How to Become a

Clinical Social Worker

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

Why We Love It

  • $54,020
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 19.3%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Clinical Social Workers assist individuals with their problems and issues that they may experience throughout their lives.  They also diagnose and treat individuals with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues.

Recommended Schools

What is a Clinical Social Worker?

The following responsibilities are common for Clinical Social Workers:

  • Research and refer clients to the appropriate community resources such as food stamps, welfare, child care or health care
  • Assists and advocates for clients work with government agencies to apply for and receive government benefits like Medicare or Social Security
  • Helps clients adjust to life changes and challenges like death, divorce or illness
  • Responds to crisis situations like child abuse or neglect
  • Develops strategies to improve and cope with a clients emotional and mental issues

A Day In The Life

Clinical Social Workers are highly disciplined experts that help clients that are dealing with a variety of issues like addiction, mental and emotional illnesses or mental, emotional and physical abuse issues.

These professionals help clients gain access and take advantage of resources while also confronting any of the clients personal issues like emotional or mental illness or addiction.  They provide individuals, couples and families individual and group counseling.  They also develop treatment plans with the client, doctors, and any other healthcare professionals.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time, 40 hour work week position.  Some over-time may be required because of heavy case-loads.

Projected Job Growth

As the American population steadily increases the need for individuals to assist them with their every day lives will be an increasing demand.

Typical Employers 

Most clinical social workers work in private practices, hospitals or mental health facilities and some work in hospice are or assisted living facilities.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Clinical Social Worker

Courses like psychology, sociology, economics and political science are all recommended.  A Bachelor’s degree in social work is not required to enter a Mater’s degree program in clinical social work.  Those interested in pursing clinical social work need a Master’s degree in social work.  Along with two years of post-master experience in a supervised clinical setting.  All programs require students to complete a practicum and internship.

A license is also requires to work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Clinical Social Worker 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 Clinical Social Worker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Clinical Social Worker's can make an average annual salary of $54,020, or $26 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $40,690 or $20 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #343 Nationally for All Careers

Programs and Degrees

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

Highest Education Among Clinical Social Workers

  • 2.1%   Doctorate
  • 35.6%   Masters
  • 40.8%   Bachelors
  • 5.7%   Associates
  • 9.1%   College
  • 5.6%   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 Clinical Social Worker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 30,900 jobs for a total of 191,000 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 19.3% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #57 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Clinical Social Workers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 35,100 2,500 3%
Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities 17,700 3,300 3%
Home healthcare services 17,300 10,500 11%

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