7 Alternative Careers for Social Workers

May 28, 2022 Terkel

What is one good alternative career for a social worker?


To help you identify alternative careers that are good for social workers, we asked career coaches and experienced recruiters this question for their best recommendations. From Parole Officer to Human Resource Manager, there are several career options that a Social Worker may change to as perfect alternatives.

Here are seven good alternative careers for social workers:

  • Parole Officer
  • Recruiter
  • Customer Service
  • College Admissions Counseling
  • High School Teacher
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Human Resource Manager



If a social worker is considering a career change, there are many similarities between a recruiter and a social worker that could translate well. Many social workers have a high degree of empathy and compassion for the person or families sitting across from them.  At their core, recruiters are relationship builders.  They’re listening and understanding the motivations and the experiences of the people sitting across from them. 

Social workers are able to juggle an enormous amount of responsibility in order to ensure people are set up for future success and social workers need to be organized, communicate effectively, and help people take the first step toward treatment.  Recruiters are juggling different open roles, which means they need to be organized, communicate effectively and set the candidate up for success so that they can receive a world-class candidate experience. At their core, both roles are people helping people, a win-win for everyone.

Jim Leahy, DailyPay


Parole Officer

One alternative career idea for a social worker is a parole officer. A parole officer’s main duty is to help reintegrate a parolee back into society. Like in social work, the individual would still be able to help people in a one-on-one environment. The job can be a bit more authoritative, but discipline is often necessary for the reintegration process.

Phillip Akhzar, Arka


Customer Service

If one trained in social work feels burnt out and needs a break, consider a career in customer service. For example, social work has trained this person to be patient, tolerant and understanding and has set them up for success when it comes to listening and communication skills. The transition could not only be a smooth one, but one that lightens the load and the emotional toll of social work.

Trey Ferro, Spot Pet Insurance


College Admissions Counseling

Consider a career in college admissions counseling. The background in social work allows you to connect with the student and help them pave the way for their success. Whether it’s specific classes or a career path, you can shed light on a solid direction and help them develop into the professional world. While the industries are different, it still has a similar pay off.

Natália Sadowski, Nourishing Biologicals


High School Teacher

A high school teacher is a great alternative career. This still gives people the ability to connect with others and support them in more ways than one. Whether it’s in a specific subject or help them navigate adulthood at a young age, social workers can make the best teachers. Not only will it be a rewarding experience, but each day will always be different.

Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra


Guidance Counselor

Should a social worker choose to leave the profession, a guidance counselor in a school could be a great alternative. You can improve the lives of young men and women, who are navigating adolescence and trying to determine their futures. Social workers have extensive experience connecting with different types of personalities, so they could adapt to every student that would walk into their office.

Gerald Lombardo, The Word Counter


Human Resource Manager

Social workers could make excellent human resource managers. Their job and training make them gain good people skills. As a result, they could easily manage a team of workers and ensure everybody is satisfied with their jobs. Their social skills make them prime candidates for this role in many organizations. With a little training, a social worker could become the best human resource manager in the organization they are hired for. The skills that make them great for this job include; good interpersonal skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills, and organizational skills.

Ivy Bosibori, USBadCreditLoans



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