Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Social Workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for medical social workers. Currently, 9,900 people work as medical social workers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 15% to 11,400 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical social workers are expected to grow by about 22.4%. In general, medical social workers 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.

Income for medical social workers is about $19 per hour or $40,770 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $45,650 annually. Earnings for medical social workers are better than earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Pennsylvania and better than general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Medical social workers work in a variety of jobs, including: director of social services, long term care social worker, and nephrology social worker.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a medical social worker. The most common level of education for medical social workers is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be a medical social worker if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Social Worker

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

In general, medical social workers 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. They also services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.

Medical social workers advocate for clients or patients to deal with crises. They also collaborate with other professionals to review patients' medical or physical condition and to gauge client needs. Equally important, medical social workers have to refer patients or family to community resources to help in recovery from mental or physical illness and to furnish access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education. They are often called upon to counsel clients and patients in individual and group sessions to help them overcome dependencies, recover from illness, and adjust to life. They are expected to organize support groups or counsel family members to help them in understanding and supporting the client or patient. Finally, medical social workers formulate discharge from care facility to home or other care facility.

Every day, medical social workers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for medical social workers to supervise and direct other staff providing services to clients or patients. They are often called upon to design or advise on social policy and help in community development. They also formulate and conduct programs to fight social problems, avoid substance abuse, or improve community health and counseling services. They are sometimes expected to investigate child abuse or neglect cases and take authorized protective action when needed. Somewhat less frequently, medical social workers are also expected to conduct social research to advance knowledge in the social work field.

And finally, they sometimes have to design or advise on social policy and help in community development.

Like many other jobs, medical social workers must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh 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.
  • Mental Health Social Worker. Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Medical Social Worker Training

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Clinical/Medical Social Work which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified In Thanatology: Certification in Thanatology (CT) is a foundation certification that enhances the professional designation established by the academic discipline of each certificate holder.

For more information, see the Association for Death Education and Counseling website.

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant: An IBCLE or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a specialist that has taken and.

For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology: Social workers who hold the CSW-G have: NASW membership in good standing; An MSW degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Documented no less than two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of experience working with older adults under social work supervision; Completed twenty (20) contact hours of continuing education relevant to work with older adults; Provided approved documentation of social work supervision; Provided a reference from a social work colleague; .

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

Certified Social Worker in Health Care: Health care is a dynamic field, influenced by changes in.

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

LICENSES

Licensed Social Worker

Licensing agency: Department of State
Address: Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Social Work Examiners Board, 116 Pine Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 783-1389
Website: Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs Social Work Examiners Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.