Difference Between Psychologist and Social Worker

On a general note, both psychologists and social workers are both based on the development and growth of the individual.


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A psychologist is a professional that deals with the human mind and behavior, and in contrast social worker deals with the broad concept of the work done to deliver it to the respective person.

Sometimes they are considered to work as the same alternative of each other, but unfortunately, the reality is different.

Psychologist vs Social Worker

The difference between Psychologists and Social workers is that the basic requirement or the qualification for the respective field is entirely different. For being a well-renowned and legitimate active psychologist, the individual must have a degree of doctorate or have a Ph.D. whereas comparatively, on another side, the mere requirement of being an active social worker is to be having a graduation or post-graduation degree.

Psychologist vs Social Worker

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A psychologist is an individual who works and studies the different human behavior, actions and reactions performed, thought processes, thinking, and many other psychological actions of the human brain.

And the patient dealing with any sensitive issues towards their mental and emotional health must contact a psychologist. They are the experts and provide necessary aids to overcome any such problems or issues.

Social Worker is an individual who works for the development or growth of other people. The basic aim of a social worker is to overcome different social stigmas and problems to provide the necessary and basic requirements for living.

This includes – the education of poor children, improving living conditions, giving clothes, shelters, and many other such basic amenities.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPsychologistSocial Worker
IncorporationThe use of clinical psychology and listing out solutionsUse different fields of work and knowledge like – political science, economics, law, psychology, etc
Educational QualificationDoctorate or PhD Degree in bachelor’s or master’s programme
FocusEmotional and mental healthLiving condition, job, health,
Salary LowHigh
Broad SpectrumDeals with more or like with the trauma or the emotional health of the brainDeals with complete growth of the individual.

What is Psychologist?

Psychologists is an individual or experts whose basic aim is to study the behavior changes, thinking, actions and their reactions, and many other brain-related activities of the brain.

To become a legitimate and active psychologist, one has to attain a degree of Ph.D. or have a doctorate with a complete internship and other necessary exams. The salary of an expert is quite handsome in number. 

The most preferred choice of the experts in many cases is known to be ‘psychotherapy.’ Although talking about mental or emotional health is considered a stigma but is the only way to break the chain.

The experts use this therapy on their respective patients, and with certain different techniques, they try to find the root cause of the problems and then provide the required aids.  

The main overall points that can be summarized from the above are – 

  • The purpose of the expert is to record the well-being of emotional and mental health.
  • The experts inculcate their studies related to the behavior and psychology of the brain to provide medical aids for their patients.
  • The basic need for an expert is to have a doctorate or Ph.D. in hand.
  • The salary withdrawn is quite handsome.

What is Social Worker?

A social worker is considered as the person who always works to develop and increase the growth of individuals. These workers help in providing various basic requirement aids to the ones in need.

They not only work from the low level or, say, for the root level but also suggest various solutions for that. 

These workers indulge their now and then knowledge of different fields into their work, such as – economics, law, psychology, and many others.

The basic requirement or the need for being a social worker is merely having any of the degrees of graduate or post-graduate. And the salary withdrawn is unlikely less than psychologists. 

The main overall points that can be listed from the above are – 

  • The purpose of these workers is to improvise the basic standard of the individuals.
  • These workers inculcate all of their practical and theoretical knowledge in their working fields like – politics, psychology, law, economics, science, etc. 
  • To be a worker the one doesn’t need an expensive degree. They just require a bachelor’s or masters. 
  • They receive quite a low salary or sometimes just none.

Main Differences Between Psychologist and Social Worker

  1. A psychologist is supposed to incorporate the practical knowledge of their subjects like clinical psychology, and in return, they must provide indicative solutions to the patients whereas comparatively, on the other hand, a social worker is supposed to incorporate all the field knowledge from a wide perspective related to law, politics, psychology, economics, and many other.
  2. The minimum qualification required to be a legitimate psychologist is to have education up to the level of Ph.D. or must have Doctorate whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the minimum or basic requirement for being a social worker is not as high level like a psychologist they may have a degree of graduation or masters in any field or course. 
  3. A psychologist focuses on their respective emotional and mental health whereas comparatively, on the other hand, a social worker has to focus on varied aspects for the individual that may include – the health conditions, education providing, living condition, job, etc. 
  4. The expected salary offered to any psychologist is approximately higher whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the expected salary withdrawn by any social worker is low or sometimes none.
  5. On a broad spectrum, psychologists have to solve the problems of their patients concerning the health issues of emotional and mental balance, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, a social worker on a broader perspective works towards the complete overall growth of the individual.
Difference Between Psychologist and Social Worker
  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/J-R-Laurence-2/publication/290024371_Recovered_memories_of_childhood_sexual_abuse_Social_worker_psychologist_and_psychiatrist_reports_of_beliefs_practices_and_cases/links/5d712557299bf1cb8088be2d/Recovered-memories-of-childhood-sexual-abuse-Social-worker-psychologist-and-psychiatrist-reports-of-beliefs-practices-and-cases.pdf
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/104438943401500603?journalCode=fisb
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02615479811220031
  4. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1993-46770-001
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