Careers in Social Work


Looking for an entry level job or internship in social work? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

Lance Armstrong founded Livestrong after his fight with multiple bouts of cancer. I’m sure you remember those yellow wristbands sporting his message that quickly hit the scene a few years ago. There were many factors that contributed to Lance overcoming his cancer, as well as others around the country who have done the same. One of those was probably a social worker that specialized in health and well-being who supported those individuals during their time of need. A social worker lends a hand to those in need by providing a wide range of services to individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations to improve those people’s quality of life.

Social Work Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user Matt McGee

Social Work Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Social Worker Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Social Worker
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Social Worker
  4. Best Locations for Social Workers
  5. Pros and Cons of Being a Social Worker
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Social Work
  7. Social Work Resources
  8. Careers Related to Social Work
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Social Work

What a Social Worker Does

A social worker provides a wide range of services to individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations to improve those people’s quality of life and well-being. They do this by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or perceived social injustices and violations of their human rights. The main tasks of professional social workers can include a number of services such as case management (linking service users with agencies and programs that will meet their psychosocial needs), counseling & psychotherapy, human services management, social welfare policy analysis, policy and practice development, community organizing, international, social and community development, advocacy, teaching, and social and political research.

A Typical Day for a Social Worker

The typical day for a social worker is determined by what field they enter, but here are a few tasks you might encounter:

  • Receiving a couple new patients/cases
  • Evaluating patient treatment needs
  • Meeting with patients, family and provider contacts and interviewing them
  • Creating a customized treatment plan for each individual
  • Dealing with discharging patients and those planning needs
  • Phone calls to families, schools, and other mental health agencies
  • Documenting the treatment provided to patients and their daily recovery progress

Salary and Career Progression for Social Workers

Salary for social workers is based on education, geographic location and experience and typically ranges between $23,000 and $53,000 per year. You might go on to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker ($34,000-$75,000), or a Child, Family or School Social Worker ($23,000-$55,000).

Best Locations for Social Workers

Here are some of the best locations for social workers.

  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • New York, New York
  • Houston, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Chicago, Illinois

Pros and Cons of Being a Social Worker

  • The work environment is always changing, so things never get boring
  • You’re directly making a difference in people’s lives
  • You’re out of the office often
  • Red tape
  • People might not be appreciative of what you’re trying to do
  • Low salary
  • Emotionally draining

What You Need to Know for a Career in Social Work

To be a social worker you’ll first need a Bachelor’s degree in social work. Beyond that, you can also get postgraduate degrees in Social Work like a Master’s or PhD. More and more graduates of social work are continuing to post-graduate studies because it has been argued that social work education is supposed to be a lifelong process. In addition, to professionally practice social work you’ll need to obtain a license or be professionally registered. This has become mandatory in most states in an effort to minimize abuse of social workers’ professional positions and to ensure proper counseling is given by qualified practitioners.

Social Work Resources

If social work still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Social Work

Displaying 1-10 of 7,233 results.
Social Work - Social Worker - $54K-64K per year
Monte Nido & Affiliates Clifton, VA
Assistant Social Work - Master of Social Work - $104K-112K per year
Monte Nido & Affiliates Clifton, VA
Data Entry Clerk Work From Home - Part-Time Focus Group Participants ($750/Week)
Apex Focus Group Ashburn, VA
Social Worker - Remote
Guideline Healthcare Gaithersburg, MD
Social Worker I
MedStar Health Washington, DC
Entry Level Desktop Support Role
Year Up Washington, DC
Social Worker
Erickson Senior Living Ashburn, VA
Veyo Centreville, VA
School Social Worker (EOY)
Loudoun County Public Schools Ashburn, VA
Social Worker
Erickson Living Ashburn, VA

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Social Work

Boys Town Logo

Boys Town - Boys Town is an Omaha, NE based non-profit giving “at-risk children the family, support and care they need to overcome their circumstances and realize their potential.”

See the complete Boys Town profile

Day One Logo

Day One - Day One is a non-profit that “partners with New York City youth to end dating abuse and domestic violence."

See the complete Day One profile

Health Leads Logo

Health Leads - Health Leads is a Boston, MA based non-profit that prescribes critical resources like food, housing, health insurance, and more to low-income patients.

See the complete Health Leads profile

Pathways to Housing Logo

Pathways to Housing - If you want to help solve the root causes of homelessness, then a job with Pathways to Housing would be a great fit for you.

See the complete Pathways to Housing profile

Self Advocacy Association of New York Logo

Self Advocacy Association of New York State - Self Advocacy Association of New York State is a Schenectady, NY based non-profit grassroots organization run by and for people with developmental disabilities.

See the complete Self Advocacy Association of New York State profile

Child Mind Institute Logo

Child Mind Institute - Child Mind Institute is building an "institution that will be a leader in turning science into solutions for the world’s children” and hiring new grads to help

See the complete Child Mind Institute profile

The Partnership at

The Partnership at - If drugfree has a special meaning to you, then you should consider Careers at The Partnership at

See the complete The Partnership at profile

Volunteers of America Logo

Volunteers of America - Volunteers of America serves more than 2 million people with their staff of 16,000 paid employees and 70,000 volunteers, and they're trying to grow both.

See the complete Volunteers of America profile

Center for Court Innovation - If Center for Court Innovation gets your ears perked up, then you should check out their Jobs page.

See the complete Center for Court Innovation profile

Housing Works - Housing Works has a number of positions suitable for new grads including Recreation Assistant, Case Manager, and possibly Harm Reduction Coordinator.

See the complete Housing Works profile

Green Chimneys - Green Chimneys is a Brewster, NY based non-profit organization that is perfect if you love working with special-needs children and also love animals.

See the complete Green Chimneys profile

Hopelink - Helplink has a number of jobs that seem well suited to new college grads who have spent time actively engaged in their communities.

See the complete Hopelink profile

The Fresh Air Fund - Managing their programs takes a lot of work, so the Fresh Air Fund is always looking for people to work for them both at their Summer Camps and in NYC.

See the complete The Fresh Air Fund profile

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