An associate’s degree in social work is a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable real-world experience, before furthering education for a bachelor’s or master’s in the field. Although an associate’s degree in social work does not enable students to pursue jobs as a social worker or benefit from the same amount of employment flexibility offered by an advanced college degree, there are still many open doors for entry-level positions in human services. Read on to find out what the best jobs are available for graduates with an associate’s degree in social work.
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1. Residential Counselor
Residential counselors can find employment opportunities in a multitude of settings, including group homes for developmentally disabled or mentally ill individuals and runaway shelters. Residential counselors are typically responsible for providing direct care to the clients, assisting with daily living activities, performing housekeeping tasks, tracking client progress, and supervising recreational trips. In addition to training and an associate’s degree, residential counselors must also possess a valid driver’s license for providing transportation to clients.
2. Social Services Assistant
Social services assistants work side by side with other healthcare professionals, including social workers, psychologists, and nurses, in order to assist them with a range of different duties. Social services assistants are needed to fill positions in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, and community organizations. Assistants are responsible for helping with direct patient care, maintaining patient records, greeting clients, providing referrals, and performing other administrative tasks. Social services assistants can specialize in working with a certain population, such as children or the elderly, depending on personal preferences.
3. Preschool Teacher
Graduates with an associate’s degree in social work can also become preschool teachers or other day care providers for children under 5. Preschool teachers are generally responsible for taking care of and educating small children while their parents or guardians are at work. These teachers create lesson plans in basic reading, science, writing, and math subjects. They also prepare meals or sneaks for healthy nutrition, supervise educational or recreational activities, and monitor children for any warning signs of mental or developmental problems. Preschool teachers can find employment in public or private schools, day care centers, and community childcare organizations.
4. Case Manager Assistant
Even though entry-level case manager positions usually require a bachelor’s degree, those with an associate’s degree can become case manager assistants to gain valuable experience in the career. Case manager assistants provide vital help to the case manager for obtaining services for patients and monitoring their progress with the treatment. Case managers work with a range of individuals, including substance abusers, hospice patients, mentally ill patients, and the homeless. Within hospitals and community based agencies, case manager assistants provide advocacy for clients and help them to receive their basic needs.
Overall, these jobs can provide necessary experience for an impressive resume or school application later on to further your education. So, start searching for a position that suits your interests and aligns with your future goals in the social work field. All of the mentioned job opportunities are tremendous pathways to lead graduates with an associate’s degree down the road towards a successful and rewarding career.