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Social Work

What Will I Learn?

As a student studying social work at Heartland Community College, you will begin to study how to help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. HCC offers an introductory course in social work, and it is also recommended that students interested in pursuing this field of study take courses in psychology (human sexuality, abnormal psychology, human growth and development, social psychology) and sociology (social problems, marriage and family).

What Is The Occupational Outlook?

Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be due to an increase in demand for health care and social services but will vary by specialty.1

In the State of Illinois in 2009, the median annual salary for child, family, and school social workers was $53,201; for medical and public health social workers was $48,522; and for mental health and substance abuse social workers was $33,789.2

What Are My Options?

The Associates Degree with emphasis in Social Work is designed for students planning to complete the first two years of study leading to a baccalaureate degree and major in social work at a four-year college or university.

Although a bachelor's degree is sufficient for entry into the field, an advanced degree has become the standard for many positions. A master's degree in social work (MSW) is typically required for positions in health settings and is required for clinical work as well.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Psychologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Social-workers.htm (visited June 1, 2012)
  2. Department of Employment Security, State of Illinois, Wage Data 2010, on the Internet at http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Custom/Library/publications/Publications/WageData.pdf (visited June 1, 2012)