Social Worker Salary Guide [2018]

Social Worker Guide

Average Social Worker Salary is $26,500


Social Workers Salary Stats

MEDIAN SALARY – $26,500

10 YEAR JOB OUTLOOK  –  5.3% (Faster than average)

 WORK ENVIRONMENT – Medical, Schools, Family, Mental health social workers.

 EDUCATION – Social Work Degree

NUMBER OF JOBS – 651,002

GENDER RATIO – Male 19 % to Female 81%



What is Social Worker?

Social workers help to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm or abuse, and support people to live independently

Common Social Workers Skills

  • Communication and Listening skills
  • Build relationships with families, groups and professionals
  • The ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Problem-solving and report writing skills
  • The ability to make decisions and use your professional judgement
  • Administration and organisational skills

Common Social Workers Tasks

  • Offering advice and counselling
  • Developing Support Plans & Guide
  • Creating and Managing writing reports

Social Worker Video Profile


Social Worker Salary

According to the data provided by BLS, the top-tier social workers who develop their careers mostly in private section can earn up to $44,000 every year. Nonetheless, about half of them only receive salary whose amount is between $29,500 and $ 49,000.

Furthermore, it is described that the number of social workers who make less than $24,000 every year is less than 10%. This report is based on the data that was collected 6 years ago. It’s rather old indeed, to be taken for granted and given that the progress in both private and public section is considerably well in the last 6 years, there must be some increase on the previously reported social worker salary. Still, we believe the margin is not very different.

Generally, people tend to assume that social worker salary is pretty much rewarding even when a person has only a bachelor degree. However, that is not necessarily true, especially for those who have just been involved in the industry.

According to the report published by U.S. News, the annual salary for a social worker who just begins his/ her career is $32,500 on average.

In fact, in a few industries, the amount of fee a new social worker can earn each year only ranges from $25,000 – $27,000.


Factors Affecting the Salary

Salary Factors for Social Workers
Salary Factors for Social Workers

Social worker salary does not appear so diverse without reasons. There is a number of variables that have their own roles in either increasing the fee or leveling it down.

  1. Types of social work jobs

Lots of occupations can be categorized as social worker.

In fact, BLS has made its own classification which groups these particular jobs:

  • Medical
  • Schools
  • Family
  • Mental health social workers.

The highest salary is reported to be received medical social workers who are employed in some grand hospitals, whereas the lowest fee is found among those who work to serve a family.

 2. Geographical location

California is said to be the most generous when it comes to social worker salary. Reports have it that the salary range for social workers there starts from $34,000 to $48,000.

 3. Education History 

In addition, having advanced educational history definitely helps place a social worker in a higher position in the field, thus he/ she can earn more. While those with bachelor degree usually end up being a family social worker, those with MSW (Master of Social Work) and Ph. D. have bigger chance to be employed as clinical administrators, or other well-paid jobs.


Licensed Clinical Social Worker Salary

As mentioned above, those who are employed in the medical industry or a hospital are very likely to receive a higher amount of money every year. Still, not all people are qualified for such a job. In fact, mostly those with at least a master degree in social work major are deemed eligible for this particular job. Mind you, the annual salary for social workers who make a living in clinic centres can go up to $61,000.

By the way, even though currently it seems that social workers are a bit underpaid, the future potential of this job looks quite promising. This is due to two big changes which are expected to happen next year. First, the population of older people is estimated to grow vigorously next year, demanding far more social workers in the field. And second, it is predicted that the government would give up this particular field into the private party because of the limited budgets. That would be almost the same with higher social worker salary.

More resources on Social Working

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