A clinical social worker diagnoses and treats a patient who has a mental, emotional, or behavioral illness. He or she works with clients and possibly other healthcare professionals to develop a treatment plan that helps patients cope with their diagnosis. They may have therapy sessions for individuals, families, groups or couples.
A clinical social worker can diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. He or she may also conduct therapy for couples, individuals, families and groups. The clinical social worker creates treatment plans for a patient while working with other healthcare professionals and determines methods to help the patient cope. This may involve referring patients to other services, such as support groups or other mental health professionals. A clinical social worker who does not yet have two years of supervised work in their resume is referred to as a master’s social worker.
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Typically, a clinical social worker works in an office setting, but he or she may also spend time traveling to visit clients. Sometimes, social workers work remotely through videoconferencing. They commonly work full time; however, work during evenings, weekends and while on-call may be necessary. The job can be stressful due to large caseloads and understaffing.
Clinical Social Worker Salary
For social workers, the median annual income as of 2016 was $46,890, as stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Of course, salaries will rely on a social worker’s industry and his or her location. The largest industry for social workers in 2016 was hospitals, and the median salary for hospital social workers was $57,650. Those in individual and family services, however, earned a median wage of $39,260 per year.
Thanks to the continued increase in healthcare spending and treatment, employment for clinical social workers is expanding. The BLS projects that employment will grow 16 percent through 2026.
A master’s in social work is required for becoming a clinical social worker. Typically, the master’s degree takes two years to finish and involves students completing an internship or supervised practicum. Clinical social workers must also be licensed, no matter what state they are in. Licensure requires a master’s in social work, a minimum of two years of post-graduation supervised clinical experience and passing a clinical exam.
Campbellsville University’s online bachelor’s in social work (BSW) and online master’s in social work (MSW) allow students to advance their careers. Students will further their social work knowledge, and graduates will be able to move into leadership roles with a curriculum supported by Christian and ethical beliefs. The fully online program allows students to complete a degree while keeping their busy schedules.