In today’s job market, there are countless professions and fields to choose from. Some offer higher salaries, while other offer less demanding work schedules. Before you enter any career path. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of any profession. Social work is growing in popularity and a degree that is offered by most universities and colleges.
Pros of Becoming a Social Worker
1. Flexibility in the Workplace.
A huge pro to working as a social worker is the ability to find employment in a variety of different settings. Social workers can work hospitals, schools, clinics, for non-profit organizations and even for government agencies. There are even those social workers that go inside prisons on a daily basis to work with inmates. The ability to choose from so many different work environments allows for many job opportunities. This means that social workers can choose the setting that works best for them and allows them to help others in a way that is the most meaningful.
2. Job Outlook.
Statistics show that the outlook for social workers is growing upward. The job market in this field is expected to grow more than 10% and wages for social workers employed at schools is going to grow to nearly a median salary of $50,000.00. This means that pursuing a career in social work could leave you with job opportunities in the near future, which is not true of all professions. In today’s job market you have to take a close look at the professions where the job outlook is improving. This is a huge pro for those interested in becoming a social worker.
3. Ability to Make a Difference.
There are very few jobs where you actually have the ability to make a difference and help others. Those that work as a social worker actually get to advocate for the rights of others for a living. Helping those that are in need is what you would be able to do on a daily basis. This type of work is rewarding and offers a different type of compensation and motivation than some other professions. The salary of a social worker might not be extremely high, but the type of work being done is important and meaningful. Being able to make a real difference in the lives of others is priceless to some individuals.
Cons of Becoming a Social Worker
Although there are many benefits to becoming a social worker, you can’t afford to overlook the downsides. Not everything about social work can be seen as a positive. There are a few cons associated with becoming a social worker that you need to be informed on,
This is not something that all social workers have to be concerned with, but it is a real issue for some that have certain types of employment. Those social workers that are working with inmates or working for non-profits that deal with violent individuals could be putting themselves in dangerous situations. Social work involves helping others and getting involved with people in such a close way can sometimes put you in harm. The risk is real and social workers need to be cautious.
2. Emotionally Draining.
Being a social worker might be labeled by some to be rewarding, but it can also be emotionally draining. You have the ability to help many people, but there are also those individuals that you might be unable to help or will not allow you to assist in the way that you want to. Seeing clients get held down by the legal system or seeing resources that you need not available can be very disappointing. It is sometimes hard to maintain your level of hope and ability to make a difference when you are constantly dealing with challenges. The emotional toll that this profession takes is unmatched.
What is a Social Worker?
A social worker is someone that helps people cope with and solve problems in their everyday lives. The capacity that a social worker assists varies based on their exact type of employment. Some social workers that have a clinical background even diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. However, not all social workers have a clinical background and actually diagnose and treat as part of their job duties. In basic terms, social workers help people and try to make a difference in the lives of others.
Social work is often characterized as a helping field. Social workers can gain employment in a variety of different settings. Those social workers that are employed at hospitals help patient’s families make difficult decisions, while social workers employed as state investigator work with families that are dealing with domestic conflicts of some type. Social workers can also work for non-profit organizations looking to develop programs that address specific issues including poverty, homelessness and abuse. As you can see, social workers have many different job opportunities.
What is the Average Salary of a Social Worker?
The annual salary for a social worker varies based on exact employment and geographical location, but the median salary is just above $44,000.00. This is lower than other comparable professions and the salary for social workers is not steadily climbing. There has actually been a decline in wage for this profession over recent years.
Since there are many different job opportunities in the field of social work, there are also different education requirements. However, most jobs in the field of social work require a Bachelor’ degree. For clinical social worker positions, a master’s degree is required along with 2 years of supervised experience in a clinical setting. It is also necessary for all clinical social workers to be licensed in the state where they are employed.
Even though salary for this field has been on the decline, the number of available jobs is on the rise. Employment in the field of social work is expected to grow more than 15% in the next 10 years. This means that more job opportunities will be available.
Passion for Helping People
Social work is one of the rare professions that is rewarding on a personal and emotional level. Thos people that have a passion for others are the ones that are most urged to pursue a career as a social worker. However, before you decide to sign up for classes at your local university to pursue a career in social work, it might be a good idea to take a closer look at the pros and cons. The career path that you choose is a really big decision and you need to take all factors into consideration.
The pros and cons of becoming a social worker stack up against one another pretty evenly. If you have a passion for helping people, you won’t be swayed by lower salaries or minimal job risk. With a good job outlook and the ability to make a real difference in the world, becoming a social worker could be the right career path for you.