"For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work, which offers the broadest range of opportunities and settings. Social workers are found in public agencies, private businesses, hospitals, clinics, schools, nursing homes, private practices, police departments, courts, and countless other interesting workplaces.
Social workers serve individuals, families, and communities. They are managers, supervisors, and administrators. They serve at all levels of government. They are educators. They are therapists and researchers. More and more, they are also elected political leaders and legislators."
(National Association of Social Workers: https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/choices/)
The need for social workers is growing. Employment in social work is expected to grow by almost 20% in the next decade, faster than average for all occupations. Health reform and demographic trends such as the aging population, increasing numbers of military & veterans, and growth of immigrant and refugee populations, are driving above-average growth of social work employment. The need for child, family and school social workers is expected to remain strong, with an expected 15% employment increase. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
As a licensed profession, social work offers tremendous flexibility to move between different areas of practice throughout one's career. Some types of social work require advanced education and licensure. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is a good resource for exploring social work career options. Below are some of the more popular areas of social work practice: