Social Worker Job Description [Updated for 2024]

social worker job description

In our interconnected society, the role of social workers has never been more important.

As societal challenges evolve, so does the need for professionals who can navigate, address, and provide solutions within our social fabric.

But what are the actual responsibilities of a social worker?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to grasp the essence of this profession,
  • A hiring manager seeking to outline the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply intrigued by the intricacies of social work,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we reveal a customizable social worker job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s delve right into it.

Social Worker Duties and Responsibilities

Social Workers play a critical role in society by improving the lives of individuals and communities.

They work with various population groups, including children, adults, elderly, and the vulnerable, providing necessary guidance, advocacy, and support.

Their primary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assessing client needs and developing plans to improve their situation
  • Providing counseling and therapy to clients facing various personal issues
  • Connecting clients with resources such as healthcare, legal aid, financial assistance, or housing
  • Working collaboratively with other professionals, like psychologists, teachers, or doctors, to ensure holistic care
  • Advocating for the rights and needs of clients at the individual and community level
  • Maintaining case files and reports, and document all services provided
  • Participating in case reviews and providing expert testimony in court if needed
  • Conducting research to understand social issues and develop programs to address them
  • Providing crisis intervention in situations such as child abuse or domestic violence
  • Encouraging clients to participate in social activities to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being
  • Continually learning and updating knowledge on social work practices, policies, and resources


Social Worker Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are looking for a compassionate Social Worker to act as advocate and help people foster their capacities and coping mechanisms in order to improve and better their daily lives and experiences.

Social Workers’ responsibilities include providing emotional support, developing treatment plans, and helping clients access community services and resources.

Our ideal candidates are familiar with case management and different types of therapies, and have a deep respect for human rights and individuality.

Ultimately, the role of the social worker is to ensure the welfare of the client and guide them towards a better life situation.



  • Evaluate clients’ needs and situations through interviews and observations
  • Develop treatment and assistance plans
  • Provide individual and group therapy based on clients’ needs
  • Help clients adjust to changes in their life and develop coping mechanisms
  • Assist clients in finding and utilizing community resources
  • Collaborate with other professionals for clients’ welfare
  • Document all meetings, treatments, and actions for case records
  • Ensure all case actions are legal and ethical
  • Follow up with clients to evaluate progress and provide additional assistance



  • Proven work experience as a Social Worker
  • Knowledge of social theories and practices
  • Ability to handle stressful situations
  • Understanding of legal and ethical issues related to social work
  • Experience with case notes and other documentation
  • Excellent communication and people skills
  • Ability to build and maintain professional helping relationships
  • Ability to empathize with and support people in distress
  • BSc/BA degree in social work, psychology or sociology



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Social Worker
  • Work Environment: Office setting with options for remote work. Some travel may be required for client visits or meetings.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Head of Social Services or Social Work Supervisor.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $44,200 minimum to $63,140 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Social Worker Do?

Social Workers play a vital role in assisting individuals, families, and groups of people to cope with problems they’re facing and improve their lives.

They often work for non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Social Workers provide help and support to people facing serious challenges such as poverty, addiction, mental health issues, and family problems.

They can offer counseling, therapy, education, and connect people with the resources they need to improve their situations.

They also conduct interviews to assess the needs of their clients and develop plans to improve their well-being.

They might work with other professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, or teachers to ensure a holistic approach to the client’s needs.

Social Workers also advocate for their clients when they are unable to do so themselves.

This could involve speaking on behalf of clients at legal hearings, or advocating for policy changes that will benefit their clients and the community as a whole.

In addition to these responsibilities, they keep detailed records and reports to track their clients’ progress and are often responsible for raising public awareness on issues such as child abuse, homelessness, and substance abuse.


Social Worker Qualifications and Skills

A proficient social worker must possess skills and qualifications that align with the job description, which may include:

  • Strong interpersonal skills to connect and communicate with a diverse range of individuals, families, and groups.
  • Exceptional communication skills to listen, understand, and provide advice to people dealing with various challenges and issues.
  • Understanding of social services and resources to help guide clients through necessary processes and access available assistance.
  • Critical thinking skills to assess client situations, develop plans of action, and adapt these plans as circumstances change.
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence to understand and respond to the emotional needs and struggles of clients.
  • Knowledge of relevant laws and regulations that may impact clients’ situations and rights.
  • Strong organizational skills to manage caseloads, maintain detailed records, and meet administrative requirements.
  • Problem-solving skills to help clients navigate challenges and overcome obstacles.
  • Patience and resilience to cope with stressful situations and emotionally charged interactions.


Social Worker Experience Requirements

Social workers generally require a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) and some practical experience, often through internships or part-time roles in social service agencies, hospitals, or public welfare offices.

This gives them a broad understanding of social issues, policies, and human behavior.

Entry-level candidates may need 1 to 2 years of experience.

This experience can be gained through roles such as case worker, mental health assistant, or community outreach worker.

They often work under the supervision of more experienced social workers to gain a better understanding of the field and develop their skills.

Candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience usually have a deeper understanding of social work theories and interventions, and have often spent time in a specialized area of social work such as mental health, children and families, or geriatrics.

Those with more than 5 years of experience often have supervisory or managerial experience, and may be ready for roles such as program director, clinical supervisor, or agency administrator.

In many cases, social workers with this level of experience hold a master’s degree in social work (MSW) and have also completed state-mandated licensing and certification requirements.


Social Worker Education and Training Requirements

To become a Social Worker, one typically needs to hold a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), although a degree in psychology or sociology may also be accepted.

The bachelor’s program should provide a broad understanding of social welfare policy, human behavior, and social environment.

Practical training via fieldwork is also a significant part of the program.

For clinical social work roles, a master’s degree in social work (MSW) is mandatory.

The MSW program is designed to provide advanced training in clinical assessment and management, research methodology, and social policy analysis.

In addition to the academic qualifications, all states require social workers to be licensed, certified, or registered, although the requirements vary by state.

For clinical social workers, they typically need two years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience after obtaining their degree.

Continuing education is also important in this profession, as it helps keep social workers up-to-date with the latest research and techniques in their field.

Additional certifications from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) can also improve job prospects and potential for career advancement.

These certifications may focus on specific areas of social work, such as healthcare, children and family, or mental health.


Social Worker Salary Expectations

A Social Worker can expect an average salary of $51,760 (USD) per year.

However, this figure can fluctuate based on factors such as the social worker’s level of education, years of experience in the field, and the cost of living in the area they are working in.

Other factors that can impact a social worker’s salary include the specific sector of social work they are employed in and the size of the organization they work for.


Social Worker Job Description FAQs

What skills does a social worker need?

A social worker should have strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with clients and family members.

They must have empathy and patience to understand the problems of their clients.

Additionally, they should possess problem-solving skills to find suitable solutions to their clients’ issues.

Moreover, social workers need to have organizational skills and knowledge of social services and resources.


Do social workers need a degree?

Yes, social workers generally need a Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) for entry-level positions.

However, some positions, especially in healthcare or school settings, may require a Master’s degree in social work (MSW).

Also, every state requires social workers to be licensed, certified, or registered, although the requirements vary by state.


What should you look for in a social worker resume?

In a social worker’s resume, look for degrees in social work and the required licensure for your state.

In addition, prior work experience in the social work field or in related areas like counseling or mental health services can be an advantage.

It’s also helpful if the candidate has knowledge of social services resources and experience working with specific populations such as the elderly, children, or substance abusers.


What qualities make a good social worker?

Good social workers have strong empathy and a genuine desire to help others.

They must have resilience and emotional intelligence to manage the stress that comes with working in challenging environments.

They also need excellent communication and listening skills to understand their clients’ needs and problems.

Organizational skills and time management are also essential as they often juggle multiple cases at once.


What are the daily duties of a social worker?

A social worker’s daily duties may include conducting interviews with clients and their families to assess their situation, developing plans to improve their clients’ well-being, referring clients to community resources like food stamps or childcare, responding to crisis situations like child abuse, and following up with clients to ensure their situation has improved.

They also often work in teams and may consult with other professionals, such as psychologists, teachers, or doctors.



And that’s the long and short of it.

Today, we’ve lifted the veil on what being a social worker truly entails.


It’s not just about providing assistance.

It’s about kindling hope, one individual at a time.

With our tried-and-true social worker job description template and real-life scenarios, you’re ready to take the leap.

But why rest on your laurels?

Delve further with our job description generator. It’s your stepping stone to precisely-crafted listings or refining your resume to a tee.


Every individual you help is a piece of the bigger societal puzzle.

Let’s mend our society. Together.

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