The 10 States With The Highest Social Worker Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 1 month ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do social workers get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for social workers by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for social workers by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for social workers after this adjustment? That would be Child, Family, And School Social Workers.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Illinois
  2. Michigan
  3. Idaho
  4. New Jersey
  5. North Dakota
  6. Minnesota
  7. Wyoming
  8. Connecticut
  9. Texas
  10. Louisiana

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for social workers from the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $59500, so our index value would be:

$59,500 * (100 / 135.9) = $43,782

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for social workers.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Social Worker Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Illinois $59,302 $56,100 94.6
2 Michigan $56,876 $50,620 89.0
3 Idaho $56,579 $52,110 92.1
4 New Jersey $55,537 $67,700 121.9
5 North Dakota $55,201 $54,870 99.4
6 Minnesota $55,119 $55,560 100.8
7 Wyoming $54,684 $50,200 91.8
8 Connecticut $54,440 $69,520 127.7
9 Texas $53,936 $48,920 90.7
10 Louisiana $53,470 $50,690 94.8
11 Virginia $51,468 $51,880 100.8
12 Rhode Island $50,903 $61,440 120.7
13 Nevada $50,735 $52,410 103.3
14 North Carolina $50,042 $46,990 93.9
15 Wisconsin $50,041 $48,440 96.8
16 Washington $49,420 $51,990 105.2
17 Colorado $49,190 $51,060 103.8
18 Iowa $49,142 $44,720 91.0
19 Ohio $48,006 $45,030 93.8
20 Utah $47,483 $44,160 93.0
21 Kansas $47,285 $42,510 89.9
22 Maryland $47,235 $59,280 125.5
23 Maine $47,048 $52,130 110.8
24 Tennessee $46,789 $41,830 89.4
25 Nebraska $45,371 $41,560 91.6
26 Kentucky $45,248 $40,950 90.5
27 New Hampshire $45,230 $52,920 117.0
28 Georgia $44,901 $41,040 91.4
29 Indiana $44,793 $40,090 89.5
30 Alabama $44,638 $40,710 91.2
31 Oregon $44,558 $51,510 115.6
32 New York $44,312 $58,050 131.0
33 Arkansas $43,938 $38,270 87.1
34 California $43,782 $59,500 135.9
35 Florida $43,377 $42,640 98.3
36 Pennsylvania $43,076 $43,680 101.4
37 New Mexico $42,963 $41,460 96.5
38 Missouri $41,681 $37,680 90.4
39 Vermont $41,511 $50,270 121.1
40 Oklahoma $40,885 $36,470 89.2
41 Mississippi $40,861 $35,100 85.9
42 Delaware $39,822 $40,380 101.4
43 Arizona $39,816 $39,020 98.0
44 South Carolina $39,243 $38,930 99.2
45 West Virginia $39,004 $36,430 93.4
46 South Dakota $38,601 $40,030 103.7
47 Montana $37,906 $38,210 100.8
48 Alaska $37,353 $48,970 131.1
49 Massachusetts $36,484 $48,670 133.4
50 Hawaii $33,371 $56,030 167.9
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