Entry-Level Social Work Careers

While entry-level social work careers won’t be at the top of the pay scale, there are plenty to choose from, and they will get your foot in the door. These careers are found in nearly every community, whether big or small, don’t require licensing, and provide an excellent opportunity for hands-on experience in the social work field. Remember that you’ll need an advanced degree for high-level, licensed social worker roles. Whether you want to get a headstart on your career before applying to social work degree programs, or you want to get a feel for social work before fully committing, you can find entry-level social work careers in:

  • Direct Support
  • Case Management
  • Foster Care
  • Patient Navigator
  • Care Coordinator

These roles serve in various settings, such as hospitals, shelters, and mental health facilities. Before you get started, check out the entry-level social work requirements below.

Entry-Level Social Work Requirements

While many entry-level social work positions prefer a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (BSW) or higher, you will likely find that some roles don’t require a degree. You will find, however, that if you don’t have a social work degree, you should have at least some volunteer work under your belt before applying to many entry-level social work jobs. This is especially true if you’re applying to the same type of work that you’ve volunteered for. For example, if you’re applying to do case management at a domestic shelter, you may want to have a few months of weekly shelter work volunteer hours. This will give you an edge in the application process and help prepare you for the tasks you’ll receive in your new role.

In some cases, those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree unrelated to social work may enter the field by pursuing a graduate certificate in social work.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that you have a flexible schedule regarding your personal life. Entry-level social work jobs are often highly demanding, and if issues arise at work, your employer may call you on a moment’s notice to clock in. To manage a healthy work-life balance, setting boundaries during the interview can be helpful. Be clear about what hours and days you absolutely cannot work, and make sure that you commit to days where you can work if needed.

Learn More About How to Become a Social Worker

Considering entering the rewarding world of social work? Your journey starts with the right education.

See All Social Work Degrees

Advanced Social Work Careers

Advanced social work positions typically involve more professional settings ranging from education to policy. Social workers who have achieved licensure will have opportunities to work in a clinical setting in mental health, substance abuse treatment, or healthcare. Overall, a higher-level degree, a few years of on-the-job experience, and licensure will allow you to apply for jobs such as:

Advanced Social Work Career Requirements

Advanced social work careers are typically reserved for those with graduate degrees in the field. Common requirements include:

It’s also important to ensure that your credentials match the position you’re applying for. For example, it doesn’t make much sense for a social worker specializing in administrative social work to apply for a clinical mental health social work position without undergoing additional training or obtaining relevant certification.

List of Social Work Careers & Specialties

Share This: