Boston University School of Social Work

Careers in Social Work

MSW Jobs Outlook

Social Work is a career path like no other. Career prospects for social workers are strong. In a volatile and constantly evolving economy, social work is also a profession built for flexibility. As the needs of populations change, the most successful social workers are those with a broad foundation of knowledge and skills that can be quickly applied to the need at hand.

Adaptability also means being adept at communicating with and meeting the needs of an ever-increasingly diverse population. The ability to apply the principles of ethics, clinical mental health, social welfare, and economic justice to a range of at-risk populations is what sets Boston University’s MSW graduates apart.

The online Master of Social Work degree program at Boston University features a dynamic, multi-disciplinary curriculum delivered by expert faculty at an internationally recognized, research-driven institution. Graduates will be poised to pursue high-level opportunities in a wide variety of clinical and macro social work disciplines, easily adapting their practice to pressing needs in communities and larger systems.

Accelerated Job Growth in Social Work

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects overall employment of social workers to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services.* Job growth in certain areas of social work practice is expected to be faster still, with some disciplines anticipating a 19% increase in available jobs:

Social Worker Job Growth by Discipline
Anticipated % change in employment, 2014-2024

Social Work Discipline
Child, family and school12
Medical and public health22
Mental health and substance abuse20
All other13
Overall social work16

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Social Worker Salaries

The latest report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median annual salary for social workers at $45,900. Obtaining an MSW qualifies graduates for many other positions in related industries, whose median annual salaries are as follows:

Social Work Median Annual Salary
Marriage and Family Therapists$41,500
Correctional Treatment Specialists$48,190
School and Career Counselors$53,610
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private $56,650
State and Local Government (excluding education and hospitals)$46,940
Ambulatory Healthcare Services$46,050
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities$40,440
Individual and Family Services$38,760

What Can an MSW Do For Your Career?

A Master of Social Work degree prepares you for advanced practice roles and leadership positions, as well as the opportunity to earn a higher salary and become eligible for professional licensure in most states. In addition, an advanced social work degree is often required to receive reimbursement for Clinical Social Work Practice from third parties, such as insurance companies and local/state governments.

BU School of Social Work graduates are leaders in the field and possess the knowledge, skills and professional commitment to create positive change for individuals, families, communities, organizations, and larger systems.

As a Boston University alum, you will have access to a robust, active professional network of over 300,000 BU alumni around the globe.

The online program is available for individuals living in the USA except those in US territories. At this time the Online MSW Program is not open to international applicants.

To learn more about the Master of Social Work from Boston University and what it can do for your career, call 877-308-9945 to speak with an admissions representative, or Request More Information.


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Social Workers, (visited May 02, 2016).

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