Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

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Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best Associate Degree in Social Work in Illinois? You should consider these top-tier institutions and jobs in the social work field.

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Associate in Social Work in Illinois

Earning an Associate Degree in Social Work in Illinois

Below are the rankings for the best degrees in Illinois for social work. An associate degree is a great way to prepare for the workforce and pursue diverse career opportunities. Once graduates earn an associate degree, they can apply to graduate programs.

Those who graduate from an associate program have an unemployment rate of 4.6%, while those who only have a high school diploma face 6.2% unemployment.

College Programs for You

Working and Living in Illinois in the Social Work Profession

Social workers have a variety of duties, including providing emotional support, helping clients solve problems related to their finances or family situations, and coordinating medical care. They are also responsible for maintaining a healthy relationship with co-workers, supervisors, and clients. To learn these skills, completing a degree in social work will be necessary.

The median salary in Illinois is $46,630 annually, or $22.42 per hour. All 5,618,830 employees in Illinois are subject to this stat. BLS reports that the lowest 10% of earners earn about $24,470 per year, while about $103,490 is earned for those with high incomes. The following presents the earnings for social workers in Illinois.

Key

Social Workers, All Other in Illinois
Social Workers, All Other Nationally
All Occupations in Illinois
All Occupations Nationally

Social Work Careers and Salaries in Illinois

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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MERIC's cost of living index ranks Illinois number 13 out of 51 states (including Washington D.C.). In the U.S., the cost of living index measures the average cost of living for specific states. The U.S. average is measured as 100, and all locations in the U.S. are either above (more expensive) or below (less expensive) that average. On a 100- point scale, Illinois has a cost of living index of 91.4, which is -8.6% lower than the national average. See how your cost of living will change if you move to Illinois.

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Source: Missouri Research and Information Center
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There is a projected growth of 5.8 in social worker jobs over the next decade. The BLS projects that the occupation's total employment will change from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030. Typically, a bachelor's degree is required for entry-level positions in these fields.

Associate in Social Work in Illinois

#1 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College

  • Chicago, IL
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College's associate in social work program runs remotely. Enrollees benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in social work. Learners seeking to advance in further studies can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

The college connects degree-seekers with resources such as academic advising and career resources. Distance learners can connect with virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources. Campus facilities and professors' offices are easier to access for those who attend the school on campus.

Degree candidates can expect to receive an average of $5,579 in financial aid. The school reports that 73% of enrollees receive some form of funding.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Chicago

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 25-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,216

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,544

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,520
Out-of-state
$14,430
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,479
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

College of Lake County

  • Grayslake, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

The associate in social work program at College of Lake County equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a social work-specific career. Enrollees looking to advance in their studies can apply their associate degree credits toward further undergraduate study.

The college connects degree-seekers with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. Other institutional resources include virtual library services and academic tutoring. Enrollees who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

Students seeking to defray degree costs should know that the average enrollee receives $4,953 in financial aid. Of its enrollees, the college reports that 46% receive financial aid and 3% receive loans.

College of Lake County at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Grayslake

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,806

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,914

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,016
Out-of-state
$12,208
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,854
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

Oakton Community College

  • Des Plaines, IL
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate degree in social work? Consider Oakton Community College's online associate in human services. Enrollees gain foundational knowledge and skills relevant to the social work field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Degree candidates can apply their course credits toward future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

Learners can access comprehensive college resources, including career counseling, academic advising, and financial aid assistance. Other resources available for online enrollees include academic tutoring and virtual library services. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

The college connects degree-seekers with numerous financial aid opportunities, reporting that enrollees receive an average of $4,579 in financial aid. The college reports that 53% of students receive financial aid, with 1% using student loans.

Oakton Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Des Plaines

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,276

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,292

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,276
Out-of-state
$12,292
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
7,313
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
91% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

Shawnee Community College

  • Ullin, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students can build their knowledge of the social work field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities in the associate in social work program at Shawnee Community College. Learners seeking further education can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

A leader in student success, the college connects enrollees with career services, academic advising, and other resources. Distance learners can receive one-on-one guidance from virtual library services and academic tutoring resources. Those who attend the school on campus can more easily access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Typically, enrollees receive $8,571 in financial aid. Learners can access scholarships, fellowships, and loans to assist with educational expenses.

Shawnee Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Ullin

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,280

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,760

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,640
Out-of-state
$6,270
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,176
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Illinois

South Suburban College

  • South Holland, IL
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students in the associate in human services program at South Suburban College complete industry-relevant courses, preparing them for their future careers. Learners can transfer their course credits to a four-year college.

During their studies, enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other resources. As part of an online learning community, distance learners can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources. Degree-seekers who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

The average student receives $4,337 in financial aid. Eligible enrollees can access student loans and internal and external funding opportunities.

South Suburban College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: South Holland

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,500

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,150

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,500
Out-of-state
$12,150
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,366
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Financing an Associate Degree in Social Work

In order to help pay for college, there are many opportunities for financial aid. In many forms, financial aid helps students lower the cost of college. Some students also qualify for federal and private student loans. Many colleges also offer scholarships for applicants, which can help them reduce the financial burden of earning a degree.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Illinois

In Illinois, the cost varies based on which college you attend. The public and private sectors do, however, share some commonalities as well. Please take a moment to review the information below in order to decide whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

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The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How about attending a private college? Tuition is generally more expensive at private colleges. Here is a graph that shows the benefits of attending private colleges in Illinois.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Illinois vs. National Average

Key

Illinois
National Average

Chart

Bar chart with 5 bars.
The chart has 1 X axis displaying salary types.
The chart has 1 Y axis displaying annual salaries in USD.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
End of interactive chart.

Federal Student Loan Information

Would it be wise for you to take out student loans to fund your education? When considering a loan, there are a number of things you should keep in mind.

The following data will assist you in determining what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees

Pros

  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.

Cons

  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees

Pros

  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The cost and size of the class are two main differences between an online degree and a degree completed on campus. There are many advantages to studying online, including flexibility, affordability, and convenience. The reason on-campus degrees are typically more expensive is because student fees are optional for distance students. Attending classes has several advantages.

Top Social Work Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

There are many differences that exist between public and private colleges. To begin with, the cost of a public school will differ from that of a private school. The costs of education at public universities tend to be offset by grants and scholarships. In private schools, merit scholarships are often available to students with high academic performance.

It is often the case that private universities have smaller class sizes. This is beneficial for students who want more individual attention from professors. Consider the pros and cons of attending a private institution versus a public one.

Pros and Cons

Private

  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight

Public

  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

For social workers in Illinois, what is the mean salary?

In-state social workers make a mean salary of $66,490.

In today's environment, are social work majors in demand?

The total number of social workers is expected to change by 5.8% from 2020 to 2030.

Can I study for an associate in social work online?

An associate degree in social work is a great way to prepare for the workforce. Most schools today offer some form of online education.

For those who wish to complete an associate degree, how long does it take?

The average associate degree takes two years for a full-time student to complete. For part-time students, the completion time will vary, and the process will take longer to complete.

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