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Career Outlook: Online Bachelor of Social Work

The online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) lets you put your passion to work and support people in need. It also gives you the right foundation for graduate and clinical studies.

OLLU's focus on social work across the entire life span will ensure that graduates of the online BSW will be well-prepared to address the needs of all populations in their careers or graduate studies.

You will also be eligible to apply for licensure and full membership in the National Association of Social Workers. Licensure requirements vary by state.

Make a Difference in This Fast-Growing Profession

In addition to being an incredibly rewarding field for those with a passion for social justice, jobs in this field — including social workers and other community and social service specialists — are experiencing an exceptional 16-percent growth rate.1 That's more than twice the rate of all other occupations in the U.S.1

Social workers are needed in the health care arena to work with the aging population and in schools as student enrollment rises.1 Another reason for this growth rate is the need for social service workers who may be bilingual and who understand the unique needs of the Hispanic community, the nation's fastest-growing demographic.

In the online BSW program at OLLU, you'll not only prepare for generalist practice with diverse populations, but you'll also foster cultural competency with an emphasis on serving Hispanic children and families.

This chart provides a complete breakdown of social work job growth estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Social Work Job Growth by Service Area

Projected rates of employment growth, 2016–20261

Job Category

Growth

Social Workers (overall)

16%

Child, Family and School Social Workers

14%

Health Care Social Workers

20%

Mental Health/Substance Abuse Social Workers

19%

Other Social Work Settings

8%

Career Paths

Careers in social work offer some of the most diverse employment opportunities of all professions. Social workers can be found not only in schools, but also in private clinics, hospitals, welfare agencies, mental health facilities, retirement homes and elsewhere.

Professionals whose roles are classified under the umbrella of social work are:

  • Crisis Intervention Specialist
  • Case Manager
  • Community Organizer
  • Victim Service Advocate
  • Life Skills Counselor
  • Policy Analyst
  • Mental Health Assistant
  • Hospital Social Worker
  • School Social Worker

There are hundreds of titles a person employed in the field of social work might adopt. Typically, most social workers find it easier to procure and sustain employment in larger urban areas with higher populations where the need for social workers is greater.

Salary Outlook

The average social worker salary varies depending on the specific industry and the location of the job. In 2019, the median salary for social workers was $50,540, and social workers with a bachelor's degree earned as much as $53,800 per year.2

Professionals with a Master of Social Work are qualified for the highest-paying social work jobs and can anticipate earning on the upper end of the social worker pay scale.

Continue Your Studies

Many BSW graduates advance by obtaining their master's degree for more specialized roles in their respective fields, or to become clinical social workers who are licensed to diagnose and treat disorders. If you choose to pursue a Master of Social Work degree, the Bachelor of Social Work will allow you to apply to OLLU's Advanced Standing program option and complete your master's degree more quickly.

Learn More Today

If you have questions about the online Bachelor of Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University and what it can do for your career, call 855-275-1082 to speak with an admissions advisor, or you can request more information.

Sources:

1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019, April 12). Social Workers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved June 13, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
2Burning Glass Labor Insight™ (2019). Retrieved July 22, 2019.