If looking to get an education in social work, it can be a bit confusing as to what kind of work you will get upon graduation. There is a growing need for social workers in every area from fertility to care for seniors. However, there are many ways to become a social worker that break with the traditionally thought of careers such as social services or case manager.
To help illustrate this, we have gathered 22 unique and exciting careers in social work. Whether looking to build happy families or lend a hand to our armed services, there is something for everyone.
Entry Level Unique and Exciting Entry Careers in Social Work
- Social Work Writer
What better feather in your cap than to have a few articles published on the topic? The folks at The New Social Worker are always looking for relevant articles to publish. Stop here to find out how to do so, as well as who to submit to.
- Research Assistant
As with all areas of work, research is constantly being conducted in social work. And just about all of them need research assistants with an education in social work. This particular job was for a PhD candidate in social work who also has transcribing talents.
- Group Home Worker
This is a job where up and coming social workers help those in a group home, such as for homeless teens and battered women. They help teach life skills and make the transition from the home back into the real world. Working as a liaison, with clients, and with other social workers is key.
- Work Abroad
No matter what your area of expertise, there is a work abroad option for you. This company offers students, recent grads, and adults the opportunity to explore the world through unique, hands-on volunteer cultural immersion projects. Use the search engine to find a job, or scroll down for more.
- Social Work Abroad
If you need more social work careers than the above gave, click here. The folks at Go Abroad list just the opportunities for social services and social work here. You can also search for other work abroad jobs while there.
- CIEE Intern
CIEE is designated by the U.S. Department of State as a sponsor of many internship programs. Check out the site to find and apply for internships all across the U.S. International applicants are welcome.
- Social Work Intern
If still a student or just need some experience, social work is one of the many areas that is hiring interns. This site even lists the top ten internships on the homepage, so you can see who is applying for what. You can even do a search in your area or just for social work jobs.
Whether looking for entry level social work locally or abroad, this site has options for you. Searches include summer internships, paid options, and even entry level jobs. They also have a Twitter feed and blog with more.
More Advanced Unique and Exciting Careers in Social Work
- Psychiatric Technician
You don’t need to be a licensed psychiatrist to take on this job. They help care for physically or mentally ill individuals confined to hospitals or mental health settings. Although they are required to have training, it can be an excellent stepping stone to a career in social work.
This job isn’t just for law enforcement and criminal justice types. Social work often involves those coming out of prison. The Federal Bureau of Prisons hires thousands of people in jobs such as chaplain, education, psychology, and more.
- Adoption Social Worker
Play an integral part in placing children with families in this social work career. Home studies are an important part to the process and those conducting them are required to have a master’s in social work. They also finalize placements, deal with parent’s rights, and provide counseling.
- Substance Abuse
Want to help people get control over substance abuse? Then this could be the social work career for you. In this short article for College Board, they discuss the career further.
- Veterans Social Work
Work with America’s fighting men and women in this job. There are loads of areas to choose from including homeless care, psychosocial rehabilitation, and women’s health. The VA has more on how to apply, as well as the many benefits.
- Child Social Worker
Because many children cannot speak for themselves, social workers can often be assigned to speak for them. They are often assigned to supervise them in foster homes or under government supervision and even speak for them at trial. This article from Social Work Job Bank has more.
- Volunteer Management
Because someone has to organize all those volunteers, there is this job. Recruiting plans, volunteer optimization, and working as a team are all part of the job. Energize has more on this and related jobs.
- Social Work Lawyer
There are lawyers for just about every profession, including social work. This program at the University of Pittsburgh offers students the chance to graduate with an MSW and a JD degree, giving them an education in both social work and law. It also qualifies students to take the exams and get the license needed to practice law.
- Director of White House Domestic Policy Council’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
This job may be a mouthful, but it is just about as high as you can go on the social work ladder. This office is part of President Obama’s national social service initiative. You can read more about the current director here.
Weird Unique and Exciting Careers in Social Work
- Forensic Social Work
Not just the stuff of television, forensics is also used in social work. More specifically, forensic social work is the application of social work to questions and issues relating to law and legal systems. These workers provide consultation to criminal justice, law makers, legal professionals, and more.
- Fertility Counselor
You don’t need a PhD in the birds and bees to take on this career. Helping the struggling couple who is trying to have a child is the focus of this social work job. Connie Shapiro of Psychology Today has more on what to expect from one.
- Recreational Therapy
If you have a love of art, music, or dance and social work, this may be the career for you. It involves using the above to help the mentally combat their issues. They can work with all sorts of patients from children to the elderly.
- Director of First Impressions
If you have an outgoing personality, excellent communications skills, and are a team player, this might be the job for you. It is actually the fancy way to say “receptionist” but is worth mentioning for its moxie alone. The blogger also lists other funny and unique jobs.
- Horror Transcriptionist
Staci Wilson wrote an article for AOL on the weird ways one finds a job. About halfway through, she tells the story of a social worker who found a second job typing up dialogue for horror movies. See how and the other weird ways people snagged a job with a read.