Social work occupations entail a wide range of human services, while psychology emphasizes administering mental health treatments. This does not mean, however, that they are not inherently similar in some ways.
Salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay of social workers in 2019 was $50,470. By contrast, the median annual salary for a psychologist was $80,370.
Both social work and psychology are fields that equip others with the necessary tools to help themselves. Social work and psychology are oriented towards the same outcome: recognizing and treating mental illness, and empowering individuals to improve their own lives.
The fields of social work and psychology attract professionals who are motivated by a desire to facilitate positive changes in people’s lives. In practice, social workers and psychologists use their degrees—and the different skills and knowledge that come with each—to address and solve diverse problems.
Getting an MSW is worth it if you want to assume higher-level roles, such as that of a social work supervisor, and if you want opportunities to increase your earnings enough to offset the cost of a degree. In general, the social work industry is growing quickly.
Overall, the majority of social work academics are not making over 100k. You have to be extraordinary and work your ass off nonstop. You usually also have to have been in academia for awhile and you are most definitely tenured or even a full professor.
Social workers contribute to the human services field by providing holistic solutions to the social, behavioral, economic or health problems faced by their clients. Whereas, psychologists focus their efforts specifically on helping their patients address potentially damaging mental health issues.
On the clinical side, social workers can address the mental, behavioral or emotional health issues of clients. Psychologists, on the other hand, study human behavior and can diagnose and treat mental illness.
Clinical social workers must hold at least a master’s degree in social work (MSW), and they have the authority to diagnose and treat clients with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems.
What job can I get with a psychology degree?
There are many different options available to psychology degree holders, depending on your specializations and interests, such as:
- Social worker.
- Educational psychologist.
- Human resource manager.
- Research roles.
If social workers are involved in doing therapy, then they have exactly the same role as a counsellor. It is a different University degree, but often the work is extremely similar.