This website may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on a product link in this article
The world of social work offers numerous opportunities for part-time and per diem work. In fact, many organizations and healthcare facilities depend on social workers who can work different shifts to fill part-time slots. Part-time jobs for social workers are in no way less important than full-time roles. Their impact is just as strongly felt.
Perhaps you’re currently a grad student who can only commit to part-time work. Maybe family obligations or personal challenges are limiting the amount of time you can spend on your profession. Or, perhaps you already have a full-time job and are looking for a new challenge or additional opportunities to contribute. No matter the reason you’re looking for part-time jobs in social work, we can tell you what you need to know to find the right situation. In this article, we’ll cover:
Social work is a broad and diverse profession addressing a myriad of societal problems. Its daily tasks are as varied as the populations it serves. There are some commonalities to all social work practice, however. In every practice, social workers help others overcome challenges and problems. Whether they are diagnosing and treating <a href=”” target=”_blank”>mental illness, advocating for vulnerable populations, managing social programs, or drafting public policy, social workers fight for fairness and justice for individuals and communities.
In some ways, social workers are modern-day missionaries (usually, but not always, secular), fighting poverty and devoting themselves to righting societal wrongs. Social workers can be found wherever there is a population in need of support or a societal concern ready for reform.
Social work can encompass everything from administrative tasks to one-on-one counseling. Among the tasks social workers perform each day are:
Social workers are trained to engage diverse and vulnerable populations. Some of these groups need protection; others simply need advocates to champion their needs.
Social workers support the following populations:
There are a couple of significant practical considerations:
- A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in social work
- A license to practice or required social work certification
Credentials vary among careers, states, and territories. Licenses include:
- Certified Social Worker (CSW)
- Clinical Social Work Associate (CSWA)
- Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker (LAPSW)
- Licensed Advanced Social Worker (LASW)
- Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
- Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
- Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP)
- Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Most of these licenses require a Master’s or Doctorate, along with additional coursework or clinical internships. ( )
A survey of 2017 social work graduates by the National Social Work Workforce Study found that social workers with Master’s degrees and Doctorates made substantially more than those with no advanced degree. ( )
- People with MSW degrees made $13,000-plus more than those with only BSW degrees
- MSWs make more in large cities or urban clusters
- People with doctorates earned $20,000 to $25,000 more than people with only MSW degrees
|University and Program Name||Learn More|
Few degrees offer as many employment opportunities and dynamic career paths as social work. There are very few populations or issues that have no need for advocates. Social workers are those advocates.
Some of what social workers can and can’t do is dictated by the degree they earn and their licensure. To qualify for professional social work positions, aspiring social workers have the option of earning a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and/or a Masters of Social Work (MSW). All states license MSW degree holders; this allows them to become licensed clinical social workers (LCSW). A smaller number of states license BSWs.
Many social work employment opportunities require both the MSW and licensure. Social workers who choose to enter fields of practice that do not involve direct service delivery, such as policy writing and research, do not have to be licensed.
According to Payscale, the average salary for a generalized social worker is $45,068. However, specializing in a practice area such as gerontology can boost annual pay by as much as $25,000. According to ZipRecruiter, a geriatric social worker with a master’s in social work can earn an annual salary of $70,464. Hospice social workers with an MSW earn $68,377 per year, according to ZipRecruiter.
A BSW should be sufficient for some part-time positions, although, in the social work world, the MSW always takes precedence. Even when hiring part-time practitioners, some employers require the MSW plus a social work license.
Social work positions that can be performed part-time include:
As are the business and academic worlds, social work is growing more accepting of remote work and online contact. Today there are more remote positions available to social workers than ever before. Depending on the job, these may be part-time positions or flex-time positions that are a fit for your busy life. Some of these jobs may require occasional travel or in-person work. Some examples:
The answer is yes, but it’s not easy. Ask yourself why you want to do this. Is funding your education the goal? Are you eager to get started on your social work career? If you’re simply looking for training, you will get that real-world training in your social work program through the required fieldwork experience.
Part-time social work positions are not hard to find. But qualifying for them and making sure you have the time and focus for part-time social work will be a challenge while you’re in school. Working as a social worker while trying to earn your degree in the field may be tougher than working in a job unrelated to social work, like waitressing. A part-time social work position can be stressful and distract you from your studies.
The best way to approach part-time social work while earning your degree is to work with your school staff to secure a paid fieldwork placement. Accredited social work programs require all students to complete a minimum number of hours in fieldwork. At some schools, students who receive financial aid are placed in a setting where they are paid for their fieldwork. This is a win-win for any student and worth exploring at your desired programs.
Another option is to seek out paid work at your school. In some programs, social work students can do social work research while pursuing their studies. In general, your school staff, instructors, field advisors, and career placement counselors should be mined for any ideas on how to secure a part-time social work job while earning the degree.
Part-time work in social work is a good fit for those whose commitments prevent them from taking on full-time assignments. Social workers with full-time jobs looking to earn a little extra money can benefit from it as well, although they need to take care not to overtax themselves. Social work can be emotionally exhausting work, and social workers need to practice good self-care to ensure they do not burn out and become ineffective.
Part-time and shift/weekend social work is critical to providing adequate staffing for the many social work services that operate 24/7. Examples include hospitals, psychiatric centers, residential facilities, treatment centers, memory care centers, and nursing and senior care communities.
Bottom line: patients and people require round-the-clock care and help. Illness and crisis do not distinguish between Monday 9:00 am and the graveyard shift. The need is out there. If you’ve got the skills and the capacity to take on the work, the opportunities await you.
Questions or feedback? Email email@example.com