All careers
Social Worker

Social Worker

An important and challenging role as an advocate for social justice and human rights.

What's it like to be a Social Worker?

Social Workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their wellbeing and address disadvantage and marginalisation.

Tasks and duties

  • Assessing clients’ needs and ensuring they have access to appropriate support services.
  • Providing practical support, counselling, information and emotional support to clients
  • Acting as an advocate for clients in situations where they may be experiencing inequality, injustice or discrimination.
Social Workers play an important role in advocating for social justice, human rights, social change and development.
Social Workers may provide case management, counselling and advocacy to address issues at the personal and social level in a variety of settings including crisis support, child protection, aged care, disability, homelessness, drug and alcohol, healthcare, education or policy.

What can I earn as a Social Worker?

The most common salary  for a Social Worker is between $65k and $75k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become a Social Worker

SEEK Learning
To work as a Social Worker in Australia, you need to complete a Bachelor of Social Work. The courses provide both theory and clinical social work experiences.
  1. Complete a bachelor degree in social work. Alternatively, for students with previous tertiary qualifications, complete a two-year Master of Social Work program.
  2. Apply to the professional representative body of social workers in Australia – the Australian Association of Social Workers.
  3. Social workers with several years’ experience can move into more specialised roles (such as family therapy, research or mental health), academia or transfer into policy and management.

Explore social work qualifications

View courses that will prepare you to enter to the field of social work.

Duration 4 yrs - 9 yrs
18 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
Duration 3 yrs - 6 yrs
1 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Working with children check
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Professional ethics
  • First aid certificate - mental health

Shortlisted applicants:

  • Team work
  • Adaptability
  • People management
  • Relationship management
  • Time management
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Social Workers rate their role?

Latest reviews from 59 Social Workers surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Social Work Masters (Professional Qualifying)
Experience
10+ years
Specialisation
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
The good things
Fighting for fairness
The challenges
Employers not having a good idea of the role and value of social work
5 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma in Professional Counselling
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Clinical Supervision, Vulnerabilities, Relationship, Children, Career, AOD.
The good things
It's a great job when it comes to helping people and it allows me to think outside the box, constantly analyse my role and modify my skills. I find that at the end of each day I am truly satisfied wit...
The challenges
The greatest challenge is not being able to receive the remuneration that I should get by normal standards. It is tough relying on donor funding and always unsure whether we will be supported continua...
4 out of 5Jun 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Social Work
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Hospital Social Work
The good things
Rewarding and satisfying career as it’s the helping profession “Enhancing the fit between people and their social arrangements”
The challenges
Challenges are many - however self care very important to avoid burn out
4 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Social Work
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
health
The good things
Social Work is diverse and challenging work. It provides an opportunity to put your values around access, equality and social justice in action. I have also found that my different work roles/envronme...
The challenges
Sometimes the work can be frustrating, especially as you are dealing with systems that are inflexible or under-resourced. You are also often dealing with the messy parts of people's lives, and the wor...
5 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Applied Science (Social Work)
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Small (1-19 employees)
Specialisation
Mental Health
The good things
A facilitator role providing support and opportunities for participants of the program. Person centred and strengths based practice. Advocacy and care coordination to achieve the best results for clie...
The challenges
Advocacy support and a care coordination role for those with severe and persistent mental health issues and complex needs.
4 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
B.SOC.SC Social work
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Domestic violence
The good things
If you are passionate about human right and advocating for better outcomes for clients belief in equality and basic rights social work will be a career to consider
The challenges
Work with people what have complexes needs and need to be realistic about outcomes and resources avialable. Selfcare is essential because you deal with traumatized people every day.
5 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
Master of social work
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Community health
The good things
I am privileged to have many vulnerable people open up to me and continue to be amazed at seeing people develop confidence and belief in themselves by being able to recognise their strengths in surviv...
The challenges
Challenges include working in a rural area and not having as much choice in options for additional support. Also people struggle with what the role of a social worker is so I find I am continually edu...
5 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
BA SOCIAL WORK
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Youth work
The good things
Social worker is not just a job. Once you enter into this field, you would becomes a candle, lighting up the life’s all around you. You can feel the meaning of life in every breath. I am glad to be he...
The challenges
Age is a problem for me, I would like to stick in front line but the market is changing every moment. My heart still young and on fire, I can prove age is no longer a problem to me!
5 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of social work and human services
Experience
5 - 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
DHS
The good things
Being a social worker you are provided with the opportunity to meet a range of people with varying circumstances. You are invited to hear their stories and work through with them so options that may b...
The challenges
Unfortunately you cannot help every person you meet, so you have to be prepared to have unfortunate outcomes for some people. The role generally comes along with a level of aggression due to the natur...
5 out of 5
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
Experience
1 - 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Mental health
The good things
Social work is a profession which is diverse and fulfilling. It allows a person to develop their own way of practicing according to their personality and values. Knowing you can help others when they ...
The challenges
Balancing good client centred care with meeting the demands of the employer is a daily challenge. Self care is important in social work and often comes second to the demands of work, leading to stres...
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Social Workers?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Social Worker jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
8%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Social Workers
Latest Social Worker jobs on SEEK
Hunter New England Local Health District
Tamworth & North West NSW
Employment Type: Permanent Full TimePosition Classification: Social Worker Level 3/ PsychologistRemuneration: Dependent on qualificationsHours...
Royal Rehab
Sydney > Ryde & Macquarie Park
• Permanent Full Time position, Level 3 • NSW Health leave entitlements transferable between Royal Rehab • Start Date 17 June 2019
TAFE Queensland Brisbane
Brisbane > CBD & Inner Suburbs
An experienced Counsellor is sought to join our Student Support Services team, to provide confidential short-term counselling services to current stud
Company logo
Children's Health Queensland
Brisbane
Our Vision - Leading life-changing care for children and young people - for a healthier tomorrow.
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Explore similar roles

Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK