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Feb 16 2019

Master s in Social Work Programs in Virginia

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MSW Programs in Virginia

Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from top-ranked USC in as little as one year. This CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community. GRE scores are not required to apply. Bachelor’s degree required. s Virgin Queen Elizabeth I, Virginia is known as the Old Dominion because of the English Crown s former authority (1). In 1607, Virginia became the first of the original Thirteen Colonies and the first English settlement in North America (2).

The capital of Virginia, Richmond, has approximately 204,000 residents, but the most populous city in Virginia is Virginia Beach with more than 437,000 inhabitants. Fairfax County, close to the District of Columbia, is the most populous political subdivision in the state. Virginia is the home base for the U.S. Navy s Atlantic Fleet; the state s largest employer is also one of the world s largest shipbuilding yards (3).

Two Distinctly Different Populations to Serve

Virginia is a state with two distinctly different populations: the rural and the urban populations.

Rural Virginia has different needs than urban Virginia. For example, the crime index rate for Richmond (one of the two largest cities in the state) significantly differs from that of the rest of the state. Using 100 as the national average or standard against which to compare risk, the murder risk in Richmond is 750, whereas the murder risk in the state as a whole is 96, or close to average. Likewise, the robbery risk in Richmond ranks 396, as compared to a risk of 73 for the state as a whole (4). If you are interested in working as a criminal justice social worker, you will want to check into opportunities in the urban areas of the state.

Most of the social workers employed in the state work in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Roanoke or the Washington-Alexandria-Arlington metro area (5). Rural Virginia is also in need of social workers (you can find out what counties are experiencing shortages for social workers on government sites like this one. but the larger cities are in need of criminal justice social workers.

As a state, the need for social workers is on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth for social workers of all types in the 20-32 percent range (6) (7) (8).

Multiple Social Work Graduate Programs in Virginia From Which to Choose

Are you hoping to get your Master s in Social Work in Virginia and then to work in the state? You ll find there are plenty of top notch graduate programs in the state and a growing job market.

According to the 2014 US News World Report school rankings, Virginia Commonwealth University s School of Social Work is ranked number 11 in the nation. There are three other higher education institutions that offer master s degrees in social work as well (9). You can pursue your degree in a traditional setting or online through the Virginia Commonwealth University s distance education program (10).

Getting a master s degree is expensive, but you may qualify for loan forgiveness through one of two programs. If you are willing to work in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), you can apply for loan forgiveness through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC ). This can result in as much as $40,000 of loan forgiveness over a period of two years.

You might also want to apply for consideration for the Virginia State Loan Repayment Program (VA SLRP ). This is a state-specific loan repayment program that rewards social workers who are working as licensed clinical social workers or mental health counselors in the state.

Widespread Opportunities for Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 10,370 social workers are employed in the state. Approximately 7,770 are employed as child, family or school social workers, making a median salary of $47,090. Those working in the Washington-Alexandria-Arlington area can expect to make a median salary of $54,900 (11). Job growth in the state for this type of social work position is predicted to increase at a rate of 20 percent (12).

Mental health and substance abuse social workers make up the next largest percentage of social workers employed in the state. As of 2013, 3,430 mental health and substance abuse social workers were employed at a median salary of $46,220. If you re looking for the best paying cities in the state, you ll want to look for work in the Washington-Alexandria-Arlington area where the median salary for this type of social worker is $54,180. Opportunity is anticipated to keep rising in this sector as well, at a rate of 23 percent per year (13).

Licensure and Professional Development Resources

Which Universities in Virginia have a Master s in Social Work Program?

Sources Cited

  1. Virginia Facts and Trivia, 2013. 50States.com. http://www.50states.com/facts/virginia.htm#.U7QvBI1dXgL
  2. Jamestown Colony. History.com. http://www.history.com/topics/jamestown
  3. Virginia is the Center of the US Shipbuilding Industry, 2013. Defense News.http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130623/DEFREG02/306230006/Virginia-Center-US-Shipbuilding-Industry
  4. Richmond Crime Rate Indexes, 2010. CLR Search. http://www.clrsearch.com/Richmond-Demographics/VA/Crime-Rate
  5. Statewide Statistics for Virginia, 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  6. Occupation Profile: Healthcare Social Worker, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000 soccode=211022 id=1 nodeid=2 stfips=51 search=Go
  7. Occupation Profile: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000 soccode=211023 id=1 nodeid=2 stfips=50 search=Go
  8. Occupation Profile: Social Work Teachers, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000 soccode=251113 id=1 nodeid=2 stfips=51 search=Go
  9. Graduate School Search, Social Work Programs: Virginia, 2014. US News World Report. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?spp=10 program=top-social-work-schools name= zip=virginia program_rank=Any sort= sortdir=
  10. Virginia s Commonwealth University, School of Social Work. http://www.socialwork.vcu.edu/msw/goals.html
  11. Statewide Statistics for Virginia, 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  12. Statewide Statistics for Virginia, 2013. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  13. Occupation Profile: Child, Family, and School Social Workers, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000 soccode=211021 id=1 nodeid=2 stfips=51 search=Go
  14. Occupation Profile: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000 soccode=211023 id=1 nodeid=2 stfips=51 search=Go

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