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Jan 24, 2022
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Hi all,

I'm an NYC based MSW graduating this year from a clinical program. I'm starting to research LMSW jobs and would love some feedback. I'd really love to continue doing clinical work and am thinking about working at a hospital, partly because the pay is much better than a lot of the group practice/training institutes. My main concern is that in working at a hospital I would probably be doing more case management style work. I know this is not always the case, for example, I believe at Bellevue's outpatient mental health center social workers do therapy with patients. My question is does anyone know of any hospital programs where I might be more likely to do therapy/clinical work in NYC?

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I don't know anything about NYC's job market specifically, but I can say that in general, many/most social workers in VA hospitals provide therapy rather than case work. There are certainly exceptions, and many SWs seem to want to move into management or other administrative-type roles, but most SWs I knew at VA were front-line clinicians.
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Beyond public job postings that will hopefully specify whether it's therapy heavy, case management heavy or a mix, I would really advocate tapping into your existing network or creating new ones to try to get some inside scoop for your local market.

Have you had any mentors during school? Or people you've connected with during previous internships/prac placements who might know of opportunities or be able to put in a good word for you?

As AA mentioned, there are tons of LCSW/MFT/LPCs doing outpatient therapy at hospitals around the country. What most of us won't know is the current local job climate in your area.

Some hospital systems are losing therapists/psychologists rapidly (better pay elsewhere, better working conditions elsewhere, cost of living is getting too high in the area, etc) in which case there is a lot of turnover. But there are other systems where retention is high.

One thing to consider is looking for something therapy based that pays OK, helps you get licensed (like providing supervision as part of your comp package), and then jump quickly once you're independently licensed. That also gives you more time to network and find a more ideal spot for your next move. Many professionals in our field do some version of this, sometimes multiple times over. Good luck!
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