How to become a social worker

A social worker is an important person in the society. Their work helps individuals and communities find solutions to many of life’s problems. Social work has many different aspects to it, with each aspect requiring special education, experience, and licensing from registered bodies. The following information gives you a brief look at how to pursue this fulfilling profession.

Theresa Beatty

Choose a specialty

Some social workers work with the family unit while others focus on all types of people. Others work with the elderly while others work with children. Social workers have different areas open to their skills, so it helps to know which specialty may be of interest to you. Knowing which area to pursue will also help you choose the right post-secondary education.

Get a degree

For most social work entry-level positions, a degree in social work or a related field is a requirement. The most popular degrees in this field are psychology, social work, education, sociology, and child development. The course work will prepare you intellectually for the work and experiences ahead.


While a degree is important, an internship will provide you the opportunities to be of service to others. Even if the internship is not exactly in line with your interest, any work with the community builds the skills necessary to excel in the field.

Master’s degree

If you want to become a licensed social worker, you need at least a master’s degree. Master’s programs mix coursework with clinical practice. A master’s program will ensure you are adequately prepared for taking on bigger roles and responsibilities.

Theresa Beatty is a family mediator working in LaGrange, Atlanta. She has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work, the education she attained at the start of her career in the late 1970s.