Human Services Guide

Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW)

For the Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) every day is another chance to help create another successful outcome for their clients. By utilizing a strength based approach to mental health therapy along with a Social Work knowledge base and skillset, the CMSW helps the client to clearly understand the deeper reasons behind long term self-defeating patterns. Working with the client to unravel the underlying emotional pain that is the seed germ for negative behaviors, the CMSW assists their client in finding their own unique behavioral changes to implement. This in turn gives the client a concrete method for changing their life in a profoundly transformative way. The client will often experience vastly increased energy, creativity as well as a sense of ease about their lives that previously was merely a dream. Some CMSW’s will choose to work with a broad clientele so they can spread their talents among as many different kinds of people as possible. Other CMSW’s find they are drawn towards a specialized niche market wherein they focus on the specific problems that a sub-set of society is dealing with, for example they might work with medical professionals who find their careers to be a source of significant stress.

How a CMSW is a Service to Society

The service provided by the Certified Master Social Worker is one that is extremely significant to the lives of all they touch through their work. Clients who have successfully completed therapy have reported that their sense of self-worth has sky rocketed along with their zest for life and creative abilities. This kind of transcendence of previously insurmountable obstacles is nothing short of life changing for those who have seen with the help of their CMSW that they themselves have always had the power to make healthy choices and establish new ways of being. This is so liberating for some clients that they find themselves having success in almost all areas of their life as they bring in new found energy and confidence to all that they do.

Impact on Society

It is not always easy to measure how those who work with individuals are impacting their community at large and such is the case with the Certified Master Social Worker. However, as one begins to see from careful examination, the transformative process that is undergone at the individual level for clients is one that spreads outward and touches the lives of everyone they interact with. This in turn causes people who had previously though that long term patterns of failure were simply unbeatable to reassess their lives and possibly to seek treatment as well. Through the effect of modeling for others the way in which one can transform their lives and transcend their problems, the client creates a sense of possibility in everyone in their lives that they too can heal their pain and find a new way of being in the world. The impact of the CMSW on society can appear to be subtle, but the ramifications of their work are broad and deep.

Range of Salaries for this Job

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has compiled data from across the nation that shows that a Certified Master Social Worker can expect between: $40,740 and $70,660 for their yearly salary. The rather broad range is due to a number of additional factors such as the organization one works for, public vs. private employment, degree attainment of the individual and the area in which one works.

What’s Next to Pursue a Career as a Certified Master Social Worker?

Every journey begins with a first step and for the Certified Master Social Worker that is the attainment of a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from a good school. Once you have your BSW you can research a number of schools in order to find one that has a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited, Master of Social Work (MSW) program with a degree concentration in Clinical Practice or another area that resonates with the student. You can learn about MSW programs in your area by clicking on the name of your state next to the map of the U.S. which you will find here: