Social work is a meaningful and fulfilling career; it’s both professionally satisfying and morally rewarding. While choosing your career path as a Social Worker, you likely made the decision by choosing the populations you wish to serve and the environment you want to work in.  

As you know, most Social Workers specialize in one area like child welfare, women empowerment, queer wellness, and more. Depending on the area and populations Social Workers work for, they earn a median annual wage of $50,470. The job outlook is equally promising with a projected growth of 13% by 2029.  

Despite the projected growth, you may consider pursuing an alternative career for several reasons like long working hours, minimal support from the government, or simply because you think you'll feel more fulfilled in a different profession. It's not uncommon for Social Workers to hit emotional and physical burnout. Other factors include the development of a new interest, change in lifestyle, and new opportunities.

If you’re a Social Worker looking to make the change, then you’ve come to the right place. You have a ton of transferable skills that can help you excel in different roles. So, in this article, we’re going to talk about 11 careers you can change into as a Social Worker.

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Project Manager

Project  Managers apply various management techniques to different activities  that collectively make a project successful. They’re responsible for  delivering quality results and accomplishing all the goals within the  given time, budget, and scope constraints.  

As  a Project Manager, your main objective will be to develop a project  that conforms to the objectives of the client. In addition to this, in  some cases, the objective also includes shaping and reforming the client  objectives into a more feasible structure.

In social work, you’re often required to manage and monitor various  projects, like health camps, child abuse awareness drives, etc. Because  of this, you might enjoy a transition into project management. We’ve got a great Technical Project Management Bootcamp if this field piques your interest. You can even take our part-time version so that you can learn and work at the same time.

Human Resource Manager

Social Workers are empathetic and have solid communication skills. Both are particularly sought-after in human resources. Human Resource Managers are responsible for planning and coordinating administrative affairs within an organization. They’re also tasked with interviewing and hiring new staff. Human Resource Managers serve as a bridge that connects the organization’s top tier management and the workers.

In addition to the above, Human Resource Managers are also required to manage employee benefit programs, employee disciplinary procedures, and ensure adherence to changing employment laws.

As of May 2019, Human Resource Managers earned a median annual wage of $116,720. Employment in this field is expected to rise by 6%.

Elected Political Leader

Politics is a people-centric career, and so is social work. As a Social Worker, you’re an expert at understanding and supporting the needs of community members. You learn to advocate for others, and this can go a long way in politics or lobbying.  

A career in politics is multi-faceted, with jobs existing at all levels – from local, to state, to federal. A legislator works on bills and laws and holds a position either in the state legislature or on local boards, under the U.S. Congress.  

Politicians are often required to know the needs and concerns of their constituents like the back of their hand. A Social Worker, with an intimate understanding of the issues people face, will be uniquely qualified for the role of a political leader.

The amount of money political leaders make depends on the level of government they serve, and the geographic location.


In your role, you’ve solidified your counseling and communication skills while working directly with community members. You gain leadership skills and develop an assertive character, which are extremely important to keep a high school classroom in control.

As a teacher, you can benefit greatly from these qualities. Apart from teaching, you’ll also be responsible for helping students with the challenges of young adulthood and prepare them for the outside world.

Depending on the grade and location, the salary earned by teachers can vary greatly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers earn a median annual salary of $61,500.

Academic Counsellor/Admission Counsellor

An Academic Counsellor guides and assists students in their scholastic pursuits, mainly at the postsecondary level. In this role, you help students examine school programs, recognize academic strengths and weaknesses, and select a major.  

An Admission Counsellor, on the other hand, is responsible for helping students during the process of admission in colleges. This can be an excellent choice for you if you love working with others but like to keep the stakes low.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2019, School and Academic Counsellors earned a median annual pay of $57,040. Employment of counsellors is expected to rise by 8% in the next nine years.  


You can put your experience of conducting research and writing papers into use for studying society and societal behavior. This is exactly what the role of a Sociologist entails. Sociologists observe groups, cultures, social organizations, and the way people interact with one another.  

They also design  research projects for testing theories about social issues. They  collect and analyze data and prepare written documents and presentations  to showcase their findings.

Sociologists may also be required to collaborate with other social scientists to address various social issues. Sociologists earn a median annual salary of $83,420, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

As a Social Worker, you’re an expert in mitigating and resolving conflicts, which makes legal mediation an excellent career change option. When opposing parties seek legal help to resolve conflicts, Legal Mediators help them come to an agreement that’s acceptable to both the parties.  

If you're considering becoming a Legal Mediator, you may be required to acquire a certificate and undertake training programs.

According to PayScale, legal mediators earn $60,544 per year on average.

Social Entrepreneur

Social entrepreneurship can be defined as doing business--not for profit, but for a social cause. It can also be referred to as altruistic entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs bring together business and social causes in such a way that it improves the lives of all people involved.

Social Workers are uniquely qualified to be social entrepreneurs because fighting to bring about changes and dealing with societal issues are the core responsibilities you have. You're trained to think differently and to be empathetic, all while providing solutions to problems.

Community Service Manager

Social work provides a perspective to understand and analyze societal behavior. So, you can find a suitable role as a Community Service Manager. These professionals collaborate with other members in the community to improve local wellness services and programs. They’re also responsible for creating and managing social outreach programs for the locals.

According to PayScale, Community Service Managers take home $49,363 per year on average.

Product Manager

You’re trained to plan, conduct, and manage programs and research. These are super valuable skills for the world of product management. Product Managers are responsible for developing products by conducting market research and creating requirements. They also develop market strategies that are customer-centric.  

According to Glassdoor, Product Managers make $109,000 per year on average.  

We offer an extensive Product Management Bootcamp if you’re interested.

Start Your Transition into A More Fulfilling Career

It’s  important to first see why you want to leave social work, and determine  what type of environment you’d prefer working in. A good tip is to  picture how you’d like to feel in your career, and then begin to match  up different careers that can help get you to that feeling. For example, if you want to feel more freedom with your schedule, you may pursue social entrepreneurship. Or maybe you want to have an impact on as many people as possible. If so, politics could be for you.

Whichever direction you go, it’s important to remember to believe in yourself. You’ll be in a new environment and depending on how long you’ve been in social work, a change can be intimidating. But just like anything in life, with practice it will become an environment you’re comfortable in. So, take the leap—it's never too late. There are always new opportunities available, you just have to intentionally take action towards them.

If you want to explore other options, we’ve got tons of bootcamps designed to land you work fast. We offer full-time and part-time studies, so you can make it work with your work schedule. Plus, you don’t have to pay until you’ve landed a position in your field—and if you don’t, you don’t pay a cent. So, we hope that this has been helpful and we’re cheering you on during your transition.

Which Tech Career is Right for You?

Ready to change your career and join the world’s next workforce? At Thinkful, we’ve got your back with various tech programs to get you equipped with in-demand skills.

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