There are many ways to answer the question: “what is a social worker?” One method is to understand what a social worker does for a living.
Another way to answer the question is to recognize the different places where the social worker can carry out his or her duties.
Understanding the Job:
Basically, a social worker can be described as a professional whose job is to provide social service in a variety of different ways.
This definition may not be very specific but this reflects the fact the job description of the social worker covers a lot of ground.
Social workers can serve as corrections officers and work with law enforcement agencies. Other places associated with these vital professionals include schools, the health care industry and the judiciary.
In most cases, the minimum qualification for a career in social work is a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s in social work makes for great career prospects in this field but this is not the only requirement. People who study sociology, psychology and community health can also serve as well.
Apart from these basic qualifications, professionals can also get further training and get licensed. Those who make this move command higher salaries and can be considered specialists in their field.
Personal Qualities for Success:
It has to be pointed that social work is not the right career for people whose only motivation is money. Social workers may earn a decent living at certain levels of their careers but it is not a career for aspiring millionaires. More to the point, some important personal qualities are required as well.
These include a caring nature, a genuine interest in improving the lives of others and the bravery to face difficult situations. In addition to these qualities, people who are keen on a career in social service need to be very stable people. They also need to have some maturity and a calm disposition.
Social Worker Employment Prospects:
According to www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm, there are great employment prospects for experts in social work because it is expected to grow above average figures in the years to come. Those who are most likely to get jobs are those who can work with the aging population.
People who can work in rural areas will also have plenty of job offers. The website above also makes it clear that about 54 percent of social workers work in the health care and social assistance industries while about 31 percent are employed by the government.
As stated already, people who choose a career in social service may not become millionaires but they will not starve either. On the average, these workers earn between $30,000 and $48,000. Those in the top ten percent earn above $74,000 while those in the lowest ten percent earned around $27,000. From the figures above, it is clear that the salaries may vary depending on where the professional is working.
Social Work as a Vital Profession:
One thing that nobody can take away from the social worker is that this professional is involved in work that is truly worthwhile. The ones in the health care industry take care of old people in homes for aged people.
They also care for people living with AIDS and help children who have been orphaned due to one misfortune or the other. In developing countries, these workers work for NGOs and carry out a number of important and beneficial functions.
The perfect answer to the question: “what is a social worker?” is that this person is the ultimate professional. It is true that the inconvenience may outweigh the salary. It is also true that this professional is rewarded by the fact he or she is doing a worthwhile job.