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Career Outlook With an MSW Degree

  • 11 percent job-growth rate is expected for the industry between 2018 and 20281, much faster than the national average
  • 92.7 percent of MSW graduates recommend the profession to others2

MSW Careers, Titles, and New Roles Available

Ignite your passion for helping others by pursuing your master's degree in social work. This program can open doors to roles and industries not available to those holding only an undergraduate degree. Graduate with the skills you need to work directly with clients and gain autonomy in your treatment plans.

Below are some of the career titles*, overarching responsibilities, and salaries available to you as a graduate of our Master of Social Work degree program.

A newer title to social workers with an MSW degree in that of a corporate social worker. It's gaining popularity in larger companies, non-profits, and insurance agencies.

Organizations are realizing the skill sets they desire most in leadership — strong interpersonal skills, unwavering ethics, and an ability to cultivate cultural diversity — can be found in professionals who also understand how to build positive relationships, motivate employees, and offer employee assistance in support of work-life balance in a number of areas.

For instance, social workers are expertly prepared to implement and evaluate programs that span a range of challenges employees face outside of work, from domestic violence and substance abuse to adoption, divorce, or other mental health challenges. They are also a solid fit for companies who look to promote social responsibility as part of their culture.

Is Getting the MSW Degree Worth It?

Pursuing an MSW degree is a serious commitment, but graduates deem it worthy of the investment. The results of the 2017 National Social Work Workforce Study of New Social Workers7 show that social workers are happy with the in-depth knowledge they gained and ability to work in various settings with diverse populations.

The report also showed:

  • 95% work in social work positions
  • 92.7% recommend the profession to others
  • 92% worked in direct practice with individuals, families or groups
  • 91.1% were satisfied with their position
  • 84.7% found jobs locally

Top-Paying Industries for MSW Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports these as some of the top paying industries for social workers.

Industry

Annual Mean Wage

Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)

$79,1408

Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance-Related Activities

$56,4409

Insurance Carriers

$56,78010

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

$50,47011

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

$60,11012

Program Outcomes

  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior
  • Engage diversity and difference in practice
  • Advance human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice
  • Engage in policy practice
  • Assess, intervene, and evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities

 

*Students must have graduated from a program accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) to be eligible to pursue social work licensure. At this time, Saint Mary's is preparing to pursue CSWE accreditation for its Master of Social Work program, but has not yet formally entered the candidacy phase required to obtain accreditation. CSWE states that accreditation applies retroactively to program graduates once it is obtained, but students should check with their state social work board to verify that they will be eligible to apply for licensure in their state if they graduate from a program before it is accredited.

Applicants for social work licensure must also meet additional requirements in every state and U.S. territory, including but not limited to additional training, coursework, and supervised clinical experiences. Requirements vary by state. It is the student's responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board.

Let's Get Started

Find out more about how the online Master of Social Work can enable you to help people and improve well-being in your organization or community. Call 877-308-9954 to speak to an enrollment counselor or request more information.

Resources:

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm.
2Salsberg, Edward, MPA, FAAN, et al (2018 April). New Social Workers, Results of the Nationwide Survey of 2017 Social Work Graduates, The National Social Work Workforce Study. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=C0r5P1zkMbQ%3d&portalid=0.
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm.
4Payscale, Average Child, Family, or School Social Worker Salary. Retrieved from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Child%2C_Family%2C_or_School_Social_Worker/Salary.
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Healthcare Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211022.htm.
6Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes211023.htm.
7Salsberg, Edward, MPA, FAAN, et al (2018 April). New Social Workers, Results of the Nationwide Survey of 2017 Social Work Graduates, The National Social Work Workforce Study. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=C0r5P1zkMbQ%3d&portalid=0.
8Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_999100.htm.
9Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_524200.htm.
10Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Insurance Carriers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_524100.htm.
11Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, Offices of Other Health Practitioners. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_621300.htm.
12Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, General Medical and Surgical Hospitals. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_622100.htm.