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Alabama Social Work Schools

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Social Work Schools in Alabama
Alabama MSW Schools
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The southern state of Alabama has lots of unique opportunities for you as a social work student. While there are large cities in Alabama, including Montgomery, Mobile, and Birmingham, most of the state is rural. If you plan on becoming a social worker in Alabama, it's important to learn the challenges and needs of rural families.

There are just over 4.8 million people living in Alabama, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Almost 25% of Alabama residents are under 18, which leaves an opening for social workers that are skilled in working with children. The cost of living in Alabama is about 10% lower than the national average, which can help you save money as a social work student.

As you peruse the five Alabama schools with Master's of Social Work programs, consider the different fields they specialize in. Some schools, like Jacksonville State University, specialize in Public Administration Policy, while schools like Troy University specialize in Community and Social Psychology.

Generally speaking, Alabama schools have very affordable tuition rates. The average cost of tuition is $7,822, and that's before you apply any grants or scholarships you earn. In fact, there are many scholarship opportunities in Alabama, leading to an average scholarship award of $7,901.
The courses included in an MSW program are generally meant to be taken over the course of two years. Social work courses cover a variety of specialties within the field, including:

• Child Welfare
• Counseling
• Public Policy
• Mental Illness
• Substance Abuse

Since the work social workers do is so diversified, it may be in your best interest to choose a specific area of study while earning your Master's degree. Some schools require you to specifically study one area, while other schools make it an option.

Your coursework is meant to give you a thorough history on social issues, how to tackle them on an individual and societal level, and what techniques you can use to work with people from different backgrounds.

One of the most important parts of the MSW is the field study. During the course of your degree, you can expect to spend about 900 hours working directly under a licensed social worker.

Becoming a Licensed Graduate Social Worker or Licensed Clinical Social Worker prepares you for work in a variety of settings. Work settings vary depending on your specialty, but some of the largest employers of social workers in Alabama include:

• government child welfare agencies
• adoption agencies
• mental health centers
• hospitals
• jails and prisons
• advocacy organizations

Many different government organizations hire social workers. You stand a better chance of getting a government job if you specialize in child welfare, criminal psychology, or community development.

In addition to working as a social worker, you may be able to work as a therapist/counselor. After two years of working as a Licensed Graduate Social Worker, you can become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. As a LCSW, you can provide therapy services at outpatient mental health or psychiatric clinics.

In order to become a licensed social worker in Alabama, you must get your license from the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners. There is a $3.50 to fill out the application online. This allows you to work while waiting to sit for the social work examination. To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, you must complete four hours of face-to-face work underneath a LCSW every month for 24 months.

One you are a licensed social worker, you must renew your license every year. You need 30 hours of continuing education every year; the State Board maintains a list of approved continuing education providers.

Since you can work in so many different places as a social worker, salaries vary significantly. Healthcare social workers tend to be the highest-paid social workers in Alabama; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they earn an average salary of $42,760 per year. They are followed closely by child social workers and mental health social workers.

As you gain experience in the field, your income potential may rise accordingly. If you work as a LCSW, you are eligible to own a PIP (private independent practice) after two years. This allows you to provide counseling services independently, which may result in higher income.

Across the board, O*Net reports that the job outlook for social workers is very strong. Jobs for family social workers are expected to increase by 17% through 2020, while job openings for healthcare social workers are expected to increase by 43% in the same time frame.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there may be an increase in job openings for social workers that provide therapy services. As more people get insurance that covers mental health, there may be a rush of people in Alabama seeking therapy services.

Schools in Alabama Offering Masters in Social Work Programs
• Masters in Family and Consumer Sciences
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$5,592 Tuition Cost
$7,850 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
• Masters in Social Work and Public Administration Policy
$6,312 Tuition Cost
$8,751 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
• Masters in Social Work and Public Administration Policy
$7,950 Tuition Cost
$7,148 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
• Masters in Family and Consumer Sciences
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$9,200 Tuition Cost
$9,982 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
• Masters in Community and Social Psychology
$5,976 Tuition Cost
$5,773 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Rural Campus Setting