Social Worker Salary

Social Worker Salary

A social worker salary will vary depending on the industry the social worker is employed in, their location, years of experience and education.  There are many different industries in which social workers might find employment opportunities. Some high employment industries for social workers are the local, state and federal government, family services and hospitals.

Social Worker Salary Guide

Are you committed to empowering and helping others improve their lives – but still want to earn a decent salary? The top paying states for social workers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics are Rhode Island, Maryland, South Dakota, Minnesota and Nevada. While there is an abundance of online social work degree programs, state licensure requirements are also an important consideration when choosing between a campus or online program1. A career in social work can be a rewarding and engaging field.

There are numerous roles, jobs, and responsibilities within the field of social work, all of which entail varying salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in the field of social work earned a median annual salary of $45,900 in 2015. The best-paid 10% of social workers made more than $76,820/year, while the bottom 10% of earners made less than $28,530/year2.

Average Salaries For Selected Careers in Social Work

Health Care Social Workers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare social workers earned a median annual salary of $52,380 in 20152.  Healthcare social workers may be employed by hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, and medical clinics. 

Child Family and School Social Workers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, child family and school social workers earned a median annual salary of $42,350 in 20152.  Child family and school social workers might be employed by educational systems, state, federal or local governement agencies, healthcare systems, or other social service organizations.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Mental health and substance abuse social workers earned 2015 BLS reported salary of $42,1702.  They might be employed by hospitals, ambulatory care services, social assistance organizations, or nursing and residential care facilities. 

Social Worker Salary by Specialty & Employer Type

Salaries in the field vary according to different specializations and work environments among various social work jobs. The chart below for specific salary information reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 20153

*Salary figures are based on a national mean and may vary by location. Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

SpecializationWork Environment2015 Average Annual Wage
Child,Family, SchoolElementary and Secondary Schools$60,7504
HealthcareHospitals$59,6505
HealthcareHome Health Care$58,5805
Mental Health and Substance AbuseHospital$51,4806
Child, Family, SchoolLocal Government$52,8104
Mental Health and Substance AbusePsychiatric and Substance Abuse Specialty Hospitals$53,5206
HealthcareLocal Government$48,6805
Mental Health and Substance AbuseLocal Government$49,5606
HealthcareNursing Care Facilities$48,7605
HealthcareIndividual and Family Services$45,8405
Mental Health and Substance AbuseOutpatient Services$43,4206
Child, Family, SchoolSocial Advocacy Orgnaizations$40,6004
Mental Health and Substance AbuseIndividual and Family Services$43,9306
Child, Family, SchoolIndividual and Family Services$40,6604


If you are interested in pursuing a job that will help individuals and families improve their lives, a master’s in social work might be a perfect fit for you.

search for social work graduate programs


Resources:

1. bls.gov/oes/current/oes211029.htm | 2.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-5 | 3.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211029.htm | 4.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211021.htm | 5. bls.gov/oes/current/oes211022.htm | 6. bls.gov/oes/current/oes211023.htm

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