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Social Work Careers

photo of a social worker at work

The field of social work is so diverse that there are virtually endless combinations of degrees and licensed credentials that can provide you with a marketable set of skills in a job market where demand often outstrips the supply of qualified workers.

Your career opportunities will vary widely depending on your level of education, experience and place of employment.

There are three main types of social work:

  • Child, family and school social workers
  • Medical and public health social workers
  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers

Possible positions include:

  • Child, family and school social worker
  • Clergy
  • Correctional officer
  • Counselor
  • Gerontologist (specialist in working with older adults)
  • Juvenile services social worker
  • Medical and public health social worker
  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
  • Social and human services assistant
  • Substance abuse counselor

General skills that make social workers and counselors more effective in their jobs include:

  • Active listening skills
  • Effective verbal communication with a variety of people
  • A genuine desire to help other people, especially in a crisis situation
  • Inductive reasoning and the ability to combine pieces of information into related conclusions
  • Sensitivity to recognizing problems or situations when something is likely to go wrong
  • Social perceptiveness
  • Time management

America’s Career Infonet gives detailed information about the skills, abilities, work activities and recommended education for related jobs in Texas.  

Job Hourly Rate Annual Salary Projected Growth Through 2020

Child, family and school social workers

$17.32 $36,000 +18%

Counselors (other than behavioral disorder and substance abuse)

$27.02 $56,200 +28%

Recreational therapists

$20.68 $43,000 +22%

Social and human services assistants

$14.95 $31,100 +19%
Social workers $27.60 $57,400 +21%

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

$16.83 $35,000 +21%