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.
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