What does a clinical social worker do?
Clinical social workers help people overcome their issues and become productive members of society by providing the necessary tools and resources. They provide counseling and help individuals find employment and housing opportunities. They also plan individual and group therapy sessions and provide counseling to family members. Clinical social workers work with a variety of clients that suffer from many different issues including substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, and domestic abuse.
What kind of training does a clinical social worker need?
Clinical social workers must have at least a bachelor degree in social work, psychology, sociology, or other related field. Many clinical social workers have a master degree in social work. Prospective clinical social workers typically complete courses in clinical practice, developmental psychology, counseling techniques, and statistics. Most clinical social workers participate in internships or gain part-time jobs at mental health facilities while pursuing their education to gain practical experience in the field. Many clinical social workers become licensed to remain competitive in the field. Licensing requirements typically include minimum education and experience and passing written examinations. Clinical social workers must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a clinical social worker?
Employment of clinical social workers is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 16% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing and aging population and increased need for clinical social services will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be favorable, especially for clinical social workers with specialized training and extensive experience. Some job openings will stem from the need to replace clinical social workers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do clinical social workers make?
As of April 2010, clinical social workers with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $29,812 and $41,044. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $36,544 and $48,686 (2).
A career as a clinical social worker is a great choice for people with a strong interest in providing social services to a variety of individuals. Clinical social workers must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures related to clinical social work. Emotional stability, compassion, patience, and good problem solving skills are necessary traits. Clinical social workers must have great communication and the ability to work with a variety of individuals. They must be able to work independently and as part of a team. They must also be able to handle stressful and potentially dangerous situations.