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How to become a Social Worker

Depending on the field of operation, there are numerous educational paths to becoming a social worker. To work as a social worker, the following may be required of you:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field such as sociology or psychology. Students are required to complete administered fieldwork or an internship.
  2. Earn a master's degree in social work if you are going for clinical positions.
  3. Complete two years of administered training and experience after earning a master's degree. This is required for clinical social workers.
  4. Get a certification for nonclinical social workers from the state where you want to work.
How to become: Case Manager · Licensed Clinical Social Worker · Mental Health Technician · Counselor · Therapist
These qualifications are required: Clinical Social Worker · Certified Social Worker · ACSW
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What skills help Social Workers find jobs?

  • Acute care
  • Addiction counseling
  • Analysis skills
  • Behavioral health
  • Bilingual
  • Care plans
  • Case management
  • Childcare
  • Communication skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Computer skills
  • Discharge planning
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Career progression for Social Worker

Education levels for Social Workers

Based on the requirements of Social Worker job openings on Indeed in the United States within the last three years.
required level of educationpercent of job openings
Bachelor's degree45.7%
Master's degree38.1%
Associate's degree9.0%
High school diploma or GED6.3%
Doctoral degree0.9%
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Expected salary by experience

Based on resume data from Indeed users who reported working as a Social Worker in the United States within the last three years.
Years of experienceAnnual salary in USD
0 - 4$37,400
4 - 8$44,600
8 - 12$49,200
12 - 16$50,000
16 - 20$49,600
20 - 24$48,700
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Common qualifications for Social Workers

ACLS Certification

CPR Certification

BLS Certification

First Aid Certification

AHA Certification

Certified Case Manager

Certified Social Worker

RN License


Driver's License


Social Work License

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Common questions about career advices for a Social Worker

What other jobs can social workers do?

Jobs with similar duties to social workers include:

  • Health Educators and Community Health Workers
  • Rehabilitation Counselors
  • School and Career Counselors
  • Social and Community Service Managers
  • Social and Human Service Assistants
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
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Can you become a social worker without a degree?

No, prospective social workers must obtain at least a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field such as psychology or sociology to meet educational requirements.

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How do you become a social worker?

Social workers must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. They can then obtain state licensure and other relevant certifications.

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How long does it take to become a social worker?

What skills should a social worker have?

What high school subjects can help someone become a social worker?

How can social workers advance their career?

Do social workers need a license to work?

What do social workers need to do to renew their license?

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