Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

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Updated January 4, 2023

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

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Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Earning an Associate Degree in Social Work in Pennsylvania

You will learn all of the skills and knowledge you require to succeed in your career by studying the best degrees in Pennsylvania for social work. Associate degrees are an excellent way to prepare for work in diverse fields.

On average, the median annual income for individuals with an associate degree is $50,076 a year. Associate degree-holders are more likely to be employed than those with a high school diploma only.

Associate Degree Programs for You

Working and Living in Pennsylvania in a Social Work Profession

A social work degree can be earned at the bachelor's, master's, or doctoral level. Common courses for social work programs include human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, research methods, and practice with individuals, families, and groups. Jobs for those with a social work degree include social worker, clinical social worker, school social worker, and community organizer.

Pennsylvania's average annual wage is $44,900, or $21.59 per hour. The state reports that this number applies to its workforce of more than 5.5 million individuals. Typically, the lower 10% of earners in the state earn about $23,120 per year, whereas the higher 10% earn approximately $90,000 per year.

Key

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

Social Work Careers and Salaries in Pennsylvania

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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As stated by MERIC, Pennsylvania is ranked number 27 out of 51 states (including Washington, D.C.). Cost-of-living indexes measure the average cost of living in America against 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) than the average. According to a 100-point scale, Pennsylvania's cost-of-living index is 97.9, which is -2.1% lower than the national average. Prospective students in relocating to Pennsylvania can use the cost-of-living comparison to find the right fit for them.

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There is a projected 5.8% growth in social workers expected over the next ten years. That's a projected change from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. An associate degree is typically required for these positions. The following are typical job titles:

Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

#1 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Northampton County Area Community College

  • Bethlehem, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Northampton County Area Community College supports 10 online associate degree programs, including an associate of arts degree in social work. Enrollees benefit from a robust course curriculum, preparing them for the demands of the social work field. Students can transfer their course credits to a four-year college, in pursuit of a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Throughout the program, students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. Distance learners benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and professors' offices.

The institution reports the average financial aid award as $5,819. Of its enrollees, the college reports that 77% receive financial aid, and 26% receive loans.

Northampton County Area Community College at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 2-year

Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,420

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,630

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,720
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,951
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Bucks County Community College

  • Newtown, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Newtown, Bucks County Community College boasts a highly-ranked online associate of arts in social work, one of 18 online associate degree programs. Social work students prepare for careers through relevant coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Students seeking to advance in study can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

While enrolled, social work students can access college resources geared towards student success. Further resources available to online students include virtual library services and academic tutoring. Campus facilities and lectures are more readily accessible to students who attend the school on campus.

Typically, enrollees receive $5,170 in financial aid awards. The college notes that 50% of all students receive financial aid awards, with 11% receiving loans.

Bucks County Community College at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 2-year

Location: Newtown, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,920

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,880

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$11,880
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,988
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#3 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Community College of Allegheny County

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County boasts a highly-ranked online social work foundation associate of science degree, one of 12 online associate degree programs. Social work students prepare for a career in social work through relevant coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Students can transfer their course credits to a four-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

The college prioritizes student success through career services, academic advising, and other resources. The college supports its online learning community through online-specific resources, such as virtual library services and academic tutoring. Students who attend the school on campus have easier access to campus amenities and faculty offices.

Learners can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, receiving an average of $5,253 in aid. Students can explore numerous funding opportunties, with 63% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 16% opting for student loans.

Community College of Allegheny County at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 2-year

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,960

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $10,440

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,080
Out-of-state
$10,620
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
13,217
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

  • Johnstown, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, located in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, supports three online associate degree programs, including an associate of arts in social work. Students in the social work program gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the field. Students can transfer their course credits to a four-year college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

The college prioritizes student success through career services, academic advising, and other resources. The college supports its online learning community through online-specific resources, such as virtual library services and academic tutoring. Those who attend the school on campus can more easily access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Typically, students are awarded $5,535 in financial aid. The institution reports that 87% of all enrollees receive financial aid, and 21% receive student loans.

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 2-year

Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,210

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,540

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,540
Out-of-state
$9,960
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,456
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Associate Degrees in Social Work in Pennsylvania

Lehigh Carbon Community College

  • Schnecksville, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, Lehigh Carbon Community College supports 11 online associate degree programs, including a social work associate of arts degree. Students in the social work program benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in social work. Students seeking to advance in study can apply their credits towards a bachelor's degree.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other supports during their studies. Distance learners can access other resources, such as virtual library services and academic tutoring. It is easier for students attending the school on-campus to access campus facilities and professors' offices.

Typically, enrollees receive $4,620 in financial aid awards. The college notes that 83% of all students receive financial aid awards, with 50% receiving loans.

Lehigh Carbon Community College at a Glance:

Type of school: Public, 2-year

Location: Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,360

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,540

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,720
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
56%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,205
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
87% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Financing an Associate Degree in Social Work

Many degree-seekers rely on financial aid to cover costs. Scholarships, grants, fellowships, and work-study programs help degree-seekers cover costs. Some students may be eligible to receive federal and private student loans. It is a good idea to research the colleges you are interested in and find out what kinds of financial aid might be available.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Pennsylvania

Depending on the institution, tuition and other costs in Pennsylvania will vary. A number of similarities exist among both public and private institutions. The following information can assist you in determining whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you.

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

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Pennsylvania
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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Have you ever considered attending a private college? There is generally a higher cost associated with private schools. Please refer to the following graph to learn more about private colleges in Pennsylvania.

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

Key

Pennsylvania
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

Have you considered applying for 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 tend to borrow on their own.

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
Among the most notable differences between an online degree and a degree obtained on campus are the cost and the size of the classes. Degree programs offered online have numerous advantages, including their flexibility, affordability, and convenience. On-campus degrees are more costly on average because of student fees. Attending classes in person has advantages, however.

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 Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate

Private vs. Public

Public and private colleges show many differences. Private schools tend to be more expensive than public schools, for example. Students at public universities are often able to use grants and scholarships to help with their costs and fees. Those at private colleges often receive merit scholarships based on their previous academic performance.

In private colleges, students have more opportunity to speak with professors one-on-one directly. Listed below are some pros and cons of attending a private college as opposed to one that is public.

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 Pennsylvania, what is the salary?

In-state social workers make a mean of $66,720 on average.

Are social work majors in a high-demand field?

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

Can you get an online associate degree in social work?

An online associate degree in social work is possible. At least some online offerings are available at most schools in today's environment.

How long does it take to earn an associate degree?

A full-time student normally takes two years to complete an associate degree. The completion time for part-time students will vary, as will the process of the program.

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