Last Reviewed: October 3rd, 2022
There are several career options for graduates of social work programs in Oregon. Anyone interested in the field can work in a clinical setting, like a hospital or mental health facility, and administer psychotherapeutic counseling to those battling mental illnesses or experiencing trouble with substance misuse.
You may not want to work in a clinical setting and instead may prefer a non-clinical setting where you’re able to help others. That may include a public policy or victim-advocacy group. Those you support will usually be children, adults, families, and community members seeking assistance. If you have patience, are a good listener, can clearly assess situations, provide advice, and want clients to find resources necessary for their well-being, you’re in the right place.
Social workers need a bachelor’s degree to provide services in Oregon. If working in a clinical setting appeals to you, you must earn a master’s or doctoral degree.
As a social worker, you’ll help individuals, groups, and communities identify and solve problems through policy and advocacy work. You will also counsel clients and help people improve their emotional and mental health.
Marriage and family counselors help people solve personal problems with different family-centered methods and treatment services. Therapists discuss emotional and personal experiences with individuals, couples, and families. If you choose to be a marriage and family therapist, you’ll need a master’s degree to practice in Oregon.
School counselors support students in developing and improving academic and social skills. They generally partner with parents and teachers in school settings. Many career counselors work in higher education facilities or job placement firms. These counselors help students recognize the career path that best suits them by assessing the student’s interests and skills. They provide job search assistance and give the students advice on how to conduct themselves during interviews and structure a resume.
A healthcare social worker provides psychosocial assistance to groups and individuals. It’s done through counseling services, case management, and client education. They have the task of developing creative intervention plans to help people overcome mental illness. You’ll find them in hospitals, elderly care facilities, outpatient centers, and home health care networks.
Mental health counselors help individuals identify and find the right treatment for their symptoms of mental illness and emotional stress. The counselors often work in one-on-one or group settings. They help those who are depressed, suffer from anxiety, and have grief to improve their emotional and mental state.
Once you become a social worker, you should join a professional organization or association. It is an opportunity to network and find other social workers to foster partnerships across the field of social work. Joining an organization gives you access to continuing education opportunities. You’ll be able to stay abreast of the latest developments and changes in regulations and laws.
You will also gain more professional affiliations, leading to an increase in employment resources, research grants, and more. Many organizations throw member-only events and conferences and have their own publications and journals. You can find leadership opportunities that enable you to give back to your community by mentoring students after graduation and professionals new to the field. It’s essential to become a member of a professional organization to establish credibility in the industry. When you join an organization, it also allows you to develop and reinforce your voice as you advocate for your profession.
Oregon is a huge state with plenty of groups to support you as you move forward in your career. It’s a wonderful place to begin your career and start making a change in the lives of others. There are so many ways a social worker affects change in our society, and knowing you have a group of like-minded people in your corner is enough motivation to keep you going.
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to practice social work in Oregon. Higher levels of licensure will require a master’s degree in social work. The programs in the US must be approved by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the coursework in Canada has to be approved by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education.
A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) takes about four years to complete and includes field and classroom experience. Master of Social Work (MSW) programs typically take two years to complete. However, if you hold a BSW, you can complete the program within a year due to “advanced placement.” Classwork involves advanced social work concepts and supervised fieldwork.
There are three levels of licensure available in Oregon, and if you hold one, you are considered a social worker.