Can I Be a Social Worker with a Psychology Degree? (FAQs)

Can I Be a Social Worker with a Psychology Degree?

Social work and psychology aim to improve individuals’ well-being, making it a natural consideration for psychology graduates. 

Though a psychology degree may not directly qualify you as a licensed social worker, it can serve as a strong foundation for entering the field. 

This article will explore the possibilities of leveraging your psychology education to become a social worker.

Who is a Social worker?

A social worker is a trained professional who works with individuals, families, groups, and communities to address social issues, promote well-being, and enhance the overall quality of life. 

Social workers aim to empower and support vulnerable populations, advocating for their rights and helping them navigate challenges and access essential services.

Social workers often work in diverse settings, such as schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, community organizations, and government agencies. 

Is a Psychology Degree Worth it?

Yes, it is. Students interested in the human mind and pursuing careers will benefit from obtaining a psychology degree.

Psychology majors can find work in various fields, from social work and research to advertising and even law enforcement.

This major is great for students interested in working with others after college.

Excellent verbal and written communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are essential for psychology students. Many people don’t realize that psychology is a very challenging major.

But it may be fun and rewarding for individuals who are curious about the mind and behavior and excited to pursue professions in the field of psychology.

Getting a BA in psychology usually takes around four years.

More so, one of the factors that can affect your success in college is the difficulty level of an academic program, which is highly subjective.

Can I Be a Social Worker with a Psychology Degree?

The answer to this question varies depending on the state you reside in and the specific requirements set by the regulatory bodies. 

In some states, the “Social Worker” title is protected, and individuals can only be recognized as Social Workers if they hold a license, typically as a Clinical Social Worker. 

In such cases, individuals with a psychology degree may work in social services or similar roles, often called Case Managers.

However, it’s important to note that in states without title protection, individuals may use the term “Social Worker” without a master’s degree or license. 

In these states, individuals with bachelor’s degrees may fill social work positions in areas such as children’s services. 

While some of these professionals gain valuable experience on the job, it doesn’t necessarily imply that they possess the same level of expertise as licensed Social Workers.

If you aspire to become a licensed Social Worker, it is essential to research the specific requirements in your state. 

Consider pursuing a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and obtaining the necessary license to practice. 

Doing so can ensure you have the knowledge, skills, and credentials to provide comprehensive and professional social work services.

Duties of a Social Worker

Here are some typical responsibilities that are integral to the role of a social worker:

1. Assessment and Evaluation 

Social Workers systematically gather information, conduct interviews, and review records to understand clients’ needs, strengths, and challenges. 

Through comprehensive assessments, social workers identify appropriate interventions, develop tailored plans, and make informed decisions. 

This process enables them to provide adequate support, advocate for clients’ rights, and facilitate positive change. 

Assessment and evaluation are the foundation for personalized and impactful social work interventions.

2. Advocacy and support

These are fundamental responsibilities of social workers. 

They serve as a voice for vulnerable populations, advocating for their rights and needs within systems and institutions. 

Social workers provide guidance, resources, and emotional support to empower individuals and communities facing social, economic, or health-related challenges. 

Through their unwavering advocacy, social workers strive to ensure equal access to services, justice, and a better quality of life for those they serve.

3. Case Management 

Social workers collaborate with clients, assess their needs, and develop personalized plans to address challenges. 

They coordinate services, make referrals, and monitor progress, ensuring clients receive the required support. 

By actively managing cases, social workers facilitate access to resources, advocate for clients’ rights, and empower individuals to navigate complex systems successfully. 

Effective case management promotes positive outcomes and fosters clients’ well-being.

4. Counseling and therapy  

They provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals, families, or groups to explore their emotions, concerns, and challenges. 

Through active listening, empathy, and evidence-based interventions, social workers help clients gain insights, develop coping strategies, and navigate life’s difficulties. 

Counseling and therapy empower clients to improve their mental well-being, strengthen relationships, and achieve personal growth.

5. Crisis intervention

Crisis intervention is a crucial duty of social workers. 

They possess the skills to provide immediate support and assistance during critical situations. 

Whether responding to domestic violence incidents, natural disasters, or mental health crises, social workers offer empathy, guidance, and resources to distressed individuals and communities. 

Their ability to assess, stabilize, and connect people with appropriate services plays a vital role in mitigating the immediate impact of crises and promoting recovery and resilience.

Career Paths Available in Social work with a Psychology Degree

With a psychology degree, you can pursue various paths within the field of social work. 

1. Generalist Social Worker

You can work as a generalist social worker with a psychology background, providing various social services to individuals, families, and communities. 

This role often involves assessing needs, offering counseling and support, coordinating services, and advocating for clients.

2. Mental Health Social Worker

A psychology degree can be valuable in becoming a mental health social worker. 

In this role, you would provide support and therapy to individuals dealing with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. 

You may work in hospitals, clinics, community mental health centers, or private practices.

3. School Social Worker

School social workers play a vital role in supporting student’s academic and social-emotional well-being. 

With a psychology degree, you can pursue a career in schools, helping students address behavioral issues, providing counseling services, and collaborating with teachers and parents.

4. Child and Family Social Worker

Psychology knowledge is particularly relevant in working with children and families. 

As a child and family social worker, you may be involved in child welfare agencies, adoption services, or family support organizations. 

Your responsibilities could include assessing family dynamics, facilitating reunification efforts, and ensuring the well-being of children in challenging situations.

5. Geriatric Social Worker

If you are interested in working with older adults, a psychology degree can be beneficial in becoming a geriatric social worker. 

These professionals support elderly individuals and their families, addressing issues related to aging, health care, housing, and emotional well-being.

FAQs on Being A Social Worker With a Psychology Degree

Which state pays social workers the most?

Oregon is the state that pays social workers more. With a median salary of $67,057, Oregon has the highest median salary among all 50 states for social workers. Alaska is also ranked high in median salary, but Oregon surpasses it with the highest pay for social workers. Therefore, Oregon would be preferable if you seek a state offering a higher salary for social workers.

Are social workers in demand in the USA?

Yes, social workers are in high demand in the USA. According to the latest projections from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of social work is expected to witness a significant growth rate of 12 percent from 2021 to 2031. This growth indicates a steady increase in job opportunities for social workers, with an estimated average of around 78,000 job openings each year.

What skills are necessary to pursue a career in social work?

The field of social work requires a range of essential skills. Some critical skills for social workers include effective communication, empathy, active listening, critical thinking, problem-solving, cultural competence, collaboration, and self-awareness.

What qualifications are needed to become a social worker?

To become a social worker, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or a related field. However, some positions may require a master’s degree in social work (MSW) for advanced roles and licensure. Additionally, obtaining a state-issued license or certification is often necessary to practice as a social worker.


A psychology degree can open doors to a rewarding career in social work, although some additional steps may be required to become a licensed social worker.  

Take the initiative to research and understand the specific requirements in your region or desired field of social work. 

Consider connecting with professionals working in the field to gain insights and guidance. 

With dedication, additional qualifications, and a genuine passion for helping others, you can become a social worker, making a meaningful impact on individuals and communities.

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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