Pursuing a career in social work might be the best option for people who are naturally empathetic, have good communication skills and have an altruistic nature. While the work itself can be very rewarding, there are some pros and cons to the career of a social worker that should be considered before you make a choice. In this article, we’re going to explore some of these more in detail so you can make a wise decision.

Emotionally Demanding

First of all, it’s very important to understand that social work can be very emotionally demanding. If you’re not emotionally stable, you might have difficulty dealing with the tasks required of a social worker. Personalities can be difficult to deal with, and you might have to deal with separation, as many social workers tend to form a very special bond with the people they work with.

You also have to be able to separate your work from your private affairs, which can also be difficult. Again, since you form a special bond with your clients, you might start sharing their preoccupations, which can take a toll on your personal life.

Varying Pay

While many jobs in the social sector are at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of pay, in some fields, such as child welfare or school social work, social workers can earn up to $54,000 a year on average. Other establishments such as healthcare facilities also employ people with social work degrees and jobs in this area can pay up to $53,400 on average.

However, most healthcare facilities require social workers to earn a master’s in social work, so if you only hold a bachelor’s degree, there’s always the possibility of obtaining a masters in social work online. Most institutions will honor online social work masters, as long as they’re from a prestigious and accredited online school. In addition, most healthcare facilities will require that you obtain a license specific to the state you will be working in.

Job Opportunities

One of the greatest aspects of pursuing a career in social work is that the demand for social workers is booming at the moment. As a matter of fact, the total number of jobs for social workers is expected to grow by 25% from 2010 to 2020, which is much higher than the national average.

The boom in social worker jobs is due mainly because of the increased demand coming from the healthcare sector. As a matter fact, social work jobs in the healthcare industry are expected to grow by 34% leading up to 2020. Substance abuse and mental health social work positions are also expected to grow at a higher rate than other social work jobs, partly due to changes brought about by the affordable healthcare act.

The life of a social worker can be very fulfilling, but you have to make sure that you have the right disposition and aptitude. This isn’t a job for everyone, and certainly not for someone who’s solely motivated by material gains. However, it is a sector that offers great job opportunities and decent pay if you’re ready to do the extra legwork.