Skip to content

What Does a School Social Worker Do?

Social work, as a career field, offers possibilities in many industries, one of which is education. School social workers are the unsung heroes of public and private schools; they play a large role in student success, and their various responsibilities directly affect the emotional and physical well-being of children across the US.

Job Duties of a School Social Worker

There are about half a million social workers in the United States, and about 5 percent of them work in schools, according to the National Association of Social Workers. School social workers have one primary goal: to help students do well academically. They partner with teachers, parents and administrators to help identify and tackle issues that can hinder student performance in the classroom. These obstacles may include poverty, substance abuse, learning difficulties, misbehavior, bullying, truancy and teenage pregnancy, among others. Some school social workers serve multiple schools and travel throughout their school district to see all of their students.

Salary Potential With an MSW

Jobs as a school social worker are readily available throughout the United States. You can check with a local school district or parish to see their current openings, or you can browse any online job board such as LinkedIn, Monster or Indeed. NASW also offers a helpful Social Work Career Center.

Earning a master’s in social work may help you command a higher salary than social workers who hold only a bachelor’s degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for all social workers is $45,900. The BLS also reports an average salary of $51,850 for child, family and school social workers in Louisiana. Earning an MSW helps you qualify for these positions and negotiate a higher salary.

Earning Your Master’s in Social Work Online

If you are interested in advanced social work and greater career potential, you can earn a master’s in social work online from LSU in two years by going full time, or finish the course in a year if you already have a bachelor’s degree in social work. The first year of the program, the “foundation year,” includes instruction in social work practice, history, policy, research, diversity, oppression and human behavior. The advanced year of the program includes courses such as advanced direct practice, community and agency contexts for direct practice, advanced social policy and 12 hours of electives.

An online master’s in social work program is completely virtual, which means you can study anytime, anywhere. The knowledge and expertise in online programs comes from experienced faculty with the insights you need for a successful career as a social worker whether in a school or another setting.

Learn more about the LSU online MSW program.


The Social Work Career Center: Jobs

BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Workers Summary

BLS Occupational Employment Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015: 21-1021 Child, Family, and School Social Workers

National Association of Social Workers: School Social Work

National Association of Social Workers: Who Are Social Workers?

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Request More Information!
Request More Information!
*All fields required.

or call 877-670-4521

By submitting this form, I agree, via my digital signature, that Louisiana State University (LSU) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not required to attend LSU.