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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Social Workers in Illinois

Illinois has a population of 12,910,409, which has grown by 3.95% over the past 10 years. Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln," its capital is Springfield, though its most populous city is Chicago.

There are currently 3,750 jobs for mental health social workers in Illinois and this is projected to grow 39% to about 5,200 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for mental health social workers are expected to grow by about 19.5%. Mental health social workers generally assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.

A person working as a mental health social worker can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $33,010 annually on average in Illinois and about $17 hourly or $37,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for mental health social workers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Illinois and not quite as good as general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinical case manager, drug abuse worker, and licensed clinical social worker .

In 2008, there were a total of 7,657,328 jobs in Illinois. The average annual income was $42,540 in 2008, up from $41,720 in 2007. The unemployment rate in Illinois was 10.1% in 2009, which has grown by 3.7% since the previous year. Approximately 26.1% of Illinois residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Illinois include construction machinery merchant wholesalers, beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers, and nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Arts Club of Chicago, the Chicago Then & Now, and the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.

CITIES WITH Mental Health Social Worker OPPORTUNITIES IN Illinois


JOB DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Social Worker

Mental Health Social Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. They also activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.

Every day, mental health social workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Illinois include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Illinois

Illinois
Illinois photo by Hary Han

Illinois has a population of 12,910,409, which has grown by 3.95% in the last 10 years. Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln," its capital is Springfield, though its largest city is Chicago. In 2008, there were a total of 7,657,328 jobs in Illinois. The average annual income was $42,540 in 2008, up from $41,720 in 2007. The unemployment rate in Illinois was 10.1% in 2009, which has grown by 3.7% since the previous year. Roughly 26.1% of Illinois residents have college degrees, which is higher than the national average.

The top industries in Illinois include construction machinery merchant wholesalers, beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers, and nonchocolate confectionery manufacturing. Notable tourist attractions include the Chicago Peregrine Release, the Dusable Museum of African American History, and the Chinatown Museum Foundation.