How Do You Become a Social Worker?

An aspiring social worker needs at least a bachelor's degree to gain an entry-level position. An internship is normally required as part of a degree program. Social workers must also obtain state certifications and develop necessary skills for career success.

  1. Get a bachelor's degree

    A Bachelor of Social Work degree is the normal standard for a career in social work, though some people get degrees in psychology or sociology. Coursework includes introduction classes to social welfare and human services, human behavior theory, issues in social welfare, social work practice and statistics.

  2. Complete an internship experience

    Supervised field experience is standard in social work degree programs. In fact, it is typically required for clinical social workers to get licensed. During the internship experience, students work in a social work environment and learn about processes to interact with clients and experience the types of activities social workers perform on a daily basis.

  3. Gain certifications and develop skills

    All states require social workers to gain certifications or licenses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The specific requirements vary based on the type of social work position. To appeal to employers, social workers must develop and demonstrate skills such as compassion, interpersonal communication, listening, organization, time management and problem solving.