Social workers assess the problems of individuals, families and groups and help them to develop and use skills and resources to deal with them.

Where social workers are employed

Social workers work in a variety of community and social welfare fields and may work in state, territory and federal government departments, hospitals, community health centres, local government authorities, or non-government organisations. Some social workers are self-employed, working as counsellors, therapists and consultants.


Full-time social workers in South Australia generally earn between $1,250 and $1,599 per week.

Graph of pay scale for Social worker

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 1,295 people employed full-time as social workers in South Australia, compared with 1,007 in 2006.

How to become one

To become a social worker you usually have to complete a degree in social work at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) with English.  

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Licensing or registration requirements

There are no registration or licensing requirements for social workers in Australia.

Most employers require membership with the industry professional body. The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the professional association for social workers, and sets the practice, ethical and educational standards for social work in Australia. Most employers in Australia require social worker job applicants to be eligible for AASW membership.

Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

If you have overseas gained qualifications and work experience in social work the AASW can offer assessment of your qualifications to determine membership eligibility.

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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