Considering private practice?

There are several advantages of entering private practice. These include:
  • Flexible working hours.
  • The opportunity to focus on direct service delivery without being bogged down in administration and organisational issues.
  • The opportunity to specialise in particular areas of practice which inspire you. However, the decision to enter private practice should not be taken lightly and the following challenges should be considered:
    • One earns on an hourly basis for services rendered. There is no paid sick leave or holiday leave. Whilst private practitioners may earn more per hour’s work than colleagues in agency or government jobs, their administrative time is unpaid, and times when there are no clients are not remunerated.
    • There are no benefits such as subsidised medical aid or pension. If you want these you will have to pay from your own pocket.
    • Attracting clients, particularly in the context of a depressed economy is challenging. Social workers in private practice compete with their social work colleagues, psychologists and coaches for a slice of a shrinking market.
    • There are overhead costs to running practice. These may include professional registration fees, office rental, book keeping or accounting services, CPD training, supervision, telephone, internet and computer costs, travel and marketing costs. Most of these are of course tax deductible.