Healthcare Social Worker Career

healthcare-social-worker-50Healthcare Social Workers are social workers who specialize in helping people cope with a variety of illnesses, and who are navigating their way through the health care system. That can mean either in-hospital care or outpatient treatment.

Social workers help people deal with the emotional problems and lifestyle challenges associated with illness, seeking treatment and successful recovery.

Healthcare Social Worker Career Snapshot

Healthcare social Workers generally work in clean and modern hospital settings where patients are being treated for illnesses, undergoing surgery or recovering from long-term conditions. Others may work in clinics or visit patients in their homes. Nursing homes or elderly care facilities are another common employer of social workers.

Further details on a career as a healthcare social worker are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for healthcare social workers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 4% have a Post-Baccalaureate certificate.

Healthcare Social Worker Education

Healthcare Social Workers must complete a 4-year college degree program in social work. Those specializing in healthcare social work may also require additional training and undergo certification (in some states).

Note that most social workers (92%) choose to obtain a master’s degree in social work, which generally means two additional years of university-level training.

All states require licensure. This means passing the ASWB National Social Work exam. ASWB stands for Association of Social Work Boards.

Healthcare Social Worker Job Outlook

The career opportunities for Healthcare Social Workers is strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12% growth in job openings for what they call “faster than average” job growth for this profession.

Healthcare Social Worker Salaries

In May 2015, the average or mean pay in this field was $54,020, which is about $25.97 per hour according to statistics. Those working in the lowest 10% range of this average earn about $32,190 while those in the top 10% can earn about $77,880.

Healthcare Social Worker Job Duties

Healthcare Social workers work closely and on a highly personal basis with their clients. Good social workers are empathetic to the emotional needs of their clients, are good listeners and helpful with solving common problems. Social workers also serve as “life coaches” providing encouragement, hope and support for people experiencing difficult life situations.

Healthcare Social Worker Skills & Traits

Healthcare Social Worker Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Healthcare Social Workers:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Social Perceptiveness
• Speaking
• Critical Thinking
• Coordination
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Deductive Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Problem Sensitivity
• Desktop/notebook computers
• Data base user interface and query software
• Desktop publishing software
• Email software
• Medical software
• Getting information
• Caring for others
• Communicating with others
• Maintaining relationships
• Solving problems

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Master’s Degree

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High School Diploma or Equivalent

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