Even though Maryland is a small state, it is a state with greatly varied topography. You can find sandy beaches, marshy wetlands, rolling foothills, groves of cypress trees, and even small mountains. For this reason, Maryland has earned the nickname “America in Miniature”.
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- Campbellsville University - By seeking your MSW online with Campbellsville, you can qualify for positions projected to rise 9% from 2021 to 2031. Visit School's Website
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Maryland is one of the most densely populated states and holds the title of wealthiest state in the union, seeing as its population has its highest median household income (1). African Americans make up 31.1 percent of the population, and minorities are on their way to being the majority in this state (2). 58 percent of the babies in the state (under twelve months of age) were minorities (3). Maryland is a diverse, beautiful, wealthy state.
Maryland: A True Paradox
Maryland may be a wealthy state with a lot of available services, but the state still has a very high crime rate. The problem is a bit of phenomena seeing as high crime rates usually occur in areas of high poverty and low levels of education. Maryland has the nation’s third-lowest poverty rate and one of the highest proportions of adults with postsecondary degrees, and yet it has the ninth highest violent crime rates in America (4).
The state’s numbers are a bit skewed because of the incredibly high violent crime rates in Baltimore, a city with over double the amount of crime (murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, auto thefts and cases of arson) than the national average (5). Approximately 30 percent of the violent crimes committed in Maryland in 2012 occurred in Baltimore. That’s almost one third of the state’s crimes, all committed in one metro area (6). If you are interested in working as a criminal justice social worker, you will find opportunities in Maryland.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association’s report from the Office of Applied Studies, Maryland consistently ranks very well in the country for treatment of and prevention of mental health and substance abuse problems in the state. A generous number of social workers are employed in the state, and services are generally considered easily available (7).
What does this mean for aspiring social workers? Maryland is a state that prides itself in providing ample social services, but it is a state that is obviously still in need of assistance.
Where Can You Study Social Work?
Maryland is a fantastic place to get a master’s degree in social work. According to the 2014 US News & World Report graduate school rankings, the University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work ranks number 17 in the nation. Two other Maryland schools of social work rank in the top 175 schools, Morgan State University School of Social Work at number 96, and Salisbury University Social Work Department at number 168 (8).
The University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work is recognized as a national leader for students who want to study clinical social work, community organization and human services management. The school’s Management and Community Action concentration has gained notoriety for preparing social workers to unite communities and promote social health advancements (9).
You might want to check out the loan forgiveness programs available to social workers working in “Health Professional Shortage Areas” (HPSA). If you are willing to work in a position that supports an underserved population, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 a year for two years, for a total of $40,000 of loan forgiveness. Check out the requirements of both the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Janet Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP).
Lucrative and Plentiful Employment
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), social work jobs in Maryland pay above the national averages. Demand for social workers in the state is also predicted to increase at a rate higher than national averages as well.
For example, as of 2019, 4,610 child, family and school social workers were employed in the state. It is predicted that this field will grow at a rate that is slightly lower than the national average, at a rate of approximately 3 percent (10).
However, experts predict the demand in the state for mental health and substance abuse social workers will increase by 16 percent between 2016 and 2026, meaning there will be plenty of job openings in these areas as well. As of 2019, mental health and substance abuse social workers made a average wage of $52,710, which is above the national average wage of $46,650 (11). Demand for healthcare social workers is also predicted to increase at a similar rate (12).
However, the best paying jobs in Maryland are academic. Postsecondary social work teachers are paid, on average, $94,170 per year, which is double the national average median pay (13).
Licensure and Professional Development Resources
- Social Work Licensure Requirements in Maryland
- National Association of Social Workers, Maryland Chapter
- Maryland State Board of Social Work Examiners
Universities with Master’s in Social Work Programs in Maryland
- State Median Household Income Patterns: 2005-2018. Proximity One. http://proximityone.com/mhitrends.htm
- State and County Quick Facts: Maryland, 2019. United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/dashboard/MD,US/PST045219
- Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals by Race, 1790-1990, and by Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, for the United States, Regions, Divisions, and States, 2002. Campbell Gibson and Kay Jung, the United States Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0056/twps0056.html
- “The Most Dangerous States in America,” 2021. WorldPopulationReview. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/most-dangerous-states
- Crime Rate in Baltimore, Maryland, 2021. City-Data.com. http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Baltimore-Maryland.html
- “The Most Dangerous States in America,” 2021. World Population Review. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/most-dangerous-states
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues At a Glance: Maryland, 2017-18. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt23235/2k18SAEExcelTabs/NSDUHsaePercents2018.pdf
- Graduate School Social Work Programs: Maryland, 2019. US News & World Report. https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings?location=Maryland
- MSW Program, 2021. University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work. https://www.ssw.umaryland.edu/
- Occupation Profile: Children, Family, and School Social Workers: Maryland, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/careers/occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Child,%20Family,%20and%20School%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102100&location=Maryland
- Occupation Profile: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: Maryland, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/careers/occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Mental%20Health%20and%20Substance%20Abuse%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102300&location=Maryland&lang=en
- Occupation Profile: Healthcare Social Workers: Maryland, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/careers/occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Healthcare%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102200&location=Maryland
- Occupation Profile: Social Work Teachers, Post-Secondary: Maryland, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm