Both direct-service and clinical social workers often specialize within their field to focus on a particular population, such as children and families, schools, healthcare, gerontology, hospice and palliative care, mental health and substance abuse.
A social work degree includes courses on major social ills, as well as how to solve those problems through client management and social work theory.
The demand for mental health and substance abuse social workers is also expected to grow by 31 percent, as more people seek treatment for mental illness and addiction, and the justice system continues to use treatment programs as an alternative to jail time.
The field of social work can be demanding and stressful, but it's in high demand and incredibly important for the health and vitality of communities.
Social work professionals help those in need, whether they are dealing with mental health problems, substance abuse or other issues.
Courses in social work are generally taken as part of an undergraduate or graduate degree program.
Each program provides students with skills in social advocacy.
Bachelor's programs can lead to work in non-clinical social work positions, while master's programs prepare students to get licensed as clinical social workers.
At the community college level, student's can obtain an associate's degree in social work through programs like this one at El Paso Community College.
A two-year degree will get you an entry-level position in the field.