Social workers help families, individuals and groups to improve their social situation. The work largely involves counseling, information and support, as well as working on new social resources in the social or healthcare system. Social worker is a legally protected job title.

Social workers often work in collaboration with institutions and specialists in social and healthcare services. Many specialize in areas such as geriatric services, child protection, alcohol and drug abuse, treatment at hospitals, family therapy and disability issues.

Main tasks

• understanding the circumstances and needs of the client
• seeking out rights to social assistance
• formulating plans to improve clients’ situation
• social rehabilitation
• seeking accommodation solutions for children, elderly people or disabled people
• providing supportive interviews or treatment
• planning and supervising group work

Competence requirements

A social worker permit is issued by the Director of Health to those who have completed a master’s degree in the field. As a social worker, you need to be responsible for the counseling, treatment and prevention that is used at work, but also be aware of professional limitations.


Social work is taught at the University of Iceland, with a BA in Social work being a three-year study program. In order to apply for a professional qualification, a two-year Master’s program must be completed.

Social work studies
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