New Hampshire, located in the Northeastern region of the United States, is recognized for its winter fun. From skiing and snowboarding to snowmobiling and tubing, this state boasts some of the best ski mountains the East Coast has to offer. New Hampshire also has beautiful trails for hiking, camping, and mountaineering as well as summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast.
New Hampshire was the first American colony to free itself from Great Britain in Jan. 1776, which is why their state motto is “Live free or die.” Author Dan Brown, poet Robert Frost, and President Franklin Pierce are a few of the famous people born from New Hampshire.
Striving for Optimal Health
In many ways, New Hampshire’s population is considered one of the healthiest in the country. Fast food restaurants are scarce, obesity rates are low and the population is renowned for their love of nature. Exercise enthusiasts flock to the mountains of New Hampshire, and the state’s median income is higher than the national average. The state has an above-average percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Overall, the state is regarded a very healthy place to live (1) (2).
However, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services tells us that the population isn’t healthy in every aspect. A 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that New Hampshire has a significantly higher than average rate of alcohol use, marijuana use and illegal use of prescription pain medications. The problem exists for all age groups, but adolescent substance abuse is of particular concern (3).
As a result, the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment has put together a plan for the years 2013-2017, much of which will involve social workers as the state educates the public and works with community, state and private service organizations to address this problem (4).
Social Work Educational Opportunities
If you’d like to study social work in state, the 2014 US News & World Report school rankings list ranks the University of New Hampshire (Durham) College of Health of Human Services as number 130 in the nation for graduate programs in social work (5).
The school also offers another dual-degree program, a Juris Doctor/Master’s in Social Work degree (7).
To offset the costs of your education, you might want to look into loan forgiveness programs like the National Health Service Corps loan forgiveness program (NHSC). You will need to work in a “Health Professional Shortage Area” (HPSA) to qualify, but you could be forgiven up to $40,000 of your student loan debt through the program. You might also want to check out the New Hampshire State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP).
Great Pay and Plenty of Opportunity for Social Workers
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, New Hampshire is a great place to work as a mental health, substance abuse or healthcare social worker (8).
For example, healthcare social workers in New Hampshire make, on average, a median wage of $55,800 per year, which is more than the national average of $50,800. Job openings are also on the rise. In 2010, 440 healthcare social workers were employed in the state of New Hampshire, and the opportunities should increase at a rate of 28 percent between 2010 and 2020 (9).
Substance abuse and mental health social workers are also in demand in New Hampshire, and the demand is anticipated to continue to rise. This position pays a median salary of $51,400 a year in New Hampshire, which is $10,400 more than the national average of $41,000 per year. Job demand is expected to rise at a rate of 27 percent (10).
Child, family and school social workers in New Hampshire actually make slightly less than the national average ($41,100 per year, compared to the national average of $42,100 a year). Job growth predictions are not as impressive for this sector, either. Job openings are expected to rise at a rate of 14 percent (11).
Licensure and Professional Development Resources
- National Association of Social Workers, New Hampshire Chapter
- New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice
- New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Universities with a Master of Social Work Program in New Hampshire
- State and County Quick Facts: New Hampshire, 2013. United States Census Bureau. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/33000.html
- State Data: New Hampshire, 2013. America’s Health Rankings. http://www.americashealthrankings.org/nh
- State Plan on Alcohol and Drugs, 2013. New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/plan.htm
- Collective Action- Collective Impact: New Hampshire’s Strategy for Reducing the Misuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs, 2013. http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/documents/collectiveaction.pdf
- Graduate School Social Work Programs: New Hampshire, 2014. US News and World Report. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/search?spp=10&program=top-social-work-schools&name=&zip=new+hampshire&program_rank=Any&sort=&sortdir=
- University of New Hampshire, College of Health and Human Services, Graduate Programs in Social Work. http://www.chhs.unh.edu/sw/graduate-programs
- University of New Hampshire, College of Health and Human Services, Graduate Programs in Social Work.http://www.chhs.unh.edu/sw/graduate-programs
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013. http://www.bls.gov/
- Occupation Profile: Healthcare Social Workers: New Hampshire, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000&soccode=211022&id=1&nodeid=2&stfips=33&search=Go
- Occupation Profile: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: New Hampshire, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000&soccode=211023&id=1&nodeid=2&stfips=33&search=Go
- Occupation Profile: Child, Family, and School Social Workers: New Hampshire, 2013. Career One Stop. http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?optstatus=011000000&soccode=211021&id=1&nodeid=2&stfips=33&search=Go