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Top Paying Social Work Jobs: #2 Professor of Social Work

Professor of Social Work Salary


By David Lasuertmer

Average Salary: $84,919
Job Outlook: Very good (15% growth rate within the next decade)

A professor’s primary role involves teaching courses in the area of social work. The job often includes a combination of teaching and research. Most universities require scholarship, and they define that by their own standards. In Tier One schools, you will find that this involves a greater emphasis on grants, research, and publication. Other programs are more liberal in their definition of scholarship. Professors develop and design curriculum plans to foster student learning, stimulate class discussions, and ensure student engagement. They also provide tutoring and academic counseling to students; maintain classes related records; and assesses student coursework. Service to the community, a key aspect of the job, involves more than engaging with students through lectures or office hours. Faculty members are asked to serve on various department and university committees to improve the curriculum or to address other concerns of the university. Student development and discipline, faculty governance, and the development of new programs are just a few of the many examples of these types of service-oriented activities.

The assistant professor is traditionally regarded as the entry-level position for recent doctoral graduates or post-doctoral trainees. Most social work programs require faculty to hold a doctoral degree in a field similar to social work. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards state that the Ph.D. in social work is preferred. An assistant professor is nobody’s assistant. Instead, she or he is a professor at the beginning of the promotion ladder. Most assistant professors do not have tenure. The timing for possible promotion to an associate professor position varies from school to school, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a 7-year time frame is typical. As a professor, you’ll be expected to complete research and writings. This work keeps you current with field trends, research, and topics. You’ll probably be required to seek publication for your work, as well. Important to social work is working toward accreditation or “reaffirmation of accreditation” with the CSWE. This is the national standard benchmark for programs, and in many states, graduation from a CSWE-accredited school is necessary for licensure. This is a continuing large project for faculty.

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