Associate’s Degree in Social Work

An associate’s degree in social work offers entry-level training in social and human services with a focus on case management, assessment and counseling. Students who are interested in pursuing a career working with people in a helping role may find that this degree provides access to entry-level positions working with children, families and seniors in settings such as private homes, hospitals, community centers and schools.

Reasons for Earning an Associate’s Degree in Social Work

Holders of this degree often choose to work in their chosen field for a few years before deciding to pursue a bachelor’s or masters social work designation. This allows the individuals to assess their suitability for a career in social work before investing the time and money required to earn an advanced social work degree.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities for employment as a social work assistant are expected to increase by 23 percent from 2008 to 2018 (https://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos059.htm). As of May 2008, the median wage for social and human service assistants was approximately $27,000.

Career Opportunities for Individuals With an Associate Degree in Social Work

An associate’s degree in social work is often the minimum educational requirement for many jobs such as assistant case worker, staff member in a halfway house or entry-level non-licensed positions within non-profit, private and government social service agencies.

Coursework for an Associate’s Degree in Social Work

Because of the sensitive nature of social work, employment in this field usually requires that candidates pass intense background and criminal record checks.

Typical courses in this program include psychology, case management, documentation, assessment and interventions (http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/justice-studies/human-services/). Students also may learn about county and state child protection laws, different types of disabilities and service options for various client groups.

Online Associate’s Degree in Social Work Overview

Students who wish to pursue an associate’s degree in social work may find that online education fits well with their current work and family obligations. This online degree may qualify individuals for junior positions in both public and private social service settings. Associate social work degree holders usually qualify for advanced standing in most undergraduate and graduate social work degree programs, which are required by most employers for licensed social worker and case management positions.


United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos059.htm

Rasmussen College: http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/justice-studies/human-services/

Universities.com: http://www.universities.com/edu/Associate_degrees_in_Social_Work.html