Saint Louis University

Careers in the Field

Due to the demanding nature of the field of social work, social workers should be emotionally mature, objective, able to handle pressure, be organized, goal-oriented, persistent, a good communicator, able to handle responsibility, work independently, and maintain good working relationships with clients and coworkers.

Social workers often see clients who face social problems that may range from a life-threatening disease, inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial distress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy and serious domestic conflicts. They help these clients identify their concerns, consider effective solutions, and find reliable resources.

Most social workers specialize in an area of practice. Some areas of concentration may include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Child Welfare or Family services Social Workers
  • Child or adult protective services social workers
  • Mental health social workers
  • Health care social workers
  • School social workers
  • Criminal justice social workers
  • Occupational social workers
  • Gerontology social workers
  • Social work administrators
  • Social work planners and policy-makers

A career in social work requires at a minimum a Bachelor's of Science in Social Work (BSSW), but a Master's of Social Work (MSW) is required for most social work positions.

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