As members of a profession that’s dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place, social workers have a lot to offer the community that they get involved with. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys working with others, feels a compassion for your fellow human beings, and has the ability to listen to others with regards to what they need, then you might find that a career in social work is great for you.
Here, we’ll look at some of the benefits of becoming a licensed clinical social worker.
You Can Make a Real Difference
All social workers, no matter where they work have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people around them. Social work is an area that is centered around the needs of other people, and if you can give a hand to your fellow man, then you can benefit in this career. According to the National Association of Social Workers, the job involves helping people to function better in their given environment.
In some cases, while other professionals in the helping industry will simply listen to people’s problems and assist them with expressing their emotions in a healthy way, social workers actively help individuals to take steps in solving their problems and improving the situation they’re in. Sometimes, they refer unemployed individuals to referral agents, or help single mothers get job training and daycare, etc.
Flexible Hours and Working Schedules
If you’re the kind of person who’s looking for a versatile job or career, then a job in social work could be perfect for you. While large care loads and long hours are usually a typical feature in most social working environments, it’s worth noting that many employers will offer the opportunity for more flexible working environments. Licensed clinical social workers can work in medical environments just as their peers do in the same facility, but they may find that their position makes it easier for them to request changes to their schedule when they need it the most.
Additionally, licensed social workers can also work alongside their peers in private areas, so that they have access to a wider opportunity of working environments, and avoid the usual 9-5 working hours. Some locations will even allow social workers to choose their own hours to a certain extent so that they can reduce their risk of burnout.
Plenty of Career Options
A licensed clinical social worker often starts off by specializing with a particular client population. However, as you continue to build on your experience in the clinical area, and your career evolves, you might be able to make changes to your future without totally changing your profession. In other words, you might consider working alongside new populations. For instance, instead of working alongside elderly people within a clinical setting, you might begin working with children, or women with particular problems.
Additionally, people with a licensed clinical degree in social work will be able to enjoy many good healthcare benefits, no matter which environment they get a career in. You could find that you end up working in substance abuse clinics, hospitals, schools, assisted living centers, and a range of other clinical environments. You can even consider switching specialties and earning a new certification if you find that your focus on clinical work is starting to bore you, or you simply want to try something new.
Great Job Satisfaction
Social work is a fantastic profession for people who enjoy helping others. Social workers are equipped with the skills and resources to help other people cope with physical or mental illness, as well as unemployment, divorce, poverty, addiction, discrimination, abuse, and various other concerns. Some of the jobs that a social worker will do on a regular basis within a clinical setting include helping to host group therapy sessions, assisting with healthcare, and helping clients get access to the groups that they need most. The job satisfaction level for social workers in the United States helped the profession be ranked at number five for the best social service jobs in 2012.
New and Improved Service Options
New approaches to societal problems and new technology are changing the shape of the career in social work for many people. For instance, new models of healthcare like patient-centered medical homes rely on social workers to act as care coordinators for patients and clients. Additional, technologies like electronic health records, cloud computing, and mobile devices are helping social workers to coordinate client care between nurses, doctors, pharmacists, home health aides and others within the industry.
At the same time, new public and private partnerships have developed opportunities for improved communities for social workers to work with. Indeed, social workers might find themselves working alongside corporate partners and local businesses which increases their resource capacity to help clients. You could even end up creating your own programs to better serve your community.
Lots of Earning Opportunity
Many social workers enjoy a comprehensive full-time income, but wages will depend on the type of employer you work with. As a licensed clinical social worker, you should be able to earn an average salary of approximately $50,500 per year. This is much higher than some of the median incomes for other social workers who specialize in child and family care, and even substance abuse.
The more you build on your education and further learn within the social work field, the higher the wage you will be able to demand from your employer.
Finally, the demand for social workers has been increasing significantly over the recent years. This is in part thanks to the fact that the demographics in the United States are changing. For instance, the American population are living much longer than they once did. According to statistics, by 2050, around 88.5 million Americans will be over the age of 65, and only 5% of the America social worker population specialize in gerontology.
Additionally, as more people begin to use the healthcare system throughout the country, hospitals will need to hire more licensed clinical social workers for care and follow up for patients. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the change in hiring opportunities can be in part linked to the fact that the industry is focused on hiring more male professionals. They are worried that male clients that need assistance may feel less comfortable reaching out to female social workers, and at present around 83% of the social worker force is made up of females.
- 4 Reasons Why Its a Great Time to Become a Social Worker. (2014, Aug. 4) Retrieved from https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/careers-advice/4-reasons-why-its-great-time-become-social-worker
- Gabriela Acosta. The Benefits of a Career in Social Work. (2013, Oct. 15) Retrieved from https://msw.usc.edu/mswusc-blog/the-benefits-of-a-career-in-social-work/
- Benefits of Being a Social Worker with a Master’s Degree. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://careersinpsychology.org/benefits-social-worker-masters-degree/