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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Social Work Careers

Social work is one of the most versatile, recession-proof graduate degrees you can earn, opening the door to a virtually endless variety of careers—from guidance counselor to policy analyst, agency director to adoption specialist, immigration reform advocate to family therapist—and pretty much everything in between.

To assist you in your job-search and career planning, GSSW offers Career Development services tailored to your specific needs. Learn more . . .

Excellent job prospects

The number of jobs in social work, for today's MSW graduates, is high and continues to grow. According to the 2015-2016 Occupational Outlook Handbook , published by the U. S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Employment of social workers is expected to increase by 12 percent during the coming decade.
  • Social work employment in all areas is "projected to grow much faster than average" through 2024.
  • "Overall, job prospects should be good, particularly so for candidates with a master's degree and licensure."

This confirms what we often hear from our graduates: The flexibility of an MSW degree, adaptable to so many fields of practice, is not only personally rewarding, but also an ideal hedge against tough economic times.

Job growth is projected to be particularly strong for social workers in:

  • mental health and substance abuse (19 percent increase)
  • medical and public health (19 percent increase)
  • child, family and school social work (6 percent increase)

Social work with aging populations (gerontology) and rural social work also will experience significant growth.


Social work salaries vary by specialty and practice setting. For example, the median annual wages of social workers in May 2012 were as follows:

  • $52,380 for healthcare social workers
  • $42,350 for child, family, and schools social workers
  • $42,170 for mental health and substance abuse social workers
  • $58,560 for all other social workers