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2004 National study of Licensed Social Workers Demographic Fact Sheet — Black/African American Social Workers*

  • Most Black/African American social workers (80%) hold an MSW degree; 14 percent hold a BSW degree, and 5 percent hold a doctoral degree.
  • Black/African American social workers spend more time per week than social workers of other racial/ethnic groups performing administrative/management tasks (13.3 hours on average), supervision (5.7 hours on average), and policy development (2.3 hours on average).
  • Most Black/African American social workers (81%) are employed in the state government, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit employment sectors. They are the most likely of all racial/ethnic groups to be employed in state government and the least likely to be employed in the military.
  • Black/African American social workers are the most likely to be employed in the social services agencies.
  • Black/African American social workers employed full-time are primarily in social service agencies (28%), schools (15%), and hospitals/medical centers (12%).
  • Black/African American social workers are the largest racial/ethnic group represented in the practice areas of aging, developmental disabilities, and addictions. They represent the smallest group in the mental and medical health practice areas.
  • Black/African American social workers are less likely than social workers of other racial/ethnic groups to work in small towns and rural areas.
  • The average salary of Black/African American social workers is $52,500.
  • Nearly 60 percent of Black/African American social workers plan to remain in their current position over the next two years. Their short-term career plans generally consist of seeking new opportunities or promotion with their current employer or pursuing continuing education in social work.
  • The most important factors that influence Black/African American social workers' decision to change jobs include are higher salary, lifestyle/family concerns, and increased career mobility.

*n = 339 Back

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