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Doctorate in Social Work Salary and Careers

Prepare to Lead with an Online Doctorate in Social Work

Designed for social work practitioners interested in completing the highest level of social work education, the online Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) at the University of Kentucky will prepare you to reach the pinnacle of your field. In addition to enhancing your job readiness to advance in leadership or administrative roles, the DSW degree creates more economic opportunities for social workers with earnings increasing by more than $20,000 (National Association of Social Workers, 2019) on average.

Executive Directors


Plan and execute strategies to help social services organizations meet their goals for their community. Overall employment of top executives is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Executive Director may be responsible for things such as establishing and carrying out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures, overseeing financial activities, or consulting with staff about general operations.

Postsecondary Education Administrators


Coordinate and plan student instruction at colleges and universities. They can also be involved with other research and educational activities at postsecondary institutions such as reviewing applications, analyzing data on student acceptance and retention, and scheduling programs and services at the university.

Additional roles for DSW graduates:

  • Clinician
  • Policy Research
  • Administrative Leader
  • Social Work Educator
  • Military Behavioral Health

Request more information or a consultation

You’re likely to have questions as you make your decision about pursuing an online degree. From program information to application process details, we’re here to help you find the answers you need.

Choose from Four Concentrations

Featuring four distinct focus areas, our DSW program gives you the flexibility to choose a concentration that complements your personal and professional goals.

Administrative Leadership

Clinical Social Work

Military Behavioral Health

Social Work Education

UK Career Services

Handshake Database

Tap into UK’s online job and employer database, exclusively for UK students and alumni. Students can access their Handshake account by visiting Handshake.

Alumni Association Events

Explore professional development workshops and in-person and virtual networking opportunities. See career-related events here.

Stuckert Career Center

Speak with a career advisor about job search strategies, résumé editing, career transition advice, and more. The Stuckert Career Center team can help research appropriate job openings based on your interests, assist you in drafting and revising a compelling cover letter, create a LinkedIn page or portfolio and give you the confidence to perform impressively in an interview process. All services are offered online.

Graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky are welcome to take advantage of our online resources, attend any of our programming, and make appointments with our advisors.