Jobs for BSWs


What Jobs Can You Get with Your BSW?

A lot of times, when "Social Worker" is in a job title, the employer is looking for someone with an MSW. So where can people with their BSW look to find a job that pays well and uses their social work skills? 

Here are some tips from a recent discussion online.

For jobs specific to BSW degrees
  • Social Security Administration
    • The Social Security Administration is one of the largest employers of BSWs in the U.S.
  • Search USAJOBS for Federal employment
  • Counties often hire BSWs
    • Look for: "Family Reunification Liaison" "Mental Health Assistant" "Mental Health Technician" "Counselor"
    • Often "Social Work" will not be in the title
    • Note that county jobs can take a very long time (up to a year) to respond
  • Search by state - Some states have greater need/pay more than others
    • For instance, Washington State has a huge need for social workers, as of June 15, 2022. The state pays $25-$35/hour for people with BSWs serving in "social work-adjacent" jobs. 
    • While some areas of Washington are expensive, such as around Seattle/the Puget Sound, there are many far more affordable areas in the state.
  • Check out your state's DCF. 
    • As an example, New Jersey's Department of Children & Families CP&P Team hires Family Service Specialist Trainees, BSW allowed, for slightly more than $54,000/year.
  • Public welfare programs
    • Eligibility Caseworkers for public welfare programs are often BSWs
  • Agencies with residential facilities can be good options for BSWs. 
    • These can be recreation-based, life skills, group support, and education-based roles. 
    • They can be with people with developmental disabilities, dementia, the elderly, and children, among others.
    • Skilled nursing facilities often hire BSWs.
  • Care Manager for an MCO (Managed Care Organization)
  • School social work
    • Some schools/school districts will hire BSWs as school social workers, especially given the current difficulty hiring in education.

Some Pieces of General Advice
  • Cast a wider net - Use an employment search engine, like Indeed
    • Look for jobs seeking someone with "a degree in social work, sociology, psychology, or something related" 
    • Case management titles: "Support Coordinator" "Case Manager" "Client Manager" "Intake Coordinator" "Discharge Coordinator" "Discharge Planner" "Psychiatric Technician" "Case Aid" "Program Specialist"
    • Think of alternate roles where social work skills would be useful, such as human resources, insurance, and personnel management
    • Find the organizations where you'd like to work and read through their available job openings that require a Bachelor's degree. Apply to those that are related to your social work training. 
  • Pursue a CAS (Certified Addiction Specialist) designation. 
    • Often those with BSWs and their CAS are eligible for positions in addiction treatment centers. 
    • The CAS costs several thousand and a few months of weekend classes, but is not as expensive or time-consuming as earning an MSW.
  • Join a local social work Facebook group, as they often have many position listings for BSWs and MSWs.
  • Take advantage of tuition benefits
    • Get a job at a university with an MSW program, and use the tuition benefit to earn your MSW part-time. 
    • Alternatively, work for any organization with a tuition benefit and do the same.