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Career Outlook for Anyone Earning a Bachelor of Social Work

Bachelor of Social Work programs lead to fulfilling career paths.

If you have a passion for helping others, empathy, and a servant’s heart, you may consider a career in social work. While there are several types of social workers, they all do essentially the same important work: connect struggling people to the resources they need to thrive.

In almost all cases, candidates need social work degrees to fill these roles. If you do not yet have an undergraduate degree and you believe social work may be right for you, consider an accredited, online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree program. These programs prepare you for licensure, which allows you to work in certain social work jobs. Learn which positions you can fill with a Bachelor of Social Work, how much you might make, and which positions require a master’s.

Bachelor of Social Work Jobs

Although many social work positions require candidates to earn graduate social work degrees and obtain licensure, some entry-level positions are open to applicants with bachelor’s degrees in social work. Whether you need a license to practice in these positions depends on your state. While some states require only graduate-level social workers to earn licenses, others offer a Licensed Bachelor of Social Work (LBSW) credential for qualified candidates.


Bachelor of Social Work jobs include:

  • Case management assistant
  • Probation officer
  • Human services specialist
  • Behavioral management aide
  • Health educator
  • Child life specialist

You can also fill several other positions within social work organizations, as long as the positions do not require the direct care of clients. For example, you can start your social work career as an administrative assistant, an eligibility coordinator, or a human services assistant.

Bachelor of Social Work Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that social workers earn a median annual wage of $49,470.1 However, this figure can vary widely between positions. For example, case management assistants earn $37,813 per year on average,2 while health educators earn about $44,572 annually.3

Salaries also vary depending on where you live. For example, child, family, and school social workers earn about $65,000 on average in Washington, D.C., which is higher than the national average.4

Earning Higher Education

Although an online Bachelor of Social Work degree can open the doors to social work, a graduate degree is necessary to move up in the field. You can work Bachelor of Social Work-level jobs while you earn your master’s degree online. This strategy builds your résumé and professional network, so you’re ready when you graduate.

With a master’s degree in social work and state licensure, you can earn an average of $52,000 per year.5 With these credentials, you can work in positions like:

  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Mental health therapist
  • School social worker
  • Family social worker
  • Medical social worker

Some MSW programs require learners to hold BSWs, but others do not.

The Importance of BSW Degree Program Accreditation

Whether you want to enter the workforce directly after your BSW degree program or continue to an MSW program, be sure that your bachelor’s degree comes from an accredited university. Program accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is important as well, as it ensures that the curriculum competently prepares you to meet professional standards.

Walden University offers a CSWE-accredited Bachelor of Social Work program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
2Source: www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Case_Management_Assistant/Hourly_Rate
3Source: www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Health_Educator/Salary
4Source: www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211021.htm#st
5Source: www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Social_Work_(MSW)/Salary

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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