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School of Social Work

Careers in Social Work


Making a Difference

If you’re looking for a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, consider social work. Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, and who want to relieve suffering. 

Many social workers work for social change as well. The victim of an assault benefits not only from therapy but also from efforts to curb neighborhood crime. The client under stress because illness has devastated the family finances benefits from efforts to reform the nation’s health care system.

We empower the voiceless, we promote the values of:  social justice, economic justice, physical and mental well being. 



Social Work Clients & Employment

Social workers help individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to solve a broad range of problems in a broad range of work settings. 

Social workers come in many forms. They are managers, supervisors, and administrators. They serve at all levels of government.

They are educators. They are therapists and researchers. More and more, they are also elected political leaders and legislators. 


Industry Settings

  • Home Health
  • Child and Family Welfare
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Family Violence
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Public Welfare
  • Corrections and the Court Systems
  • Public Health
  • Community Organizers and Organizations
  • Public and Private School Systems
  • Early Childhood Education Centers
  • Adoption
  • Youth Services
  • Disaster Management and Response Agencies
  • Armed Forces
  • International Relief Organizations
  • Gerontology
  • Medical Centers
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Political Action


Educational & Licensing Requirements

To be a social worker, you must have a degree in social work from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. 

Degree programs involve classroom study as well as practical field experience. The bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for generalist entry-level work, whereas the master’s degree is for more advanced clinical practice.

Many Southern Miss BSW alumni also pursue the Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at Southern Miss or other graduate programs. BSW graduates may be eligible for admission to Southern Miss' Advanced Standing MSW program.

The State Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists oversees regulation for social workers in Mississippi. 

State Licensing Resources


Income & Job Outlook 

In the most recent data available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for social workers was $47,980, in May 2017.

The BLS has projected employment for social workers to increase 16% from 2016-2026, a "much faster" rate than for all occupations, and cites an "increased demand for healthcare and social services


- Adapted from the National Association of Social Workers.

Contact Us

School of Social Work

250 Joseph Greene Hall (JGH)

Campus Hattiesburg

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Contact Us

School of Social Work

320 Hardy Hall (HH)

Campus Gulf Park

Campus Map