How to Become a Social Worker in India

Do you want to work for the welfare of the society? Are you interested in making social work as your career? Find here the scope and prospects of becoming a social worker in India.

In the recent past, social work has evolved into a profession. With the ever-increasing social issues like poverty, drug addiction, child abuse, mental ill health, women harassment and many more, social work has started gaining importance in the society. Social worker profile has emerged as one of the most demanding professions in India.

Indeed, social worker is a noble profession it involves working for a social cause, working for the underprivileged and extending a helping hand. It is an idealistic profession and those who really passionate for doing something good to the society / country can get into the social sector.

What is social work

Social work is a noble profession. It is a profession in which social workers seek to help people in overcoming the challenges that they face in their life. Social work emphasizes on social justice with a strength based approach. The work involves social justice by directly serving the victims / under-privileged or by advocating them.

Who can become a social worker

Anyone who has a strong desire to do something good for the society can opt for social sector. Actually, one who strives to work for the welfare of the society, don't need to have a basic qualification, but one can serve the society even without a degree / diploma certificate. However, if you are choosing it as a profession and want to join rehabilitation centers or NGO (Non Governmental Organization) or any other institution that provides services to different sections of the society, you need to have a degree or diploma in social work.

Courses offered in social work

There are various courses offered in social work. These include:
  1. B.S.W (Bachelor of Social Work) or B.A in Social Work (S.W). You can apply and join this course which is of 3 years duration, after completing 12th std
  2. .
  3. M.S.W or M.A in S.W. You can join this course which is of 2 years duration, after completing bachelor's degree in any subject. However, you will have preference if you have done your B.A in Sociology or Social Sciences or S.W.

  4. Those who are keen on pursuing higher studies and research work can go for doing M.Phil and then Ph.D (doctorate degree) after completing M.S.W or M.Phil respectively.

Skills required for a professional social worker

Most of the international organizations prefer candidates with a minimum of 2-3 years work experience. For entering into any of the reputed organization the following skills are required:

  • A social worker should be able to manage and coordinate projects at different levels i.e district / state / national.

  • A social worker should be capable to coordinate and liaison with district / state administrators, stakeholders and other organizations.

  • Should efficiency organize training programmes, workshops, seminars, presentations etc.

  • Should be able to prepare documentation and case studies.

  • A social worker have fair knowledge of community resources and excellent interpersonal communication skills.

  • Should be readily accept long hour field works and extensive travelling.

  • Above all a social worker should have a positive work attitude, integrity and honesty.

Job prospects for social work

If you are a qualified social worker, depending on your interest you have the following opportunities to join:
  • You can join any of the NGOs and work with them for the development of the community as a community welfare specialist.

  • Those with higher goals / ambitions can join international organisations like WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund formerly known as United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) and other such international organizations that aim at developing nations and work for the welfare of the society. You can join such international organizations as a social worker and work with them in their projects and campaigns. You get reasonably good salary in such international organizations.

  • Based on your specializations, you can work in prisons (for criminology). You can work as psychiatric social worker in hospitals, clinics, counselling centres, orphanages, old age homes, schools, community organizations and other such institutions.

  • Candidates with B.S.W / M.S.W have high demand in various developmental organizations and NGOs.

  • Salary for social workers varies from one organization to the other and is generally negotiated at the time of interview.


Unlike many of the lucrative jobs in India, social work is not a lucrative job. Social workers are underpaid and there is no much of career advancement like promotions or appraisals. Due to this reason not many are attracted towards the job. However, if the purpose of your job is not just for earning more and more money but to fulfill your emotions / ambitions, then you can take up this profession.

Article by Kalyani
Kalyani is basically an educationist and presently a home-maker who is fruitfully utilizing her free time in freelancing, online content writing and above all blogging. She is an active lead editor at for over 2 years. She is an environmentalist who strives to protect the environment through the revival of age-old eco-friendly practices. She also strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of India.

Follow Kalyani or read 227 articles authored by Kalyani

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