Top Reasons to Become a Social Worker

Portions of the following article were drafted using an in-house natural language generation platform. The article was then reviewed, fact-checked, and edited by multiple members of our editorial team prior to publishing.

Written by: Jennifer Cuellar | Edited by: Diana Zaremba | Last Updated: April 2024

Becoming a social worker can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career. Social workers can make a real difference in helping individuals, families, and communities cope with problems and improve their well-being. Explore the top reasons to pursue a social work career, including potential benefits and career opportunities.

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Five Reasons to Become a Social Worker

You may embark on a social work career for countless reasons. Here are some compelling benefits to pursue a social work degree and work in this industry.

1 | Making a Meaningful Impact

A career in social work offers you the chance to profoundly impact the world around you. Social workers improve individuals’ lives by providing essential services, guiding them toward helpful resources, and advocating for social change. Social workers also tackle pressing societal issues such as poverty, mental health, and systemic oppression to try and help empower communities.

2 | Career Diversity and Opportunities

The social work field is expansive, with many career paths available. Social workers can pursue many opportunities, from administrative roles in social service agencies to specialized work with aging populations or individuals with developmental disabilities. With such diverse settings and specializations, you can find a role that aligns with your passions and skills.

3 | Job Growth and Stability

A career in social work offers promising growth potential and job stability. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% job growth for social work between 2022 and 2032, outpacing the average for all occupations. With a projected 63,800 job openings yearly over the next decade, social workers can expect strong job stability as societal challenges continue to create demand for these professionals.

4 | Continuous Learning and Professional Development

With social work, your education doesn’t stop with a degree. The field presents numerous opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. Social workers can pursue training, networking, professional certificates, and advanced degrees such as doctorates. A commitment to lifelong learning helps social workers stay informed and effective, allowing them to pursue career advancement.

5 | Emotional Reward

Social work can offer a sense of purpose by empowering individuals, families, and communities to thrive. Social workers’ various responsibilities ensure that every day is different, providing ongoing challenges and rewards.

Potential Salary for Social Workers

The potential salary for a social worker varies based on several factors, including location, employment sector, and specialization.

Social workers earn a median salary of $55,350 per year, according to the BLS, with the highest earners making over $87,300. The highest earning industry is hospitals at the state, local, or private levels, where social workers earn around $66,300 a year.

Is a Career in Social Work Right for You?

If you have a genuine passion for helping others, strong empathy, patience, and resilience, social work may be the career for you. However, it’s also important to remember that while rewarding, social work can be challenging and is not suitable for everyone. It’s essential to do your research, consult professionals in the field, and consider your traits and circumstances before making a decision.