Social workers support the rights of some of the most marginalized and at-risk members of society while trying to enhance their quality of life.
Although social work career pathways vary between industries, environments, and job functions, their primary goal is to enhance the social welfare of different communities. Social workers do this by empowering individuals to take charge of their own life, encouraging their independence, and assisting them in maintaining their safety and wellbeing.
18 Best Career Paths In Social Work
This article lists 18 career paths in social work that you might be interested in. Keep on reading if you want to learn more about the core function of these occupations and what skills you need to succeed in the future.
Social workers offer guidance, resources, and support to people and families to assist them in resolving their issues. Social workers help certain client groups, such as children, the elderly, and families in distress, to resolve their problems.
These professionals often specialize in either adult social care or child social care. They must be able to function under stress and comprehend the perspectives of others since clients may be in weak or challenging circumstances.
Healthcare Social Worker
The focus of healthcare social workers is to help people who don’t know where to find help. Healthcare social workers assist their patients in accessing services and provide education-related information about various health conditions.
Their duties include everything from finding medical care to helping and providing recovery from an illness or injury. They work closely with doctors, nurses, patients, and their families.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
Mental health and substance abuse social workers work toward helping people in need to lead a fulfilling and independent life. Their main focus is on people suffering from mental health conditions, trauma, and addictions. They help patients manage the social aspects of their lives through talking therapy, support, and advocacy.
Behavioral Management Aide
Behavioral management aides are responsible for finding alternate behaviors and healthy coping mechanisms for their clients. Their client base is people with harmful behaviors.
It falls under their scope of responsibilities to identify what triggers those particular behaviors and, as previously mentioned, help those clients overcome the problem. Behavioral management aides often work in schools or mental health clinics.
Case Management Aide
It is worth mentioning that case management aids don’t do all the work by themselves. They mainly assist social workers in managing different cases. Since their job includes handling a lot of paperwork, they must possess planning and organizational skills. Thanks to case management aides, cases move forward more quickly.
Eligibility workers determine whether individuals are eligible for government assistance programs. Additionally, they reach out to potential clients. Since eligibility workers must convey information and answer questions clearly, they need to possess effective communication skills. Apart from communication skills, they need organization, problem-solving, and computer skills to be successful.
Human Services Specialist
Specialists in human services assist customers in determining their eligibility for different social programs. They conduct interviews to learn more about their clients’ employment and medical histories, child care and transportation access, and job-related abilities.
Specialists in human services operate in a variety of settings, including nonprofit organizations, residential care facilities, and more.
Juvenile Court Liaison
Juvenile court liaison workers are part of a complex job, one that requires a great deal of empathy, effort, and expertise. Their work takes place and is limited to juvenile courts that only deal with young life cases.
Additionally, they don’t work for attorneys since they are limited to working directly for the court. Communication and organizational skills are two of the most required skill for this worker to be successful.
Probation officers are responsible for supervising people who are serving community/probation sentences. It falls under their duty to ensure that the offenders change their behaviors and help them avoid crime. The probation officers might testify in court depending on the offenders’ behavior. Apart from that, probation officers also deal with paperwork, so organizational skills are a must as much as communication skills.
Rehabilitation Case Worker
Rehabilitation case workers work toward helping people regain their independence. Patient cases range from illness to different types of accidents. Their roles include:
- Identifying what support the patients need.
- Providing advice.
- Organizing daily activities.
- Teaching people daily life activities.
After this recuperation period, rehabilitation case workers are responsible for recommending career paths and aiding the clients work toward their career goals.
Child and Family Social Worker
These types of social workers focus on children and their families, where they monitor and provide essential needs of the clients. More specifically, they are responsible for:
- Identifying the children at risk and monitoring them.
- Acting as a liaison between a school and its at-risk families.
- Providing counseling, and
- Arranging adoptions.
These social workers have their offices, but depending on the client’s situation, they sometimes need to travel.
Foster care social worker
Social workers in foster care keep an eye on the lives of kids who have been removed from their families because of abuse or other issues. They provide counseling, therapy, medical care, and other services to these children regularly in an effort to help them get back on track.
Child Welfare Worker
The core function of child welfare workers is to protect the children and help disadvantaged families meet their children’s needs. Their responsibilities include:
- Responding to cases of child abuse;
- Removing the children from dangerous family settings;
- Connecting families with resources needed for the well-being of the children;
- Providing therapy and advice.
School Social Worker
School social workers work toward helping students who are at risk for school failure. They supervise students who demonstrate social, behavioral, or emotional problems within the educational settings. They work closely with schools, teachers, and other peers to recommend further treatments if necessary.
Therapist or Counselor
Therapists’ and counselors’ purpose is to enhance their client’s well-being. Clients’ cases that affect their ability to manage life range from depression to anxiety, loss, stress, and many more.
Therapists and counselors have specific differences. Counselors usually work with clients on a short-term basis and concentrate on specific mental health issues, whereas therapists often work on a long-term basis. However, the purpose remains the same: to encourage people to find their way to make a positive change in their lives.
The evaluation of the link between behavior and environmental circumstances is a primary emphasis of these professionals’ work. Behavior analysts help their clients create new habits and change old behaviors by using approaches like positive reinforcement.
Behavior analyzers can work in various settings, including the workplace, vehicular and pedestrian safety, and helping people with conditions like autism spectrum disorders.
Community Outreach Worker
Building a connection with the community is the primary focus of these social workers. Depending on the organization they work for, their responsibilities focus on educating community members mainly about health-related topics.
Since the majority of their time is spent building rapports with members, interpersonal skills are essential. Community outreach professionals must have strong problem-solving abilities since they deal with issues regularly.
Campaign Director, Fundraising, Public Awareness
Political candidates and campaign directors may collaborate to enhance their respective campaigns. They could also advocate for specific ideas or projects. From the viewpoint of a social worker, these initiatives can involve raising money for initiatives that support children, advocating for legislation that helps people with disabilities or collaborating with a candidate who supports these issues.
Social Workers’ Salary in Switzerland
Social worker salaries might vary based on certain factors such as experience and skills. Either way, social workers have high-paying salaries. A social worker in Switzerland typically earns nearly 90,000 CHF annually, with salaries ranging from 61,950 CHF, the lowest, to 118,211 CHF, the highest.
Should You Pursue a Career in Social Work?
As seen from the description of the positions above, we can conclude that social work is more than just a regular job. If you are ready to make a distinctively positive impact on society, you must pursue a career in social work.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a social worker is the emotional burden that comes from witnessing the worst forms of injustice and abuse and the fact that you can’t always solve problems or save every client.
Additionally, even though you don’t need to grasp every mathematical or physical scientific law to thrive in this line of work, you need to be highly educated about the tools and programs that are accessible to assist your clients. You must be aware of the restrictions on the benefits the program offers, its eligibility standards, service availability, and many more. Social workers must continue to stay up to date with changes to these programs as they occur.
The Bottom Line
Successful social workers are drawn to helping others. Most individuals who pursue social work do so because they wish to impact someone’s life positively. You might advance in your career as a social worker if you are a people person with a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others.
Moreover, a career pathway of a social worker in Switzerland is rewarded with high salaries. If you have a passion for helping others, but at the same time you like exploring good places, then Switzerland is waiting for you.