Career Options for Social Work in the Military
Military members and their families have special needs. Serving in the military, especially if they have been fighting on the front lines, can necessitate interventions that specialized social workers can fulfill. Below, we explore some of the various social work careers in the military.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2018)||License Required|
|Licensed Professional Counselor||$32,000-$49,000**||Yes|
|Military and Family Life Counselor||$50,090 (for marriage and family therapists)*||Yes|
|Military Case Manager||$79,258***||Yes|
|Social Services Assistant||$33,750*||No|
|Employee Assistance Program Counselor||$72,778***||Yes|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Psychology Career Center, ***Salary.com
Licensed Professional Counselor
A licensed professional counselor is trained to address the specific needs of service men and women. This may include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, or other psychological issues that have occurred as a result of military life. Unlike professional counselors in the civilian world, the military licensed professional counselor is trained to deal with the specific needs of military personnel. A master's degree and possibly a doctorate in psychology or counseling is required, and these individuals must hold a license in professional counseling.
Military and Family Life Counselor
The military and family life counselor serves to supplement behavioral health services that licensed professional counselors may provide for military service men and women. Often, these social workers will be required to travel to specific areas of deployment. A master's degree is required, and sometimes post-master's clinical work is also preferred. Credentials as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) are required.
Military social workers understand the social and emotional impact of military life, and they help to connect care for service members. Military social workers may provide some counseling services, but they refer clients to professional counselors for more therapeutic cases. A bachelor's degree in psychology or human services is required, along with a license (check your state's requirements).
Military Case Manager
Military case managers coordinate care for service persons. Unlike the licensed professional counselor or military and family life counselor, case managers are more focused on practical issues. They coordinate and oversee care for legal matters, physical health, and/or financial needs, whereas social workers are more concerned with social and emotional issues. A master's degree is required to serve as a military case manager.
Social Services Assistant
Social services assistants work under a licensed social worker to help people with problems they may be facing. These issues may involve unemployment, divorce, transportation, or the need for home health aides. A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for working as a social services assistant.
Employee Assistance Program Counselor
Employee assistance program counselors serve military personnel. They assess the service members' problems and refer them for the appropriate benefits. They are the main contacts for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is set up to help with personal or work-related issues. A master's or bachelor's degree is required, and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional certification may be preferred.