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Social workers

OaSIS code 41300.00

Social workers help individuals, couples, families, groups, communities and organizations develop the skills and resources they need to enhance social functioning and provide counselling, therapy and referral to other supportive social services. Social workers also respond to other social needs and issues such as unemployment, racism and poverty.


Also known as

  • Coordinator of social work
  • Medical social worker
  • Psychiatric social worker
  • Social work supervisor
  • Social worker

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, to assess their situation and problems and determine the types of services required
  • Provide counsel and therapy to assist clients in developing skills to deal with and resolve their social and personal problems
  • Plan programs of assistance for clients including referral to agencies that provide financial assistance, legal aid, housing, medical treatment and other services
  • Investigate cases of child abuse or neglect and take authorized protective action when necessary
  • Serve as members on interdisciplinary teams of professionals working with client groups
  • Act as advocates for client groups in the community, lobby for solutions to problems directly affecting client groups and develop prevention and intervention programs to meet community needs
  • Develop or advise on social policy legislation, conduct social research and assist in community development
  • Provide mediation services and psychosocial assessments
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counselling and social programs
  • May provide public education and consultation to professionals or groups regarding counselling services, issues and methods
  • May supervise other social workers.

Additional information

  • Social workers may specialize in fields of practice such as child welfare, family services, corrections, gerontology or addictions.

Similar occupations classified elsewhere


  • Managers in social, community and correctional services (40030)
  • Educational counsellors (41320)
  • Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies (41301)
  • Social and community service workers (42201)

NOC hierarchy breakdown

NOC version

NOC 2021 Version 1.0

Broad occupational category

4 – Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services


1 – Occupations usually require a university degree

Major group

41 – Professional occupations in law, education, social, community and government services

Sub-major group

413 – Professional occupations in social and community services

Minor group

4130 – Social and community service professionals

Unit group

41300 – Social workers

Occupational profile

41300.00 – Social workers

Work characteristics

Work characteristics gathers the various components describing the work environment of each occupation, such as employers, work activities, and the work context. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of complexity (for Work Activities) or other measurement dimensions (for Work Context), and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.

Work Activities

Proficiency or complexity level
Assisting and Caring for Others
5 - Highest Level
Coaching and Developing Others
5 - Highest Level
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
5 - Highest Level
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
5 - Highest Level
Clerical Activities
4 - High Level

Work Context

Structural Job Characteristics

Structured versus Unstructured Work
Degree of freedom to determine tasks and priorities
3 - Moderate amount of freedom
Work Week Duration
Worked hours in a typical week
3 - More than 40 hours

Physical Work Environment

Physical Proximity
Physical distance from others
3 - Somewhat close (e.g. share office)

Physical Demands

3 - About half the time
3 - About half the time
Bending or Twisting the Body
1 - Very little time

Interpersonal Relations

Contact with Others
5 - Every day, almost continuously
5 - All the time, or almost all the time
Work with Work Group or Team
4 - Highly important
4 - Every day, a few times per day


  • Aboriginal band councils
  • Child welfare organizations
  • Community agencies
  • Correctional facilities
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Hospitals
  • Private practice
  • School boards
  • Social service agencies

Skills and abilities

This section displays the various competencies required for an occupation. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of proficiency (for Skills and Abilities) or importance (for Personal Attributes) and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.


Proficiency or complexity level
Speech Recognition
5 - Highest Level
Fluency of Ideas
4 - High Level
Inductive Reasoning
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
Pattern Organization Speed
4 - High Level


Proficiency or complexity level
Oral Communication: Active Listening
5 - Highest Level
5 - Highest Level
Social Perceptiveness
5 - Highest Level
4 - High Level
Critical Thinking
4 - High Level

Personal Attributes

Concern for Others
5 - Extremely important
Service Orientation
5 - Extremely important
Social Orientation
5 - Extremely important
Stress Tolerance
5 - Extremely important
4 - Highly important