Posted in Career Insights
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Social Worker Career?

Much like any other job, social work has its ups and downs.

That being said, a lot of the people who follow this career path have a passion for making positive changes in the world despite the difficulties they may face.

In essence, the pros and cons of being a social worker come down to what you’re looking for in a job and what you are capable of dealing with on a daily basis.

Here are some examples of the pros and cons of social work you might expect.


While social work is difficult, there are several reasons why it is a good choice for those with a great deal of empathy.

In fact, it can be incredibly rewarding if you have the right mindset. So, is social work a good career for you? Here are some pros to consider as you make your decision.

1. Social Work Is in Demand

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings for social workers is set to grow by 9% between 2021 and 2031, which is faster than average.

With more than 700,000 social worker positions nationwide, that means there will be 63,000 new openings within the next decade.

2. You Can Specialize in Working with Certain Populations

When most people think of social work, they might think of those who work primarily with children. However, that isn’t the only area where social workers are needed.

In fact, they work in all kinds of settings including schools, hospitals, prisons, rehab programs and more.

3. There Are Social Worker Opportunities All over the Country

Every state has an office dedicated to social services. No matter where you are located, there is likely an opportunity to work, whether that’s for a government organization, health care provider, educational institution, or non-profit.

4. You Can Make a Decent Living from Social Work

Believe it or not, social workers make more than the national average. In fact, the BLS states that the median salary for social workers nationwide is $50,390, with the top 10% earning more than $80,000. 

5. Your Work Makes a Positive Difference in the Lives of Those Less Fortunate

If you’re looking to make a difference, social work can be considered among some of the most rewarding careers.

Whether you’re helping children transition out of an abusive household or assisting someone struggling with addiction, you have the chance to do some real good as a social worker.

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The cons of social work career mostly come down to the type of work that social workers do. Since they work with at-risk individuals, the stakes are higher than with other career options.

These are some cons to keep in mind when considering social work as a career.

1. Usually Requires a Formal Education or Licensure

Due to the sensitive nature of their work, social workers are usually required to have a Bachelors or Masters degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

While this isn’t required for all positions, it is certainly expected by most employers if you end up managing cases. In addition, all states require an additional license to perform clinical social work.

2. Heavy Workloads and Long Hours Are the Norm

Social work is a tough profession that requires managing multiple cases with few breaks in between.

Some social workers are even on call for certain situations and work extended hours attending client meetings, doing research, or even testifying in court.

3. Emotional Fatigue

When working with vulnerable members of society—such as children, the elderly, or the disabled—you may be exposed to people with little to no regard for their wellbeing.

From these situations, it’s easy for social workers to develop emotional fatigue. 

Want to Learn More About the Pros and Cons of Social Work? Enroll in Stratford’s Course Today!

So, is being a social worker worth it? As you can see, there are many factors at play when deciding on a career path.

If you’re still wondering whether it’s for you, consider enrolling in Stratford Career Institute’s social work course.

Our comprehensive beginner’s course covers all of the basics, including social psychology, ethics, and practices. To learn more, enroll today or contact us for more information.


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Become a Social Worker!

Become a Social Worker!

Stratford Career Institute offers an affordable online course that introduces students to the field of social work.