Social Worker Salary

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Social Worker Salary

Social worker salary varies in the United States. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for social workers in 2021 was $50,390 . But a few things play a role in what a social worker makes. Among them are cost of living, location, niche, and level of education.

 

How Much Does a Social Worker Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates healthcare social workers earned a median of $60,840 in 2021. However, there are various types of social work jobs, and each area may earn a different amount. Values also differ based on location. Some examples include:

  • Home health care services providers earned an annual mean wage of $67,150.
  • Those working as social workers in general medical and hospitals earned an annual mean wage of $71,440.
  • Those working in outpatient care centers earned an annual mean wage of $65,090.
  • Some work in scientific research and development services, earning an annual mean wage of $93,030.
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Potential Salary for Social Workers

Healthcare Social Workers

Health care and medical social workers may help people adjust to disease or illness. Many work in palliative care facilities or hospices. They might arrange this type of care, for home health aides, or with lifestyle. As a result, these pros tend to team up with doctors and other health care professionals. The median annual medical social worker salary is $62,310.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Healthcare Social Workers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$78,750810
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$77,300520
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$74,90030
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA$74,630110
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$74,1101,490

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Child and Family Social Workers

When working with children and families, social workers often intervene or advocate for the needy. So, some of the areas they deal with are neglect and abuse. Some also work in adoption, welfare and foster care. The median annual clinical social worker salary is $63,010.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Child, Family, and School Social Workers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$77,6801,990
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT$70,6801,200
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$61,3706,090
Mankato-North Mankato, MN$60,060190
Duluth, MN-WI$59,340650

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Those working in mental health and substance abuse help with addictions. They may run 12 step programs and support groups. Some are also licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) and might diagnose and treat too. The median annual mental health social worker salary is $57,800, per the BLS.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA$75,230110
Utica-Rome, NY$66,460230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$63,5502,070
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT$62,510810
Bend-Redmond, OR$60,860150

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers (LCSW or CSW) typically have a master’s degree and license. The license could allow them to diagnose and treat problems. Mental, behavioral and emotional. In this role, they may help a client improve their habits or thinking. A licensed clinical social worker earns a median annual salary of $50,390, per the BLS.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social Workers, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$89,1500
Springfield, MA-CT$88,01060
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$84,900230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$82,9001,190
Worcester, MA-CT$81,80040

Bureau of Labor Statistics

School Social Workers

School social workers may interact with parents, school admin and teachers. Their role is to help students learn and succeed. But some of the issues they have to help with include bullying, delinquency and violence. The median annual school social worker salary is $54,880, per the BLS.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social Workers, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$89,1500
Springfield, MA-CT$88,01060
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$84,900230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$82,9001,190
Worcester, MA-CT$81,80040

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Community Service Managers

Community service managers may run programs that help the public. They tend to work with one group and type of program. This might gear to the homeless, veterans, foster kids or elderly. Apart from a bachelor’s degree in social work, one may need a master’s degree for some roles (BLS).

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social Workers, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$89,1500
Springfield, MA-CT$88,01060
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$84,900230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$82,9001,190
Worcester, MA-CT$81,80040

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Human Services Assistants

With a BSW, one may find jobs as case workers or human services assistants. These are direct service roles. So they may entail keeping records and files intact. Depending on the role, they may make visits to clients and report back to their supervisor.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social Workers, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$89,1500
Springfield, MA-CT$88,01060
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$84,900230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$82,9001,190
Worcester, MA-CT$81,80040

Bureau of Labor Statistics

LGBT Social Worker

Social workers who focus on the LGTB community ensure wellness, safety, and equity for all persons. Many serve as advocates who strive to impact policies that are more inclusive. The median annual master’s social work salary is $64,210, per the BLS.

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social Workers, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$89,1500
Springfield, MA-CT$88,01060
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$84,900230
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$82,9001,190
Worcester, MA-CT$81,80040

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Social Workers vs. Social and Community Service Managers Social Workers earned a median annual salary of $50,390 in 2021 (BLS), whereas Social and Community Service Managers earned $74,000 in 2021 (BLS).

Is a Degree in Social worker worth it?

Per the BLS, the future may be bright. They predict an avg. of 12%  more jobs by 2030. That said, job growth in all social work jobs does vary. Clinical social workers have the brightest prospects. Those who work in health care should see a 13% climb in jobs. While those working with mental health and substance abuse, 15% growth. In addition for child, family and school social workers 13%.

That said, salaries range across the United States. States with higher salaries per the BLS May 2021 data:

  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire

Yet the states with the highest number of jobs differ. These are:

  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Montana
  • Maine
  • Minnesota

If you want to join the workforce as a social worker, many schools offer Master of Social Work (MSW) Degrees. Learn how this accessible format may provide a gateway to a rewarding job.

Social Worker Degree Jobs and Salary


Acording to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for social workers was $50,390 in May 2021. And employment for social workers is projected to grow 12% from 2020 to 2030.

OccupationMedian Annual SalaryJobs
Social Workers$64,210715,600
Health Care Social Workers$57,630184,900
Child, Family and School Social Workers$48,430335,300
Mental Health / Substance Abuse Social Workers$48,720124,200

Top Employment States for Jobs as a Social Worker

States with the highest employment level in Social Workers (BLS).

StateJobsAnnual Mean Wage
California6,030$68,540
Florida3,860$55,270
Ohio3,010$56,380
Texas2,650$67,470
Oregon2,600$56,790

Top Paying States for Social Worker

Annual mean wage of social workers by state, May 2021 (BLS).

StatesJobsAnnual Mean Wage
Hawaii200$85,760
Massachusetts410$85,730
Washington720$79,210
Nevada340$78,120
New Hampshire100$77,630
Online social work graduate programs

If you want to pursue a career in the workforce as a social worker, many schools offer Online Master of Social Work degree programs. Learn how this accessible format may provide a gateway toward pursing a  new career.

Learn more about Social Work with the following topics here on GradSchools.com:

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