4 Cities With High Demand For Social Workers

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in social work, many social workers will want to maximize their chances of obtaining employment. Fortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases statistics that list the cities with the highest employment in various sectors, including social work. These figures are collected from May of 2011.

1. New York-White Plains-Wayne
New York-White Plains-Wayne is a metropolitan area that employs 4,780 social workers. The average annual mean salary for social workers in this area is $60,610. The New York metropolitan area is the largest city in the U.S., which helps it secure spot as the largest state for social workers.
2. Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the second largest employer of social workers, with 3,730 employed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have an mean for the salary of these social workers. Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States.
3. Chicago
The Chicago, Joliet and Naperville area have 2,840 social workers. The mean annual salary for these social workers is $53,100. Chicago is the largest city that is not connected to any ocean.
4. Oakland-Fremont-Hayward Area
The Oakland-Fremont-Hayward area in California has 1,130. The average mean salary in this area is $67,360. The Oakland area in particular is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in California largely due to immigration.
Two of the Four Cities are in California
There’s clearly a huge demand for social workers in California. Also, social work is one of the fastest growing sectors in all of California. The need for social workers is expected to grow further as the population in California becomes more diverse and ages. There are many services that are needed by those who are aging and can no longer care for themselves.
Mental Health Services are Growing
Another area where social work continues to grow is in mental health services. The understanding of public mental health issues continues to grow and many more services are being provided. Also, there is a growing demand for social workers as more individuals struggling with drug addiction are entered into treatment instead of being imprisoned. There is a growing view that drug addicts are not criminals, but patients who need treatment.
Training Requirements
There is such a large demand for social workers in California that many do not have formal academic training and instead receive their training on-the-job. Others are receiving their education from an unaccredited university or from a community college. However, supervisory programs still generally require a master’s degree. To earn an M.A., students must first obtain a bachelor’s degree.
California and New York Have Many Social Services
However, people are aging throughout the United States, yet areas in California and New York have a disproportionately high number of social workers. The reason for such a large number is partially due to many positions being labeled as social work when they do not require conventional training. However, there has also been a very large number of social work programs in California and the documentation requirements are very involved.
Barb Grammond is a social services director and guest author at Best Social Work Programs, a site with guides to and information about top-rated social work degree programs online.