Exploring Human Services Occupations: Social Worker
Exploring Human Services: Social Worker
The human service field has a variety of positions within, all of which require a college degree. For instance; for one to enter human services as a social worker, minimum requirements must be met. The work environment varies, depending on the social worker’s specialized degree, and the job outlook is promising. A social worker is a special individual who works with a vast client base and a multitude of issues, whose advancement opportunities are plentiful, but are reliant on the goals of the social worker. The need for social workers by numerous employers such as schools, state and ...view middle of the document...
Whereas a bachelor’s degree in social work is the minimum requirement for a position as a social worker, majors in psychology and related fields or a master’s degree may be other requirements to qualify one for a position for some entry-level jobs (Rampur, 2010). One would only need a master’s degree if the position called for it such as in health, clinical, and school settings or supervisory and staff training positions (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). A master’s degree prepares the graduate to work in their chosen field of concentration and continue to develop the skills required to perform clinical assessments, manage large caseloads, take on supervisory roles, and explore new methods of drawing upon social services to meet the needs of clients (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Should one want or chose to teach at a college or university, the individual would need to obtain a doctorate in social work or Ph.D. Before an individual decides to obtain a degree to work in a social service position, they should volunteer as an aid to be sure social work is of interest before they begin college.
Social workers usually spend their time in an office or residential facility (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Some social workers will meet with the client within the local area, travel to attend meetings and meet with service providers, and community settings. Some of the office settings include schools, child protective agencies, and community clinics. Residential facility settings include nursing homes, assisted living centers, and within the client’s personal living space. Full-time social workers will work 40 hours per week, and will oftentimes work weekends attending community meetings and handle any emergencies that may arise (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Some social workers will work as a volunteer part-time for nonprofit agencies. The work environment varies depending on social work profession or field of concentration, thus presenting the job outlook is far from bleak.
The job outlook for social workers is promising. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011), employment for social workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations increasing by 16% over the next decade. The increase is, partially because of the increase of the elderly population and the demand for more health and social service workers. While it is reported that employment of child, family, and school social workers will increase by 12%, the growth for social workers may be hindered by budget constraints of state, federal, and local governments. A statistic left to question, but reported on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011) is mental health and substance abuse social workers will grow by almost 20% over the 2008-2018 decade, which is much faster than the average. With the United States currently in an economic crisis with unemployment on the rise, financial woes are causing depression; suicidal...