Social Work

Social work is a versatile degree with a strong outlook for employment opportunities, job growth, career satisfaction, and earnings.

Social workers can choose among a variety of specializations, such as child and family, schools, health care, policy, community organizing, mental health and addictions. They select among diverse employers, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, the military, mental health clinics and addictions counseling. Many find work in government or in elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Social workers can also choose the type of work they prefer. They can work domestically or internationally.  There are so many possibilities— and that’s what makes it amazing!

Employment Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, and will vary by specialization (2019).

Job Satisfaction

The high job satisfaction of social workers helped the profession attain No. 7 on the “U.S. News Money” list of best social service jobs for 2017.  Social workers can have a significant impact on people’s lives in different but meaningful ways.  Social workers have the honor of being with people through some very emotional situations and the impact you have on each person’s life will affect you, too.  The sense that you are making a real difference is one of the reasons why social workers enjoy their profession. 


As of May 2020, social workers averaged full-time wages of $65,310 per year, according to Career Explorer. Child, family protection workers averaged $47,211 annually and school social workers averaged $50,758 annually.  Meanwhile, licensed addictions counselors averaged $52,821 in MN.

Accelerated Master’s Degree

As a graduate of BSU’s Social Work Program, students may qualify for advanced standing in an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) program.  Advanced standing is a graduate program designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from a university with a CSWE (Council of Social Work Education) accredited program, such as Bemidji State University. Advanced standing MSW programs typically take just one year to complete instead of two for students without a social work undergraduate degree!

Licensed Profession

Finally, social work is a licensed profession.  Students graduating with a  bachelor’s degree in social work will apply for Licensed Social Worker (LSW) credentials through their state’s board of social work upon graduation.  This means that the profession is protected by the highest standards of professionalism, values, and ethics.  Because of this, social work has earned its place as one of the most important licensed health care professions.  Through licensure, employers can count on social workers to bring integrity, understanding of the dignity and worth of the person and the importance of human relationships, a value of service, and a heart for social justice to their work.

Career-enhancing Opportunities

The BSW is not our only program offering either, as we have a minor in Addictions, certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and School Social Work Preparation & Licensure and a handful of graduate courses for those looking to round out their studies.

So come join us! Find out how to apply or come talk to us and see if Social Work is the program for you!

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