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Summary Report for:
21-1022.00 - Healthcare Social Workers

Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

Sample of reported job titles: Clinical Social Worker, Dialysis Social Worker, Director of Social Work, Hospice Social Worker, Medical Social Worker, Nephrology Social Worker, Oncology Social Worker, Renal Social Worker, Social Work Case Manager, Social Worker

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Collaborate with other professionals to evaluate patients' medical or physical condition and to assess client needs.
  • Advocate for clients or patients to resolve crises.
  • Refer patient, client, or family to community resources to assist in recovery from mental or physical illness and to provide access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education.
  • Investigate child abuse or neglect cases and take authorized protective action when necessary.
  • Counsel clients and patients in individual and group sessions to help them overcome dependencies, recover from illness, and adjust to life.
  • Plan discharge from care facility to home or other care facility.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress according to measurable goals described in treatment and care plan.
  • Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in clients' status.
  • Identify environmental impediments to client or patient progress through interviews and review of patient records.
  • Organize support groups or counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting the client or patient.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Desktop computers
Notebook computers
Personal computers

Technology used in this occupation:

Data base user interface and query software — Command Systems ComServe; Database software; Relational database software
Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker; Microsoft Publisher
Electronic mail software — Email software
Medical software — Automated clinical information systems; James Frazier Associates DataStart; Medical records software; Patient electronic medical record EMR software
Presentation software — Information presentation software; Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

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Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Abilities

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
Exposed to Disease or Infections — How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
92   Master's degree
  Post-baccalaureate certificate Help
  Post-master's certificate Help

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: SI

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

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Work Values

Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

19-3031.03 Counseling Psychologists
21-1011.00 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Bright Outlook
21-1012.00 Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
21-1013.00 Marriage and Family Therapists Bright Outlook
21-1014.00 Mental Health Counselors Bright Outlook
21-1021.00 Child, Family, and School Social Workers Bright Outlook
21-1023.00 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
43-4051.03 Patient Representatives Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $24.44 hourly, $50,820 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 146,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Much faster than average (22% or higher) Much faster than average (22% or higher)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 70,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Social Workers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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