Social Work Job Growth Outpacing National Average Through 2032

Social Work Job Growth

In recognition of National Social Workers Month this March, we are highlighting projected employment statistics for some of the most impactful professions in the social work field.

Social workers empower individuals and communities to overcome challenges, trauma, discrimination, and other barriers. Employment opportunities for social workers are projected to increase by 7% over the next eight years, equating to over 75,000 new jobs. This growth can be attributed to an aging U.S. population as well as greater awareness and education surrounding mental health issues. As more people seek support, the value of social workers will continue to grow.

Continue reading as we examine the employment projections reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for jobs in the social work field.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers

  • 2022 Employment: 355,300
  • 2032 Projected Employment: 374,300
  • Job Growth by 2032: 18,900 (5% increase)
  • Most common industries: State/local government, schools, hospitals

Healthcare Social Workers 

  • 2022 Employment: 191,400
  • 2032 Projected Employment: 209,800
  • Job Growth by 2032: 18,400 (10% increase)
  • Most common industries: Hospitals, nursing/residential care

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

  • 2022 Employment: 113,500
  • 2032 Projected Employment: 125,500
  • Job Growth by 2032: 12,000 (11% increase)
  • Most common industries: Hospitals, outpatient care centers

Other Key Social Work Professions

  • 2022 Employment: 68,400
  • 2032 Projected Employment: 72,900
  • Job Growth by 2032: 4,500 (7% increase)


As you can see from the projections, all major social work career pathways are slated for solid growth over the next decade. Opportunities to make a difference through counseling, advocacy, treatment, and assistance programs are expected to expand.

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