Associate Degree in Social Work with Career Information
Find out about associate's degree programs in pre-social work. Get details on required coursework and continuing education options, and take a look at job prospects and potential earnings in the social work field.
While a bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for social workers, students may begin their schooling by earning an associate's degree in pre-social work. Applicants to these two-year associate's programs usually need to be high school graduates. Pre-social work students learn about behavioral issues, counseling methods and the specialty areas of social work such as those involving the elderly or children. Some programs may also cover research methods, social policy and planning development. This degree could allow students to pursue entry-level careers in human services, or graduates may transfer credits towards a 4-year bachelor's program in social work.
The pre-social work program offers students introductory college courses, as well as sociology core classes. Sample courses include:
- Introduction to psychology
- English composition
- Social issues
- Cultural anthropology
- Human behavior and development
- Child development
Continuing Education Information
Associate of Arts graduates with pre-social work degrees often go on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at 4-year universities in order to qualify them for social worker positions.
Salary Info and Employment Outlook
Healthcare social workers earned a mean annual salary of $51,460 as of May 2012, while mental health and substance abuse social workers made $43,340 per year on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Child, family and school social workers made an average of $45,300 the same year. Demand for social workers should increase due to retiring social workers and the increase in the elderly. The BLS stated that job opportunities were favorable for college graduates and that they may find work in social service agencies, governmental offices, mental health facilities and private practices.
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