What type of career and salary are available to me with my online Doctor of Social Work degree?

Whether you are interested in earning your PhD or DSW in the field of social work, rest assured, your advanced knowledge on the topic not only will provide you with years of satisfying and rewarding work, but, also a worthwhile living. While you are earning your online Doctor of Social Work degree, you probably have already dipped your toe in the field of helping others through social work. As you progress in your studies, perhaps you are wondering what is next for you.

Through the PhD program in social work, most likely, your goal is to become a teaching professional. As a professor, your salary will vary greatly depending on many factors. The BLS reports a median annual salary of postsecondary teachers as $76,000 in May of 2017, however, the highest paid professors earned upwards of $170,160 per year, depending on education, experience and size of school.

Many who start out in social work transition into research work in hopes of bringing advancement and support to the community who works tirelessly to improve upon mental health issues and social policies. In this position, you may be tasked with assessing current policies, meeting with media and government officials, writing grants and analyzing census data. The average pay for a researcher in social work can vary greatly from between $45,000 to $65,000 or more per year, depending on your experience.

With a DSW degree, you can certainly improve upon your career opportunities, however, the average salary for a social work is $47,980 annually. Of course, as with most jobs, your salary will also vary greatly depending on your educational degree, experience, certifications and licensing, as well as, in what capacity you are serving. Social workers with at least 30 years of experience can expect to earn upwards of $60,000 or more. With your online Doctor of Social Work degree, you may want to consider an administration or management position that will typically pay $78,000 or more per year.

A social worker’s responsibilities vary. For example, some do not work in a clinical setting and some do. The main goal for both categories is to help people in their everyday lives; a fulfillment for the client as well as the social worker. Between 2016 and 2026, the BLS states that overall employment for the field of social work is expected to grow by 16 percent due to the increased demand for healthcare and social services.

Social work positions can be found in hospitals, through government human service agencies, schools and child welfare offices, as well as, mental health clinics and private practices. Without a doubt, you can expect to work evenings, weekends and holidays; whenever the need arises.

There are certainly many specializations that you can choose from when working in the social work field, and with an online Doctor of Social Worker degree, it will allow you to get that promotion you would like in an administrative capacity. Concentrations you may want to consider are child welfare, gerontology, mental health, hospice care, direct services for homeless families or youth and shelters for abused women. You may also choose to work in the school setting, with substance abusers or with veterans and military personnel. Many choose to work with adolescents dealing with bullying and sexuality concerns, as well as, others living with disabilities.

Corporations often hire social workers to oversee employee assistance programs and, if you are interested in the legal system, justice and corrections departments use social workers to evaluate offenders, in addition to, aid with victims. Natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes often necessitate the expertise of social workers.

Be the one to change policies to make a real difference in the world! With your doctorate degree, you will have the skills needed to change many lives. If you are interested in this field, please see our list of the Best Online Schools for Doctor of Social Work degree programs.

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