Guide to social work careers and licensure

July 16, 2021 | Carver Stephen | Online Courses

Guide to social work careers and licensure

Social workers are the healers for troubled souls. They hope to bring a change by helping out people. They are care providers to their clients which can be children suffering from Down syndrome, cancer patients, or refugees. 

Social workers recognize a problem on a large scale. Let’s see, bullying is a common practice in many schools. It can directly impact a child’s confidence and self-esteem. As a social worker, you will acknowledge this issue and work against it. You will lead campaigns, help the bullied children and raise awareness. You can do all these on the state level or national level. 

Guide to Social Work Careers and Licensure
Guide to Social Work Careers and Licensure

This is just an example. There is plenty of work these people do and it is not limited to children. They help the elderly in nursing homes. They helped the black people during Black Lives Matter. Similarly, there are many branches to social work depending on the type of people you want to help.

Careers in social work

Let’s take a look at these social work careers you can choose,

Forensics Social Workers – Criminal Justice

These social workers have an active role related to law and legislature. They help people facing injustice and inequity. They are frequently involved in cases of custody, child abuse, and juvenile services. They work under the criminal justice system and are usually involved in helping out victims.

Child welfare social workers

This is the most common among the social work career paths. These types of social workers work closely with the disturbed families. They ensure a loving atmosphere for a child. Their job is to look after the children. They also save them from negligent or abusive parents.

Military Social Workers

These social workers help the people in the armed forces. Military personnel often come across traumatizing situations. Many of them suffer from PTSD. These social workers participate in active listening and helping such people. 

Substance Abuse Social Workers

Substance abuse is a serious issue. Many people fall victim to alcohol, marijuana, and opium. It often includes children who think this is cool and get addicted. The social workers directly monitor their clients and help them during the withdrawal phase. 

Psychiatric or Mental Health Social Workers

These social workers look after the patients suffering from mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and BPD. These are prevalent in the new generation. These social workers spread awareness of these issues. They also help people and try to eliminate the triggers.

 Psychiatric or Mental Health Social Workers
 Psychiatric or Mental Health Social Workers

Gerontological Social Workers

These social workers help older people. They are involved in finding them a nursing home, daily meal delivery, and care.

These are just a few career options you can choose from. Other social work career opportunities include school social workers, clinical social workers, etc. 

How to become a social worker?

The second part of this blog will cover how you can earn a social work license? There are certain requirements before you apply for your license. 

How to Become a Social Worker
How to Become a Social Worker

Complete your Bachelors

Get yourself enrolled in bachelors. While studying for a bachelor’s, you must actively participate in internships, case management, and social work practice.

Get your Master’s degree

The next step is Master. You must enroll in an MSW program. You can also do it through online social work courses or directly from a university.

Do your internship

An aspiring social worker should always participate in the fieldwork. It increases your confidence. Moreover, the field requires excellent communication skills. Therefore, your experience and client interaction matter.

 Do Your Internship
 Do Your Internship

Apply for State Social Work Licensure

You cannot start your professional career unless you earn your license. Different states have different procedures for licensure. Some states conduct a licensure exam, some give out licensure based on your credit hours and others will give out a license based on bachelors. You need to research carefully about your state.

Select your specialty

Now, you can select and practice your specialty. You can choose from the ones I mentioned above. Again, your career will flourish once you learn to connect with people.


I hope this guide helped you with your queries. Social work career goal should be to help humankind. It takes a lot to put others before yourself. You might not change the world instantly but you are surely doing your part.