The median annual social worker salary is about $48,000. This is about $23 per hour. This falls right in the range of the middle 50% of social workers employed today. That range of salaries is recorded to be between $42,000 and $54,000 (between $21 and $26 per hour). Those working in the top 10th percentile can expect an even higher salary: about $28 or higher per work. This adds up to at least $59,000. The average annual income for someone working in the lowest 10th percentile, however, is a bit smaller. Only about $38,300 should be expected for these positions. That’s also equivalent to $18 or less per hour.
Many factors help to determine the annual income of a social worker. Education and experience play a role in just about every professional industry. Location, job type, and certification can all help or hinder the average income of a social worker. Metropolitan areas tend to pay higher salaries. Furthermore, the better certifications obtained by a social worker, the higher an income they are likely to expect. Certification goes hand in hand with education.
The average total compensation package for a social worker after benefits is about $70,000. Paid benefits may include health care, paid time off, social security, and pension, among others.
Job Description of a Social Worker
Social workers work with people who have experienced a crisis and need some help. Providing support and acting as a friend can be instrumental in getting these people back on their feet. Some people social workers are likely to work with include young offenders, drug and alcohol abusers, school drop-outs, people with mental health conditions or with learning and physical disabilities, the homeless, and the elderly.
Some tasks a social worker may be required to perform on a daily basis include assessing their clients and conducting interviews with their families and friends, offering counseling support, giving advice and recommending the best courses of action for various situations that may arise, preparing reports for legal action, and giving evidence in court.
How to become a Social Worker
- Choose from bachelor’s degrees in applied linguistics, English, environmental studies, history, or liberal arts.
- Coursework will help you develop valuable business skills like critical thinking and communication.
- Degree programs are offered entirely online in a flexible format that fits into the busy lives of working adults. Classes last for 5 weeks.
- All courses are taught by expert faculty with real-world experience.
- BA/Applied Behavioral Science
- BA/Social Science - No Concentration
- BS Human Services Leadership
- And more...
- One of the top-ranked universities in Florida, Saint Leo University offers over 50 accredited undergraduate degrees, programs and endorsements as well as master's and doctoral programs.
- Saint Leo’s undergraduate and graduate online degree programs prepare you to take advantage of growing career opportunities in a variety of in-demand fields.
- Saint Leo University provides academic excellence, flexibility, affordability, and a wide range of educational programs with financial aid and scholarships available to those who qualify.
- Saint Leo offers a 14:1 Student-Teacher Ratio to ensure you get the personal attention you deserve.
- Learn on your schedule with our 6 convenient available start dates throughout the year. Get started on earning your accredited degree today!
- MSW: Advanced Clinical Practice (3 Year)
- MSW: Advanced Standing
- MSW: Advanced Clinical Practice (2 Year)
- And more...
Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.
- MSHUS - Organizational and Social Services
- MSHUS - Family and Community Services
- MS in Human Services
- And more...
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology program helps students prepare for careers in counseling, marketing/sales, human services, ministry, and more.
- The School of Psychology & Counseling received a 95% match rate for 4th year Psy.D. student internships in 2015.
- Programmatic accreditation for psychology programs is provided by the American Psychological Association (APA).
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
- M.A. in Human Services - Biblical Counseling
- M.A. in Human Services - Student Affairs
- M.A. in Human Services - Christian Counseling
- And more...
- Learn how you can make a difference in the Human Services field with a degree from Post
- 100% online Human Services BS degree
- Find concentrations in Counseling, Management, Psychology & more
- Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
- Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
- B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
- B.S. in Human Services
- B.S. in Human Services / Health and Community Services
- And more...
As a leader in education, Regis is dedicated to offering programs with a holistic view of health services that are designed for the future of the field. Through cutting-edge coursework, industry-active faculty members, and an array of majors and graduate programs, Regis has been able to positively impact the educational community, health services landscape, and personal lives of students nationwide.
- Online Master of Social Work
- Online Master of Social Work - Advanced Standing Track
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology
- M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Geropsychology
- M.S. in Psychology: General Psychology
- And more...
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- M.A. Counseling Psychology
- M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
- Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis
- And more...
There are some job opportunities available for social workers who have only obtained a bachelor’s degree. However, opportunities certainly arise after the extra education and training needed to receive a master’s degree. Some specialty social workers, such as clinical social workers, are required to have a master’s degree.
Most states also require social workers to be licensed. All states, however, require clinical social workers to be licensed in their field. The licensure exam can be completed after graduating with a proper degree in social work.
Social Worker Salary in Other Countries (Canada, UK and Australia)
Social workers employed in other first world countries receive roughly the same benefits and salaries as those working in the United States. Australian social workers make on average about AU$55,000 every year. Canadian social workers receive nearly the same: about C$50,000 on average.
Social workers employed in the United Kingdom should receive an average annual income that is about the same. £29,000 is earned annually on average by social workers in the U.K. This salary is equal to about $46,000 in the United States.
Verdict on Social Worker Salary
A career in social work can be rewarding, but also dangerous. Social workers often tend to young teenagers who are deep in trouble or child abuse cases that have gone awry. The salary for a social worker can sometimes ease the pain of dealing with people with such traumatic and sad stories, but work will most likely come home on a regular basis anyway. It is a lucrative career, but only a person with the proper skills to handle such situations should even think about becoming a social worker.