How to Become a Social Worker

by Shenron on September 18, 2009

For those who love to help others solve problems, then a career in social work is the best option. Social work involves using the theory learnt in school and applying it in practical ways that can help improve peoples lives especially the marginalized and those in need. The process for becoming a social worker is long and requires hard work, commitment and zeal. For an individual to be a social worker, they must have passion, compassion and willingness to assist those facing challenges.

Social Worker How to Become a Social Worker

Begin Early

• The best way for one to cultivate that zeal for serving others is by volunteering early on while in school, especially in high school.

• This will provide an insight on what it takes to be a social worker.

Good Grades

• For one to be a professional social worker, they will need to study for a bachelor’s degree. This will only be possible if the person had scored high grades while in high school.

• While in high school, knowledge of a second language can be beneficial for those hoping for a social work career in foreign countries.

Application for College

• Make sure to ask for guidance from the high school’s career counselor concerning colleges offering courses in social work.

• Ensure that the college applications forms are submitted way in advance to the preferred college.

• When selecting the college to attend, ensure that their social work programs are accredited with the CSWE (Council on Social Work Education).

Bachelor’s degree

• Once the application has been accepted, proceed to obtain B.S.W (Bachelor’s degree in Social Work). This degree forms the basis for entry to the field of social work.

• While studying for the undergraduate’s degree, look out for opportunities to practice the theory learnt in class. This could be in the form of seeking opportunities to volunteer or even seeking for paid internships.

• The internships increases networking contacts and will be helpful later on when looking for work.

Course Requirements

• For one to successfully complete the undergraduate’s social work degree, a minimum of 400 hours of field experience is required. However, the field experience must be supervised.

Social Worker 5 How to Become a Social Worker

Further Studies

• To specialize in different fields of social work, one needs not only a bachelor’s degree, but also a master’s degree in social work.

• Those with Masters Degree are able to work as clinical social workers.

• In the case of the social work Master’s degree, one needs to have attained a minimum of 900 hours of supervised fieldwork.

Upon receipt of the Master’s degree, it is mandatory for the person to work for a period of two years under supervision before sitting for the licensing exam.

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