There are currently an estimated 317,600 family social workers in the United States. The family social worker job market is expected to grow by 14.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are family social workers?

CareerExplorer rates family social workers with a C employability rating, meaning this career should provide moderate employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 51,400 family social workers. That number is based on 45,000 additional family social workers, and the retirement of 6,400 existing family social workers.

Are family social workers in demand?

Demand for family social workers is projected to remain fairly high, as these professionals will be needed to consult on cases of parenting issues, child abuse, unwanted pregnancies, foster care, and adoption procedures. The stress placed on the so-called ‘sandwich generation,’ typically people in their thirties and forties, responsible for bringing up their own children and the care of their aging parents, will likely add to this demand. Potentially limiting opportunities in the field may be government budget constraints and funding cuts to public welfare and family and child protective services. As these services are contracted out to private agencies, however, jobs may be created outside the public sector. The shortage of training programs and weaker supply of social workers in rural locations should sustain demand in these non-urban areas. Although job applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in human services, social behaviour, or gerontology will be considered well qualified, competition for positions will remain high. Candidates with a degree are eligible for certifications offered by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). The Certified Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-CYFSW) designation is commonly pursued in the field and generally strengthens career possibilities. Job seekers with a Master’s Degree and who obtain Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) status will broaden their employment scope and have the option of establishing a private practice.

What’s the supply of family social workers?

The family social worker industry is concentrated in California, New York, Pennsylvania

Family Social Worker job market by state

State Name Employed Family Social Workers
California 32,050
New York 25,330
Pennsylvania 19,440
Texas 17,560
Michigan 13,450
Illinois 12,420
Massachusetts 11,570
North Carolina 11,000
Ohio 9,180
Virginia 8,980
Florida 8,550
Missouri 8,190
Kentucky 7,790
Minnesota 7,470
Georgia 7,080
Washington 7,020
Oklahoma 6,970
Indiana 6,740
Colorado 6,470
Arizona 6,090
Tennessee 5,670
Connecticut 5,530
New Jersey 5,470
Maryland 4,600
Wisconsin 3,730
Puerto Rico 3,600
Iowa 3,500
Oregon 3,440
Alabama 3,280
Nevada 3,040
South Carolina 2,640
Mississippi 2,530
Nebraska 2,490
Utah 2,420
Kansas 2,170
New Mexico 2,140
District of Columbia 2,100
Hawaii 1,760
South Dakota 1,620
Maine 1,600
Alaska 1,570
Rhode Island 1,520
Montana 1,430
Arkansas 1,380
Vermont 1,320
Delaware 1,130
Idaho 1,110
West Virginia 960
Louisiana 920
Wyoming 790
North Dakota 650
New Hampshire 510
Guam 60