Many people who are considering a master’s degree in social work want to help the community and make the world a better place, but what kind of jobs can a person really get with this degree? Social work is a field with many opportunities, and obtaining a master’s degree in social work opens up possibilities that may not be available with a lesser degree.

Master’s in Social Work Job Prospects

A master’s degree is required for anyone who wants to work in the clinical portion of social work, and clinical social work offers wider job prospects and a higher pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in social work are expected to increase by 25 percent between 2010 and 2020. This rate of growth is very fast compared to the growth for other jobs.

• Working as a clinical social worker means that a person is trained and licensed to help people with mental health problems cope with everyday life. They may observe the person and talk with them to determine how they can work with the person to develop skills to deal with common life problems.

• Hospitals employ social workers to work with patients who were in the hospital long term to help them transition to life at home. Hospital social workers will make sure that patients have the support they need at home before they are released, and it is likely that these social workers will work with family members to ensure that they understand what their loved ones need to thrive.

• Social workers with a master’s degree in the field can work with child protective services to help keep children in the community safe. Observing children and parents in the home and seeing how they interact with one another is a common task completed by social workers.

• Prisons may employ social workers to help their inmates who will be released. Adjusting to life outside of prison can be difficult, and social workers are tasked with helping former inmates find housing and work.

Master’s in Social Work Salary Outlook

Social work often gets a bad reputation for offering low salaries, but is this really the case for people who have a master’s degree in the field? While salary can vary widely according to the exact position held by a person working in the social work field, average salaries and ranges across all positions reveal the earning potential of these professionals.

Social workers who work with families and children tend to make the least with an average of $39,310 per year. Schools pay social workers the most at an average of $54,260. The average pay for all social workers is $42,480, and annual salaries for social workers range from $26,710 to $70,390.

Obtaining a master’s degree in social work allows an individual to embark upon lucrative careers helping others. Social workers often evaluate mental health and help those with emotional issues adjust to life while seeking out a solid support system for patients.