Welfare Caseworker
How to Become a

Welfare Caseworker

The complete career guide to be a Welfare Caseworker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $43,040
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 1.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Good Entry Level Salary
    Career Attribute

A welfare caseworker provides guidance to persons facing various levels of adversity like financial difficulties, addictions or even terminal illnesses. This role involves spreading awareness for community well-being initiatives such as rehabilitation programs for alcoholism, drug addictions, gambling, etc.

Recommended Schools

What is a Welfare Caseworker?


As a Welfare Caseworker, you are expected to perform the following tasks effectively:

  • Create personalized case plans with mutually agreed upon goals with the concerned client and build clear objectives towards achieving them.
  • Maintain detailed case notes (e.g. correspondence, treatment logs) and complete narrative recordings as specified, at regular intervals.
  • Be present at court hearings as relevant to a case, make accurate presentations, develop thorough and comprehensive court reports, provide testimony and recommendations in court as necessary.
  • Hold regular meetings with clients in order to establish and maintain transparent professional working relationship with them

Day In The Life

As a welfare case worker, you will be expected to provide support to individuals struggling with different problems. Whether it is a case of substance abuse, serious illnesses or family problems, you will come into contact with a wide range of people of all ages, that are in different kinds of employment. This is why welfare case workers find employment with institutions like schools, government agencies, hospitals and corporate organisations. The main purpose of the job is to advise clients on effective ways to deal with sensitive situations, and bring in the right outside help in the form of healthcare services, rehabilitation clinics and transportation for those who need it.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), child welfare caseworkers for instance, are sometimes given assignments such as helping families implement a step-by-step plan to uphold their child’s overall health and personal well-being. You would closely monitor the family’s capacity to sure the child’s safety, review their progress and attend court proceedings as needed. If you feel that the child or children’s nutritional needs are not provided for, it is your duty to act immediately, as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services.

Work Schedule

Welfare caseworkers have to be comfortable working flexible hours depending on the conditions of employment, which involves interacting with sometimes hostile clients at challenging or unsafe homes. A normal work day will be 8 hours, between 8 AM to 5 PM; however, working hours can vary during a given week, to provide continuous services as circumstances arise. Depending on immediate deadlines, you may be working odd hours, such as overtime during late evenings and weekends. Further, all welfare case workers must complete licensing from the state where they are employed.

Growth Of The Job

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment rates for social workers like welfare caseworkers is expected to grow by 12% during 2014 to 2024. With rising demand for reliable healthcare facilities and various social services, there will be steady requirement of adequately experienced welfare caseworkers. The future will depend on the existence of government or private funding, which is projected to bring about 161,200 jobs. If you are working in specialized areas like mental health or substance abuse issues, you will enjoy a positive job outlook compared to similar roles – i.e. 19% in the same decade.

Typical Employers

Employers for welfare caseworkers include a wide variety of organizations that range from schools, child welfare agencies, social service centers, medical clinics, colleges, hospitals, government departments and substance abuse clinics.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Welfare Caseworker

BLS recommends that one obtain a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields such as social work, healthcare, etc. as a minimum qualification to become a successful case worker. Many colleges have specialised coursework that will provide you with the foundational knowledge required via classroom education and applied work. Typically, such programs require at least 400 hours of supervised fieldwork before you gain the degree.

There are some specific positions, such as in medical healthcare, education or clinical environments that require interested job candidates to possess a master’s degree in social work. Such two-year programs will require completion of at least 900 hours of field work, much of which can be done via internships and apprenticeships.

Correct educational qualifications aside, there are certain US states that require you to hold applicable licensing credentials before practicing in the field. Specific requirements stipulated by a state can be accessed by contacting the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) in person or online.

Welfare Caseworker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Welfare Caseworker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Welfare Caseworker's can make an average annual salary of $43,040, or $21 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $34,380 or $17 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #476 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Welfare Caseworker. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Welfare Caseworkers

  • 0.9%   Doctorate
  • 9%   Masters
  • 36.2%   Bachelors
  • 12.8%   Associates
  • 25.6%   College
  • 14.3%   High School
  • 1.2%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Welfare Caseworker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,100 jobs for a total of 132,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 1.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #561 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Welfare Caseworkers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 50,100 2,800 3%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 45,300 700 1%
Federal government, excluding postal service 26,000 -2,500 -3%

Want To Be a Welfare Caseworker? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →