A degree in Social Work will have you delving into many aspects of the lives of individuals and the communities in which they live. Your ‘hands on’ learning will cover everything from the sociological and psychological impacts on human development, to safeguarding vulnerable individuals.
With practical work placements involved, this degree can give you the transferable skills needed to be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in various roles across the public sector.
But with an abundance of knowledge and skills gained from this degree, it can be difficult figuring out what role you actually want to take after your time studying ends. To help you make that decision, we’ve taken a look at what job opportunities are available to you…
What Does a Social Worker Do?
Perhaps the most obvious job you could do with a Social Work degree; as a Social Worker your main responsibility will be to improve the outcomes of other people’s lives. You may choose to specialise in child social care or adult social care, focusing on helping those suffering from abuse,neglect, or mental health issues.
Visiting and interviewing individuals or families and assessing their needs
Writing accurate assessments based on your visits and interviews
Making recommendations for the best care and support for individuals/families
Liaising with other agencies such as police, crown prosecution services, charities and healthcare providers, to provide personalised care and support
Attending court cases to give evidence on cases of neglect or abuse
Keeping accurate and up-to-date records on centralised databases
As a Social Worker you can expect to do typical 35-40 hour weeks, but because of the nature of this role this can include working outside of normal office hours as well as on weekends.
Social Worker Expected Salary
Starting salaries for a Social Worker are usually around £22,000 per year and can increase as much as up to £40,000 per year once you are more experienced.
You can find opportunities as a Social Worker through local authorities, charities and voluntary organisations, as well as private social work organisations such as nursing homes or fostering agencies.
What Does a Counsellor Do?
Being a Counsellor is all about listening to people and helping them.This is where your skills at relationship building, learnt during your degree, will come in - as you do your best to build up a safe and trusting environment with your clients, allowing them to confide in you any struggles or challenges they may be facing.
As a Counsellor you will provide your clients with structured and positive ways they can tackle their problems and this may be done in one to one meetings or group sessions.
Providing counselling either face to face, via telephone or online
Building close, confidential relationships with clients based on trust and respect
Encouraging clients to discuss their emotions/issues, empathising with them whilst remaining unbiased
Creating personalised treatment/session plans in which you will help clients work through and resolve their issues
Liaising with other agencies, individuals or institutions for further help based on clients needs
Keeping confidential records
You will carry out these duties in a typical 9am-5pm working week but, depending on certain clients needs, some flexibility may be required.
Counsellor Expected Salary
You can expect anything between £19,000 and £27,000 for your starting salary, but as you progress in this career you could be earning up to £47,000. Salaries can be dependent on who you are employed by, how much experience you have, and whether you work in a private or NHS practice.
There are many settings where you may find yourself working as a Counsellor, including GP surgeries, schools, advice centres, or hospitals. Community and charity organisations and not forgetting citizens advice bureaus are always in need of counselling services too, so you will have plenty of places to send out your CV.
What Does an Education Consultant Do?
As an Education Consultant you will be the main point of contact when it comes to assisting either parents, students or organisations with their educational needs. Responsibilities will range from assisting schools with the planning of curriculums, or assisting individuals with any problems they have encountered within a particular institution.
You may choose to be self-employed as a freelancer, specialising in certain aspects of education and this will all determine who your clients will be, along with the hours you will work. All in all it is a really rewarding job, as you will be helping to shape the academic lives of young people in society.
Working with schools and providing them with strategies to develop and improve
Assisting parents and students in choosing the right school
Help in implementing changes to school curriculums
Designing teacher training programmes
Matching students to certain education programmes if they have special needs
Surveying students to gain their feedback on current educational resources/curriculum
The nature of this job can see you working the hours of regular school days, although if you’re working with higher educational institutions like colleges then you are likely to have a typical 9am-5pm working week. Being self-employed however you may find yourself having more erratic hours which could include weekends or evenings.
Education Consultant Expected Salary
Starting a career in the field of an Education Consultant can see you earning anything between £19,000 and £25,000. What you earn as you progress in this industry will depend on what qualifications you have as well as what you specialise in. Being more qualified means you can earn anything from £25,000 up to £40,000 and if there is a specialism involved, such as childhood education, then you can expect an income of £52,000 up to £75,000.
An Education Consultant may be employed directly by a school or academy as well as local authorities. If you choose to be self-employed in this career path then there are always opportunities to expand your client base through organisations like and EduStaff The Society of Education Consultants.
Community Development Worker
What Does a Community Development Worker Do?
As a Community Development Worker you will work as a member of a non-profit or governmental organisation who acts as a liaison between that organisation and community members. There are many different areas in which you can engage with members of society and encourage them to better their lives and bring about social change in the communities in which they live. Community work like this means you will come into contact with issues relating to homelessness and unemployment so no two days will be the same.
Allowing local people to have their say
Help to raise awareness of issues within a community
Developing and implementing policies or strategies
Finding out about a community’s needs and problems
Recruiting and training new members of staff and volunteers
You can expect to work a typical 39 hour week, which can involve evenings or weekends due to the nature of some of the responsibilities you’ll have.
Community Development Worker Expected Salary
As many roles within this job industry are voluntary roles salaries can vary significantly. But starting out you can expect to take home about £16,000. This can increase up to £36,000 with more experience.
You can find work as a Community Development Worker within social services, housing associations, local authorities and many other public sector organisations.
What Does a Detective Do?
What you’ll do may not always be as thrill-seeking as in the movies, but it won’t be too far off. As a Detective, you’ll hold a variety of different responsibilities that range from devising the best strategies to carry-out an investigation, to conducting witness interviews, and being involved in both searches and raids. Having a background in social work will give you knowledge of how communities operate, and equip you with the empathy necessary to deal with all types of people on a daily basis.
Working on multiple crime scenes, managing the investigation from start to finish
Oversee the gathering and analysing of evidence
Conducting interviews and obtaining statements
Using technology to analyse evidence and solve cases
Managing teams of police staff
Organising and participating in raids and arrests
Writing reports and keeping accurate evidence files on the investigation, to be used in a court of law
Liaising with other agencies such as medical staff, social workers, lawyers during the process of the case
Your days may not be filled with car chases, exploding buildings or playing ‘Sherlock Holmes’, but the people you’ll encounter and the challenges that will come your way will all be invaluable in your development as a person. Plus, you’ll have some pretty brilliant work stories!
Working hours are often dependent on the branch you work for, but a Detective can expect to work a 40-hour week, with some occasional hours that run late into the evening or weekends.
Detective Expected Salary
Roughly £23,000 is what you’ll earn to begin with. Naturally as you move up the ranks, so too will your salary. If your ultimate ambition is to be a Chief Superintendent, you’ll be looking at a salary flirting with the region of £90,000.
As a Detective you can expect to be employed by any one of the 45 different police forces spanned across the UK. Many of the departments offer the ability to eventually transfer elsewhere if so desired, and working abroad is an option too. The British Transport Police aren’t shy on hiring for Detective roles either.
One fast-track way of becoming a Detective could be to apply for the
You don’t need previous policing experience but you do need some work experience (in any role/industry) to apply. Police Now Detective programme.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer
What Does an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer Do?
What you’ll do is make a significant, positive difference to society! Covering an array of bases such as race, sex, gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation, your role will be to ensure those in minority groups are being treated in a fair, respectful manner. You’ll help those with issues, raise awareness for those who are discriminated against, be a promoter of change and help develop policies that promote this.
Investigating the best means & methods for promoting diversity and implementing change
Dealing with people who have complaints or issues regarding equality or diversity in a specific institution or community
Assessing communities, companies or institutions on their success in promoting diversity and equality
Writing assessments and helping develop policies for organisations or workplaces
Running workshops and developing a culture where people feel comfortable to speak up when they feel discriminated against
One of the most important qualities you’ll need for this role is empathy. People, from a diverse range of backgrounds, will be looking to you for help, and the more empathy you can employ, the greater success you’ll have at your job.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer Expected Salary
Salaries can range from £19,000 to £28,000, with how experienced you are and who your employer is, playing a significant part. At the upper echelons, you’ll be rewarded with anywhere between £35,00 and £52,000.
You’ll have quite the choice. Whether it’s , educational institutes, councils or police services, your talents in promoting diversity & wellbeing of all will be necessary. A sense of community & empathy is where you come in, and all organisations need this. NHS services
Substance Abuse Counsellor
What Does a Substance Abuse Counsellor do?
As a Substance Abuse Counsellor, you’ll be there to help those struggling with addiction. Addiction to any particular substance can debilitate not only one person’s life, but also those around them. As a part of the rehabilitation process, you’ll be working with patients looking for a way out of their dark spiral, addressing both the how and the why of their addiction, and coming up with treatment plans to combat the addiction.
Your overarching goal will be help your clients get their lives back on a positive track, and you will often be the first step for the patient to begin talking about their addiction.
Facilitating the recovery and rehabilitation of patients
Working with patients either in groups, or on a one-on-one basis
Building close relationships with patients based on trust and mutual respect
Helping patients 'unpack' their addiction, identifying what elements of their life may be causing the harmful behaviours
Finding the best strategies to put in place that will reduce the addiction behaviours in place of healthier ones
Aiding patients with getting a job, or going back into education, by helping to refer them to particular resources
Patients that struggle with addiction need to feel comfortable to talk about what’s going on with friends and family. Thus, you’ll have a significant part to play in their capacity to open up to loved ones.
Substance Abuse Counsellor Expected Salary
On average, you can expect to earn £45,000 once experienced. As you will often be hired by a clinical practice, or more specifically a private practice, your pay will be determined by not only the qualifications and experience you have, but where you work.
Similar to an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, you’ll have a choice. Primarily you will be based in the medical sector, whether that be in private or non-private clinical practices, or hospitals.
What Does a Health Administrator Do?
You’ll be the King, or Queen, of admin within the healthcare sector. Dealing with doctors, physicians, nurses, surgeons, and even patients, your role will constantly involve dealing with people, and how to make their lives run more smoothly. Your management, coordination and organisational skills will help determine how smoothly the operation of a healthcare facility runs.
With a Health Administrator being a role so steeped in trust, your duties will involve a lot of organisation, coordination and care. You’ll be required to manage different departments and services, how efficiently these services run for patients, and to interact with the corresponding patients.
The quality of health service for the patient will be one of your many responsibilities. New healthcare legislation and technology? You’ll have your finger on the pulse for these ones.
Managing the overall running of a healthcare department
Liaising with doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to identify their issues and needs
Create and manage work schedules for staff
Stock-keeping of medical supplies
Informing employees of new healthcare policies and regulations, ensuring staff adhere to them
Ensuring patient medical records are kept up to date and stored securely
Health Administrator Expected Salary
Anywhere from £30,000 to £76,000 could be where your salary falls. This all depends on your experience, and the scale of health facility you’re working in. With this role being in such high demand in the current market, you can expect this salary to increase.
Whether in a private clinic, a hospital, or some other form of health service, you’ll likely be assuming a role within a . It may well be that you’re working within a particular clinical department, or the wider facility as a whole. healthcare facility
Essential Skills You Need for These Roles
Most of these roles involve engaging with other people so it is vital to have good communication and listening skills, especially if dealing with vulnerable or young groups of people so you can act on their needs in a professional and efficient manner.
Dealing with various situations in any of these jobs that a social work degree can offer you means you need to have good decision making skills too in order to ensure you are tackling problems the best way possible and implementing the correct strategies in certain situations.
Further Study in Social Work
If you want to deepen your knowledge or decide you want to specialise in a certain area, then there are many postgraduate routes you can take.
For example, studying a
after your undergraduate degree in Social Work will give you all the skills and training you need in order to be a teacher or there are always postgraduate qualifications in PGCE , Social Work and many others to give you the skills you need to enter the field you desire. Social Policy
Where to Study an Undergraduate Degree in Social Work
There are over currently being offered by 80 universities across the country. 100 social work degrees
You can search through them to find the best one for you right here on Whatuni. You can tailor your search by study mode, location, your qualifications and even by
. uni rankings
You can then read in-depth uni profiles and thousands of student reviews to help you narrow down your choice.
- Search for your perfect Social Work degree
- Search more jobs you can do with popular degree subjects