pexels andrea piacquadio 3823488

Alternative Jobs for Social Workers

Find Your Degree

From the highest-paying jobs for social workers to entry-level jobs for social workers, these positions play a vital role in society, across communities, and in lives everywhere. Many people are familiar with the title of social worker, but what other jobs can social workers do? They may be jobs such as teachers, counselors, psychologists, or even real estate agents, but they all offer value to people, communities, and our society at large.  

Traditionally and comparably speaking, jobs for social workers, both the highest-paying jobs for social workers and those entry-level jobs for social workers, will generally pay less than these same roles with more secular and more exclusive private-sector employers. Among the highest-paying jobs for social workers, however, are jobs for social workers with a bachelor’s degree or jobs for social workers with associate degree credentials. 

At the top of the list for the highest-paying jobs for social workers are jobs for medical social workers, and these are typically jobs for MSW social worker credentials. Today, there are also many alternative jobs for social workers, including online jobs for social workers. This also means that social workers can be found in a variety of industries and work across many business sectors.

There are jobs for social workers in hospitals, work from home jobs for social workers, alternative jobs for social workers, and many other opportunities for those interesting in pursuing a career in social work. From the highest paying jobs for social workers to entry-level jobs for social workers there is a great deal of opportunity and the potential to earn a good income while being able to impact lives. 

Here is a look at some of those jobs and opportunities, including traditional and alternative jobs for social workers. This includes many types of jobs for social workers, from those beginning entry-level jobs for social workers, to the highest-paying jobs for social workers, and many opportunities in between. 

1. High School Teacher

pexels max fischer 5212320

The job of high school teachers is to instruct, guide, and teach youth in preparation not only for graduation exams but for life after high school. In some cases that may require teaching students basic fundamentals like English or mathematics. In some circumstances, it may involve preparing students for college and teaching advanced classes like calculus or physics.

Teachers today may also find themselves looking into the world of remote learning, and that has also opened the door for jobs for macro social workers. This new medium of teaching and platform for education and educators has been good for the employment outlook and job market for teachers. 

Job and Employment Outlook

Based on data from the US Department of Labor Statistics, the job market for teachers is expected to see moderate growth, likely as a result of the aforementioned alternative learning methods. The US Dept of Labor also reports the median wage for high school teachers to be $62,870 per year. 

Teaching isn’t only one of the most important jobs there is, it is also one of the most rewarding jobs. Teachers get the joy of shaping young minds and being a part of the successes of their students, in the classroom and beyond. And to earn a good income while being able to help so many young people, while working in a secure job market only makes the job of teaching that much more rewarding. 

2. Counselor/Therapist/Psychologist

pexels alex green 5699491

One of the most common social worker roles is the job of a counselor or therapist, often roles filled by psychologists or those with a background in psychology or counseling. These positions are not only common but they transcend borders and barriers. Counselors and therapists can find jobs for social workers in Canada, the U.S., and virtually anywhere in the world.

Many social worker counselors travel to serve and help people in the most stricken or deprived areas, where services may not otherwise be available. These types of needs can also result in the work of a counselor or therapist leading to any number of places, cities, towns, or even hospitals and clinics.

Job and Employment Outlook

According to the US Dept of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for counselors and therapists is  $51,340. In addition to earning a solid annual wage, and getting the joy of helping people, families, and communities, the job of a counselor also offers a strong job market and employment outlook.

The employment market for counselors and therapists is expected to experience considerable growth too, along with offering ample work and social work employers. This makes the pursuit of becoming a counselor or therapist a worthwhile endeavor, and a rewarding one too.

3. Nonprofit Manager

pexels anna shvets 3727464

The job of a nonprofit manager is a busy one, an important one, and one filled with benefits on personal, financial, and professional levels. The position of a nonprofit manager also isn’t one of the jobs for MSW social worker requirements, meaning those with bachelor’s degree credentials qualify for these jobs too. 

Nonprofit managers are responsible for tasks such as supervising social work programs and coordinating public events and services that promote community safety and well-being. These well-paying roles also offer the personal rewards of helping others in addition to the professional satisfaction of running successful nonprofit programs. 

Job and Employment Outlook

The weight and responsibility of being a nonprofit manager is a heavy and large one, but it is also a well-compensated and rewarding one too. In addition to entering a field that offers above-average growth, the average salary for a nonprofit manager is $69,600 based on data from the Dept of Labor Statistics. 

A growing job market and increasing opportunities in this field only make the job of a nonprofit manager even more attractive. Those who are service-minded, natural leaders, and who have multitasking skills may be a good fit for these important social worker jobs. These types of social worker roles can also be found across the country, from jobs for social workers in Texas to jobs for social workers in Maine, these social worker jobs are more than plentiful. 

4. Human Resources Manager

pexels karolina grabowska 4491461

The job of a human resources manager is one of many hats. Human resource managers can play the role of planners, being responsible for the planning of organizational functions. Human resource managers can often be called up to act in the capacity of coordinator. These roles require HR managers to direct, coordinate, and implement activities and programs related to social work organizations.

Those seeking to become human resources managers will be generally be required to graduate from a related four-year program, in addition to having experience in HR or human resources-related fields. This is also a good time to be entering the field of human resources based on employment and job outlooks. 

Job and Employment Outlook

The growing number of positions in HR management, along with the projected job market growth make human resources managers an inviting career opportunity. In addition to these benefits, human resources managers earn an above-average salary of $121,220 according to US Dept of Labor Statistics data.

Old companies, new companies, startups, companies in transition, expanding businesses, and many other organizations across every industry require human resources managers. That puts those in pursuit of HR careers in a very good position, and in the driver seat of their careers. 

5. Real Estate Agents

pexels kindel media 7578983

The role of real estate agent covers many areas, and there are many types of real estate, real estate brokerages, and facets for real estate transactions that have a world of their own. The good news is that for those seeking jobs for social workers in Texas, to Rhode Island, to Florida, and any other place in between, there is always room in real estate. 

The road to becoming a real estate agent goes through a typical process of attending real estate classes or courses and then proceeding to earn a real estate license. The real art of becoming a successful real estate broker, however, is learned or acquired through real-work experience.

Job and Employment Outlook

For anyone interested in becoming a real estate broker, the market offers plenty of potential and opportunity as the employment outlook and job forecast remain steady. The biggest concern with working in the real estate industry may be the level of competition. Those who have a passion for real estate or a knack for brokering may want to investigate a career in real estate. Based on information from the US Dept of Labor Statistics the median annual wage for real estate brokers is $60,370.

A good wage, a career with no ceiling, and plenty of opportunity make this a very enticing career option. Many of the skills that social workers learn are also naturally transferrable to many of the demands of being a real estate agent. 

6. Paralegal

pexels august de richelieu 4427629

Another one of the alternative jobs for social workers and one of the highest paid social work careers is that of a paralegal. Paralegals are responsible for many of the tasks that attorneys require to perform their work. These can be filings, investigative work, writing motions, and other legal correspondence, and even gathering party statements. 

The role of paralegal typically requires at least an associate degree and is generally a step toward earning a law degree. The invaluable experience gained, and the opportunity to help people while earning a good income are a few of the benefits of being a paralegal. 

Job and Employment Outlook

Although the position of a paralegal is only a stepping stone for those with ambitions of becoming an attorney, many choose to become career paralegals. Those who choose a career as a paralegal also enjoy the benefits of legal professionals without many of the demands, liabilities, or stress that lawyers commonly endure. According to the US Dept of Labor Statistics, paralegals earn an average wage of $52,920 a year. 

The projected job market growth for paralegals is also expected to outpace most other industries and markets. A good salary in addition to a stronger than average job market and job opportunities make a career as a paralegal worth a look among alternative jobs for social workers. 

7. College Admissions Counselor

pexels rodnae productions 7841855

Those seeking a career in social work likely understand that this isn’t the most lucrative field in terms of straight salary and wages. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t jobs for social workers that pay very well, because there are more than a few. That also prompts questions like what is the highest paid social work job, or at the very least how much does a position as a college admissions counselor pay?

Along with questions such as the salary, it is important to understand the job responsibilities and opportunities. College admissions counselors help students with applying to college, qualifying for financial assistance, and other college admissions steps – including choosing course curriculums. 

Job and Employment Outlook

The job of college admissions counselor can have a wide range in salaries and wages. Many jobs are structured with bonuses while others are strictly salaried roles. The reported average income for college admissions counselors is $39,727 per year.

Those considering a career as a college admissions counselor will also be encouraged by a steady job market forecast. There are also many personal and professional benefits to being an admissions counselor, such as being the part of a young person’s success.

8. College Counselor/Educational Consultant

pexels anthony shkraba 7579302

Many students know they want to continue their education but have no idea where to start, what direction they want to go in, or what college major or career they want to pursue. One of the primary roles of a college counselor/educational consultant is to help students make the best decisions to promote their success, both in the classroom and in their careers. 

The typical college counselor has earned an advanced degree, usually in education or a counseling-related field. These positions are not only great alternative jobs for social workers with highly transferrable skills, they also offer good earnings potential. 

Job and Employment Outlook

College counselors, based on income data from the Dept of Labor Statistics, reportedly earn an average of $58,120 per year. In addition to good earnings potential, these positions also offer a healthy and grown job market forecast. 

A background in education, counseling, or a joy for helping students are all positive resources or traits to have for college counseling roles. The income potential in addition to the benefits of college counseling positions also makes it one of the top alternative jobs for social workers. 

9. Mediator

pexels shvets production 7176305

The role of mediator ideally will help settle disputes without the need to involve courts and trials. Those seeking a career as a mediator will generally have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and or legal background or experience. 

This job is also an ideal alternative job for social workers based on many of the transferrable skills used in social work. Another benefit of working as a mediator is a strong job outlook and good pay.

Job and Employment Outlook

The job market for mediators is projected to outpace most other fields and offers considerable employment opportunities. According to the US Dept of Labor Statistics, the average salary for mediators is $66,130.

Both people who are working toward becoming an attorney and those who specialize in arbitration are often good fits for jobs as a mediator. Social workers may also be inclined to have some learned and natural problem resolution skills that could be effective in a career as a mediator.

10. Social Enterprise Entrepreneur

pexels artem podrez 4492135

Jobs classified as an entrepreneur within social enterprises could almost qualify as any type of job, from telehealth jobs for social workers to operating an afterschool program clinic. That also makes it very difficult to pinpoint the type of expected salary for these entrepreneurial endeavors. 

There is more than enough data, however, to reveal the potential for successful careers as entrepreneurs within social enterprises. That also makes this a very unique alternative job for social workers.

Job and Employment Outlook

Earning for those who work as entrepreneurs within social enterprise capacities can expect to make $43,000 a year on the low end and upwards of $75 on the higher end of the salary scale.

Those who choose these career paths will also have the many benefits that come with self-employment. And that is just one more reason to consider these types of jobs as an alternative career.

What are Some Transferable Skills that Social Workers Have?

There are many types of jobs for social workers, and many social workers make both lateral and vertical moves within the field of social work. In many cases, these transitions are surprisingly simple because social workers typically have an abundance of transferrable skills. That means having skills that allow social workers to be able to search jobs for social workers in Texas or jobs for social workers in Canada and feel confident they can do the job.

Regardless of the types of jobs for social workers, from the highest paying jobs for social workers to jobs for social workers with associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree credentials, many of the same job requirements exist. This might be the types of paperwork processes, personal interaction requirements (sometimes virtually), or the typical communication skills required for social work roles, these skills are requirements in nearly every type of social work. 

Social workers are commonly required to document, file, and fill out forms. They historically spend considerable time via phone or internet communicating with clients, supporters, and other affiliated agencies or programs. Social workers are also renowned for being excellent coordinators, often managing the schedules of multiple clients, jobs, or coworkers simultaneously. And these are only a few of the many transferrable skills that social workers often acquire from time on the job.

From jobs for social workers in hospitals to jobs for medical social workers, and telehealth jobs for social workers, the healthcare industry is only one example of how transferrable skills can make these transitions easy, seamless, and successful for everyone. In addition to traditional social work jobs, such as healthcare and educational opportunities, there are also many alternative jobs for social workers. 

What are Alternative Careers for Social Workers?

Jobs for macro social workers, online and work from home/remote positions for social workers, and other alternative jobs for social workers have opened up a whole new world of opportunities. These new, alternative or non-traditional roles in social work are growing in popularity. That is partly due to the effectiveness of these roles, many of which have been empowered by technology, and the flexibility that many of these alternative careers in social work offer. 

These alternative jobs for social workers also include jobs for social workers with a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, and even entry level jobs for social workers. Many of these new and alternative roles for social work opportunities include virtual and technologically supported jobs, such as educational, vocational, or like the aforementioned telehealth jobs for social workers.

After asking the question, what other jobs can social workers do, and before taking the leap – it might be good to know and understand a few things before changing jobs. Even when the move seems to be minor, such as transferring from jobs for medical social workers roles to jobs for social workers in a hospital environment, it is a good idea to ask questions.

Tips For Career Changers

When a job change involves a move of any considerable distance, regardless of how similar the position is, it is always a good idea to investigate the job location. Factors such as cost of living, crime rates, and other considerations can help career changers to make a well-informed and smart decision.

While the new wave of alternative jobs for social workers has invited many new opportunities and possibilities, it is important to understand more than just details such as the job description. Many jobs in the arena of social work are sponsored or paid for by public-sector or government-funded programs. This also means the same entry level jobs for social workers in two different departments might not have equal salaries, benefits packages, or other job features.

The key to remember is that there is more to a job being a good fit than simply the ability to do the work and the job itself. One more consideration that potential career changers should investigate, is the future – as in the potential for advancement, raises, and other benefits. That new posting for those new jobs for social workers in Canada may look perfect but is there room to move up the ladder at this small company? Will your real estate license transfer? There is a small big jump from Wisconsin to Canada.

It doesn’t matter if your career change looks more like an opportunity with alternative jobs for social workers or if it is like the more traditional jobs for medical social workers, know the job, the details, and ask questions. Good luck in all your future endeavors and in all of your career decisions. 

Related:

Best Online Associate’s in Social Work

Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Work

Best Online Master’s in Social Work

Best Online Social Work Doctorates

Best Social Work Scholarships