admit all of this is extremely disheartning and I understand some of the gripes, but the more I think about, the more I want this. In the end, if we don't do this job, who will?

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Silver in Brentwood, Tennessee

40 months ago

Hello! I felt compelled to write a post after reading some of these comments, and share some of my thoughts on the field of social work. I graduated in 2007 with a MSSW, and passed the LCSW exam in 2010 on the first try. I was super excited! However, disappointment set in, as I soon realized that all an LCSW will allow you to do is go into private practice. As a medical social worker (I have worked in a hospital setting since I finished grad school), an LCSW is for the most part useless, UNLESS you work in an outpatient setting doing clinical counseling/therapy. Otherwise, most medical social work positions consists of doing discharge planning,and arranging transportation or lodging for patients, etc. There are NOT a lot of clinical counseling/therapy positions available for social workers in a medical setting. While I am grateful and extremely proud of myself for passing the LCSW exam, it has not made a difference in my pay, though I do get paid well ($58K) now. I think I was a bit misinformed and disillusioned when I finished graduate school, because the work has not been what I thought it would be. I have learned skills that are invaluable that I can apply toward any career field, but the work itself is not intellectually stimulating, nor is it generally respected in a hospital setting. I have just been accepted into a graduate business program that will enable me to work and go to school. When I graduate, I plan on transitioning out of the field of social work to a career in business. The work that I do has not burned me out, it is not overwhelming, it's just that my mind is not challenged, and I cannot see myself doing this for another 20-40 years (I'm in my 20's). My advice to anyone going into social work, is to find out as much as you can about this field before going into it, and recognize that the best paying jobs are for LCSW's in private practice, or for social workers (LMSW) who work at the VA or school system (both start out at least at $50K+.)

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Sunny in El Macero, California

40 months ago

To Silver:

I have a few questions about some of the statements that you made.

"an LCSW is for the most part useless, UNLESS you work in an outpatient setting doing clinical counseling/therapy"

What do you mean by "outpatient setting" here? Also, how much is a LCSW restricted in terms of the therapy/counseling s/he can provide?

"There are NOT a lot of clinical counseling/therapy positions available for social workers in a medical setting."

How rare is it to get a job? Do you mean that there are only a few for so many applicants, or just a few in general? What would you say about its stability?

"The work that I do has not burned me out, it is not overwhelming, it's just that my mind is not challenged"

Could you please elaborate on why it's so overwhelming and not challenging? Is it monotonous?

You got me worried here, because I really want to do the LCSW/medical setting route. I would like my private practice, but I have read that you would need many, many years of experience first.

Thanks!

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Danie in Buffalo, New York

40 months ago

Hi Sunny,

Your comment has really struck a cord with me as my career goals
Is on the same path as u. Is there anyway I can email u privately?

I graduate with my B.A. in Health and Human Services in the fall and start
My MSW program in the fall of 2012.

Silver in Brentwood, Tennessee said: Hello! I felt compelled to write a post after reading some of these comments, and share some of my thoughts on the field of social work. I graduated in 2007 with a MSSW, and passed the LCSW exam in 2010 on the first try. I was super excited! However, disappointment set in, as I soon realized that all an LCSW will allow you to do is go into private practice. As a medical social worker (I have worked in a hospital setting since I finished grad school), an LCSW is for the most part useless, UNLESS you work in an outpatient setting doing clinical counseling/therapy. Otherwise, most medical social w

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Danie in Buffalo, New York

40 months ago

I'm sorry.....that comment was meant for Silver from Tenn. (Not Sunny), my apologies.

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socialwkr in Missouri

40 months ago

Silver in Brentwood, Tennessee said: ..... ... though I do get paid well ($58K) now. I think I was a bit misinformed and disillusioned when I finished graduate school, because the work has not been what I thought it would be.........)

In health-care, unfortunately, the nurse case-management roles in some hospitals has reduced the medical social worker to just a discharge planner. I was sorry to hear about that concept when social workers I knew who worked in the medical sector were telling me about it and the changes it brought to their roles. As with anything, I know it depends on the hospital and state. Some hospitals in this state heavily use RN Utilization reviewers and RN case-management, thus, the social worker becomes the glorified office-support staff.

I hear ya........I would not want to do discharge planning where I was not valued as a team member or respected. I wish there was a movement from NASW to change this perspective. I have always been interested in them looking at even changing our degree title to something other than "social worker"......sounds like anyone can do "social" work. It reminds me of the past degree of "BA in Home Economics", which was the old version of a Human Services degee.

I guess it boils down to perspective for the salaries........I view your salary as a medical social worker at 58K as a pretty good salary for a medical social worker. I interviewed as a medical social worker and starting salary was $42,000. This is with over eight years experience.

Depending on the state, size of hospital, and etc. is going to play a large role in where salaries for social workers "range".

In today's economy, in looking at other professional boards......each profession has their ideas on what is good pay. I guess unless we get a contract with Hollywood.....none of us are going to become millionaires. That is okay with me LOL

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Sunny in El Macero, California

40 months ago

What exactly is entailed with a "discharge planning"? Is it really spending 8 hours calling hotels for lodging? Of course I don't think it's that simple, but that's what I am getting from some comments on the web.

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annyomus in marietta, Georgia

40 months ago

i think people in the social work profession are underpaid for all the hard work they do...its a lot of hard work and i appreciate all of you!

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Danie in Buffalo, New York

40 months ago

Sunny in El Macero, California said: What exactly is entailed with a "discharge planning"? Is it really spending 8 hours calling hotels for lodging? Of course I don't think it's that simple, but that's what I am getting from some comments on the web.

Discharge planning involves assisting a patient in all the necessities to enable them to leave the hospital.....this may include transportation, home health care, etc.
Its important now because patients are kicked out of the hospital way to early now.
Discharge planning allows u, the social worker, the opportunity to clear up any issues with
Hospital staff (sometimes the patient who just had surgery CAN'T leave in 2 days) and to make sure the patient has everything that they need in order to maintain good health. U might help a cancer patient with chemo appointments and transportation to and from, apply for sociail security, etc. Its not just about paperwork all the time on the patients that need extra care. U may do a lot of calling on a patient's behalf....but most importantly, u advocate for the patient with the hospital staff....which is why there are such respect issues between social workers and hospital staff.

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giving up on social work in Chicago, Illinois

40 months ago

What grinds my gears about social work is some of these jobs want you to have so much experience but they only going to pay you so little. I have seen jobs that require an MSW and LCSW for $35K, which should be an insult to anyone with an LCSW, especially what they have to go through to take the exam. Another issue I find is why certain positions such as discharge planning, employers want you to have years of experience, especially in a hospital setting. Reading the job description, the position is not rocket science and those who have been in the field especially in child welfare have been involved in the discharging process. If you going to make a position seem like it is rocket science and physics, at least pay them better and treat them as a valuable member of the team.

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