How to Become a Social Worker

Social workers improve the quality of people’s live drastically and without someone looking to step up to the plate to make other people’s lives better, society would crash. Social workers don’t make very much in the way of salary, but for many the prospect of being able to help someone else is appealing in and of itself.

So, if you’re one of those people that wants to help others out in this world, keep reading. Below you will find all of the things you need and can do to become a professional social worker.

  • School: You’re going to want to start out by finding an accredited that’s approved by the CSWE, or the Council on Social Work Education. CSWE approved programs and schools will help you obtain an accredited degree that enables you to work in the field. No one is saying that kindness has to come from a degree, it’s just that having a degree from an accredited university opens many more opportunities for you and the CSWE ensures you have all of the skills you need to help people effectively. Your ultimate goal is to receive a bachelor’s degree in social working. After all of the coursework is done for the bachelor’s of social work degree, you are required by the CSWE to accrue a minimum of 400 hours in the field. This may mean getting an internship with another social worker, or working under the supervision of someone else.

  • Higher Learning: If you’re so inclined, there are master’s degrees available in the social work field. Spending the extra two years at school will get you a degree that will allow you to perform a lot more jobs. Different social working jobs require different training, and without a master’s degree you may not be able to do all of the social work you dreamed of. The minimum work experience for a master’s degree is 900 hours. This is 500 hours on top of the work experience you got for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Work Experience: If the amount of work experience to get a social work degree wasn’t enough, in order to be approved as a licensed social worker in your state, you must complete more work time. Each state differs in the number of hours required to become licensed, but it’s generally in the thousands. You can check the website for more information about what’s required in your state to become licensed.
  • Final Exam: Once you’ve made it this far in your social work career, it’s time to jump the final hurdle. The final exam administered nationally by the ASWB as a way to test to make sure that new social workers are ready to handle the challenges in the world. The test is a multiple choice exam and before you’re allowed to take it, you must first get permission from your state of residency. Information about how to register for the test is also available on the ASWB website.

With all of that under your belt, you’re ready to face the world. Social workers make very good salary and because many work as a social worker for the love of helping people, the pay is an added bonus. Good luck!

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