Social work is one career that comes filled with some major misconceptions. People believe that the life of a social worker is a good life doing good work, but it is filled with stress, drama, dealing with the worst in people, and very little pay. While, this is the case for some social workers, it is a small percentage of workers. Here we will reveal the myths surrounding social work.
The biggest misconceptions is usually low pay. While, it is true that many new social workers starting out in the field make little income. Once they get a few years under their belt their income increases significantly. Salary.com reports that a social worker with 5 years experience makes a median of $40,000 in middle-America. Those that choose to pursue a masters degree and stay in the social work field make substantially more. The median for workers with a masters is around $60,000 annually.
Another misconception is high stress. This can be a myth and fact all in one and here is how. Stress comes with any job. The grocery clerk can have a high level of stress and so can the average Wall Street trader. There are always problems to work through and struggles to overcome. I believe many people see the stress that social workers deal with and would not want that for themselves. It can be hard. Social workers will work and establish relationships with clients only to see them return to the life they were seeking to escape. Most career social workers understand that this type of experience and stress requires a certain amount of mental and emotional growth. What many do not see is the fulfillment that is gained when a social worker helps a client find a new way of life and brings themselves to a new level. To be a part of that is what makes social workers stay in the field and makes them such great people.
Another misconception is that social workers are constantly dealing with the worst in people. This has some fact and falseness to it as well. Some social workers do deal with the worst in people on a regular basis. Drug addicts, children born with addictions, poverty, crime, domestic abuse, and the list goes on and on. Most career social workers that work in this area do so because they are comfortable here and they like it. However, most jobs do not work in this area on a regular basis. The majority of jobs work in other areas, hospitals, clinics, non-profit organizations, fundraisers, charity groups, etc.