Associate Degree in Social Work with Career Information

Pre-social work students learn about behavioral issues, counseling methods and the specialty areas of social work such as those involving the elderly or children. Some programs may also cover research methods, social policy and planning development.

Essential Information

While a bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for social workers, students may begin their schooling by earning an associate's degree in pre-social work. Applicants to these two-year associate's programs usually need to be high school graduates. This degree could allow students to pursue entry-level careers in human services, or graduates may transfer credits towards a 4-year bachelor's program in social work.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma
  • Program Length: Two years

Associate Degree in Social Work

The pre-social work program offers students introductory college courses, as well as sociology core classes. Sample courses include:

  • Biology
  • English composition
  • Economics
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Human behavior and development
  • Child development

Continuing Education Information

Associate of Arts graduates with pre-social work degrees often go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at 4-year universities in order to qualify them for social worker positions.

Salary Info and Employment Outlook

Healthcare social workers earned a mean annual salary of $53,590 as of May 2014, while mental health and substance abuse social workers made $45,820 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Child, family, and school social workers made an average of $46,180 the same year. Demand for social workers overall should increase by 19% from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS, but will vary by specialty. Demand for social workers in healthcare should increase by 27%, for those in mental health and substance abuse by 23%, and for those in the child, family, and school specialty by 15%.

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