Social Worker

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

4 or more years

Hourly Wage:

$18.43-$42.29 (Mean $30.14)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data for Healthcare Social Workers

One-page Description (PDF):

Social Worker

Professional Activities

Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities to improve the quality of life for all people. They use their knowledge of behavioral health to deal with the emotional and social problems of individuals, families, and communities.

Social workers are trained in multiple roles, such as counselor, advocate, broker, trainer, and policy analyst. Each particular role provides a different set of skills that can be used to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

A social worker who works with individuals may work in the following areas: as a counselor in a school, hospital, or mental health setting; as a child advocate; as a probation officer; or as a street youth outreach coordinator. Social workers who assist families may teach parenting skills, help reunite families, advocate for families in distress, and mediate in challenging situations. They may also assist families with: communication skills; finding housing, food, or medical resources; or achieving educational goals. Social workers can serve as leaders in promoting and designing more effective humane policies, organizations, and communities.

Social workers in Alaska may work in child welfare, mental health, services for the elderly, family agencies, youth programs, health services, Native corporations, and other social agencies.

Educational Requirements

Professional social workers can have a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree or a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), students must have a master’s or doctoral degree in social work and two years of fulltime postgraduate clinical work. Educational steps include:

  • Graduation from high school with a college preparatory background.
  • Completion of a four year bachelor’s degree with a social work major.
  • Completion of a master’s degree in social work. A bachelor’s degree in social work is not required to pursue the master’s degree.

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) offers both an accredited BSW and MSW program. The BSW program is delivered on campus at UAA and the MSW program is distance-delivered.
School of Social Work
University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive, GHH 106
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone:(907) 786-6900

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) offers a bachelor of arts in social work. In addition to its campus-based program, UAF offers a distance delivered degree option. Students from across Alaska can earn their B.A. in social work by completing distance coursework, primarily delivered via audioconference.

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Department of Social Work
P.O. Box 756480
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6480
Phone: (907) 474-7240



Alaska has a multi-level licensing bill for BSW, MSW, and Clinical Social Workers (LCSW).
For State of Alaska licensing information, contact:
Department of Commerce and Economic Development
Division of Occupational Licensing
Board of Social Work Examiners
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Phone: (907) 465-2550

State Contact:

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Alaska Chapter
324 E. 5th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Phone: (907) 332-6279
Toll free: (800) 478-6279

National Contact:

National Association of Social Workers (Offers certifications, practice standards, and advocacy materials.)
750 First St., NE, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 408-8600
Toll free: (800) 742-4089

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