Social Worker Job Description

A social worker is a professional who improves the quality of life and well being of individuals, groups and communities. The social workers work with all types of people including children, people with addictions, people with serious mental or physical illness, or any disability, as well as with violations of human rights or social injustices. Their research is focused on social policy, human development, counseling, social program evaluation, and the community development. In the past, as a field of interest, social work was mainly linked with charity work. However, in broader terms today with the industrial revolution, these workers are giving their services to the people in the society that struggle with poverty, or to the people that have problems or injustices that are arising within the modern society such as racism, homophobia, sexism, or any other type of discrimination. That means social work is mainly linked with the margins of society, and those groups that are marginalized can get their services and help to improve their situation and well being. A social worker job description is detailed further below;

The skills and qualities like ability to relate with different types of people, great communication skills, patience and flexible approach with good understanding of the different groups of people, non-judgmental attitude and good time management, and organization skills are highly recommended for every social worker.

Core functions to promote a collaborative relationship with the clients include: monitoring, evaluation, planning and good counseling.

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Education and training

To become a social worker after finishing the undergraduate degree, they have to take a postgraduate degree in social sciences. Besides the bachelor’s diploma in social work, there is a master’s degree and doctoral studies in the field. Many countries require a license or accredited certificate, or registration to qualify for the position as a social worker. Clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and post master experience obtained in a clinical setting. The master’s degree takes additional two years to complete. Social workers have many professional associations, and support for their members.

The types of social workers are:

  • Child and family  social worker
  • Clinical social worker
  • School social worker
  • Health care social worker
  • Mental health social worker

Working and development

Their work is mainly in the office in different settings such as schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, military bases, welfare agencies, different facilities and clinics etc. Also their work can be outside the office spending hours by visiting the clients and can be filled with travelling. Their working schedule is filled; they work full time, and sometimes during weekends or holidays they have to attend meetings, or client visits. The social worker development is continued with support from the employer. Sometimes their work can be stressful and can get them in difficult situations, but still they have to develop empathy and compassion for the clients so they can help them better.


The median annual salary for social workers in 2012 was $44,200 or $21.25 per hour. The employment of this occupation is projected to grow 19% in the next 10 years, faster than the average for all occupations.




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