Whether you are fresh out of high school and are looking at what career options are available to you, or you have been in your current line of work for some time and are looking for something different, you should be sure to consider a career in social work. Social workers play an important role across society and are found across different sectors, from private, to government organisations, and charitable institutions. Social workers play a different role depending on the needs of a society, but they generally deal with social issues and how they affect ordinary people in the community on a daily basis.
If you are thinking about becoming a social worker, then first of all you should know that it is not an easy job role, and it is important that you genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of others. Social workers strive to do good and make other people’s lives better. However, this sometimes difficult, but often rewarding career choice does have some benefits. Here are the top 8 benefits of becoming a social worker.
It’s a Growing Industry
Unfortunately, there are always going to be some people who are less fortunate than others, which means that social workers will always be needed. Yet not only are social workers required more than ever, but demand for the job has actually increased, and is expected to keep on increasing in the coming years.
The industry has been dubbed by some as the 21st century law degree, and with the pressures of ever-increasing fiscal restraints, new roles and positions are being created within the industry every year. Statistics show that the social work industry is expected to grow by 15 percent by the year 2028.
There Are Many Different Learning Methods
A career in social work is not something that you can achieve overnight, and you will need to study to get the knowledge and qualifications required to become a social worker. However, there are more learning methods available to wannabe social workers than ever before. Long gone are the days of a traditional education within the four walls of a lecture hall. Instead you can now study for an online social work degree. This is a great option for those who have other work or family commitments to manage on top of their studies.
Variety of Opportunities
You will find that within a career in social work, there are many different opportunities available to you. Some of the more traditional areas of social work include:
• Child Protection Agencies
• Helping the elderly or disabled at home and in medical settings
• Specialist social workers can now also be found playing an integral role in the adoption process.
It would be fair to say that social workers can find job opportunities in pretty much any situation where an individual or family are struggling or situations are strained and difficult.
You Can Make a Difference
One of the best things about a career in social work is that it provides you with the opportunity to make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of others who need it most. You will likely hear a lot about how rewarding a job in social work can be, but it is important that you don’t underestimate how much of an impact you can have within your social worker role. It may not be the most glamorous of jobs, nor the best paying compared to other jobs, but it is definitely a job that you can be proud of.
You’ll Gain More Skills – Inside and Outside of the Curriculum
The role of a social worker can be very challenging, which means that you are constantly required to use the different skills you have at your disposal. Despite the qualifications that are needed for you to be able to enter into the world of social work, there are many skills you will rely upon that you can’t learn from a textbook.
On top of all your specialist knowledge, you need to have the interpersonal skills required to deal with people who may be distressed or struggling. You will rely on skills such as leadership, written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to safeguard both yourself and your client throughout your career.
Every Day is Different
Often people get fed up with their mundane 9 to 5 jobs, and it is fair to say that this boredom is not something you will likely experience very often when you work in social work. Every day you will be faced with a different set of clients, circumstances, and situations that you will need to manage and advise upon. Any day could include:
• Checking in on families that you have previously worked with to monitor their progress.
• Meeting a family for the first time who are under investigation.
Due to the important role that social work plays in societies all over the world, it is fair to say that you can expect a fair state of job security in your role as a social worker. With the industry also expected to grow considerably over the next ten years, it is predicted that social workers could be placed within:
• Mental health institutions
• State agencies
While social work was once considered a hugely underpaid job, it does provide you with access to benefits and salaries that will exceed national averages. The average social worker who works with family or government services can expect to earn around $42,000 a year. However, if you are working in schools or in private agencies, this can increase considerably. You can also go on to study a masters in social work to further increase your salary.
There are many different benefits that come from a career in the field of social work, but largely you will get the chance to make a huge difference to people’s lives every single day! It’s hardly surprising that it has one of the highest job satisfaction ratings in the US.