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About the Social Work Profession

The social work profession is rewarding and flexible. Social workers in modern day is a growing profession and the roles that today's social workers play are as diverse as the populations they serve. 

Social Work Education

Social workers are educated at institutions accredited by the CSWE. As of 2013, there are 484 CSWE accredited bachelors and 223 masters programs in the US. Licensed Social Workers are required to attend continuing education monthly and other yearly requirements in order to maintain  their license. 

Direct Practice
 - All social workers undergo training in skills used in direct practice such as therapeutic interventions, communications skills and human behavior. Individuals who focus on direct practice often continue on to obtain their LCSW

Community Focus/Macro Focus
 - The social work field considers the Person in Environment, and many social worker students focus on the mezo and macro level of the environment. This includes such subjects as policy, communities and larger organizations.

 - All social work student are required to complete supervised practicum hours where they may practice the skills that they are being taught.

Roles of the Social Worker

 Social worker play various roles in our society, often social workers will find themselves in multiple roles  within one agency due to the demanding nature of the profession.

Clinical Social Work
 - Clinical social workers are required to be licensed (LCSW). They may work independently, with partners or under a larger organization. the profession of clinical social work can include various types of therapy with adults, children families. Clinical Social Workers provide therapy more than any other type of professionals in the US. 

Other Roles of the Social Worker
    - As general practitioners who use evidence-based practices to work with the person in environment, social workers work in a variety of roles. Below are some of the many roles in which a social work professional may be employed:

 - advocate - community organizer - human resources  - educator  - trainer - developer - government official  - manager - facilitator - coordinator - fundraiser - researcher - consultant - case manager -
Expected Compensation

 - According to BLS, the median salary for a social worker in the US in 2010 was $42,480. This salary can range from the $30,000-$70,000 and is expected to increase by 25% over the next 10 years.

 - The employment site reprots that the average salary for a clinical social worker in St Louis is $52,000 in 2013.

 - Many social workers are drawn to the profession by reasons other than finical compensation. Some intangible forms of compensation that come with the profession include access to power and social change, ability to "make a difference," workplace environment and culture and many others.
Additional Resources

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