Florida Social Work Certification & Licensing + Jobs & Salary
Social work is a very important field of work. As a graduate social worker, your responsibility will be to ensure that people, regardless of their age, gender or background, have opportunities in life. Although many people automatically think about child protection when they hear the term “social worker,” there is actually a lot more to this kind of job. Social workers will also provide services to older people, for instance, who may feel socially isolated. They help drug addicts and alcoholics and young people in schools, with families in which someone is disabled and so on.
If you intend to become a social worker in Florida, therefore, you should learn a bit more about the demographic makeup of the state in which you intend to work. Looking at Florida in particular, the U.S. Census reports that there are around 19.5 million people in this particular state. This represents a population growth of 4% since the last census. The population is reasonably diverse in terms of ethnic backgrounds. Most notably, it has a large population of elderly people, with 18.7% of inhabitants being over the age of 65, which is well above the national average. This presents considerable challenges to healthcare and social work sectors.
It should also be pointed out that Florida is a popular retirement state. The population across the country is aging overall, as the baby boomers are reaching their mid 60s and 70s. Florida residents notice this far more strongly as their own population ages and elderly people from other states move into the area.
Social Work Degrees Seen in Florida
In Florida, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient to allow you to become employed as a general social worker (GSW). However, if you want to work as a clinical social worker, you will need a master’s degree. And it is incredibly important that your degree program is accredited by the CSWE. Some of the programs you could consider participating in include those offered by the:
- Barry University Ellen Whiteside McDonnell School of Social Work, which offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctor of social work degree programs. The school has Catholic traditions at its heart.
- University of South Florida College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, where you can take part in a bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or dual degree program in social work. The goal of the school is to engage, educate and empower.
- Florida State University College of Social Work, which offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate education in social work. The college was established in 1928 and was also the first university in the entire world to offer a Social Work master’s degree fully online.
Jobs for Social Workers in Florida
Social workers can enjoy very interesting salaries in the state of Florida, depending on the area on which they work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic reports that the average salary for a social worker in the child, family and schools sectors is $40,500. In medical services and public health, it stands at $45,120. In mental health and substance abuse, it is $35,660. All other areas of social work average at $46,650. Additionally, those who achieve a master’s degree tend to earn $15,000 per year more than their bachelor’s degree educated counterparts. Some employers for social workers in Florida include:
Hillsborough County Public Schools
Address: Tampa, FL
Telephone: (813) 272-4000
Hillsborough County Public Schools is on the lookout for social workers to help promote and support growth within the educational system.
Florida Department of Children and Families North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center (NFETC)
Address: Gainesville, FL
Telephone: (352) 375-8484
At NFETC, there are almost always vacancies for fully qualified social workers to be employed in direct client care. The goal of the center is to work with male convicted criminals, helping them to rehabilitate into society or into less restrictive facilities.
Florida Atlantic University School of Social Work
Address: Various locations across Florida
At the Florida Atlantic University, graduates can review various job openings for social workers across the state.
Florida Social Work Scholarships, Fellowships & Grants
- Florida Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness Program – This is a loan repayment program of up to $8,000. It is designed specifically for those students interested in child welfare protection, particularly those who study at master’s degree level.
- National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. Graduate Scholarship Program – This scholarship is provided in varying amounts to students who want to improve outcomes for children and young people. Their motto is “care today – character tomorrow.”
- The Dolores Auzenne Fellowship<a?=>, provided to minority students at Florida International University.
- The Florida Tuition Reduction grant at Barry University, is offered to Florida students who meet a number of prerequisite requirements in terms of GPA, residency and number of credit hours enrolled in.