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transtheoretical models

Social Workers



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Quick Facts: Social Workers
2018 Median Pay$49,470 per year 
$23.79 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationSee How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingSee How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2016682,100
Job Outlook, 2016-2616% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2016-26109,700

What Social Workers Do

Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Work Environment

Social workers work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, settlement houses, community development corporations, and private practices. They generally work full time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

How to Become a Social Worker

Although some social workers only need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.


The median annual wage for social workers was $49,470 in May 2018.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialization.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for social workers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of social workers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about social workers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.