These Are The 10 States With The Highest Social Worker Salaries For 2017

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings, Salaries - 8 months 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. Minnesota
  3. Louisiana
  4. Michigan
  5. North Dakota
  6. Idaho
  7. Connecticut
  8. Utah
  9. New Jersey
  10. Wisconsin

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 2016 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 $54290, so our index value would be:

$54,290 * (100 / 135.9) = $39,948

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 $62,145 $58,790 94.6
2 Minnesota $54,563 $55,000 100.8
3 Louisiana $54,546 $51,710 94.8
4 Michigan $53,348 $47,480 89.0
5 North Dakota $52,947 $52,630 99.4
6 Idaho $52,312 $48,180 92.1
7 Connecticut $52,004 $66,410 127.7
8 Utah $51,860 $48,230 93.0
9 New Jersey $50,648 $61,740 121.9
10 Wisconsin $50,557 $48,940 96.8
11 Virginia $50,376 $50,780 100.8
12 Rhode Island $49,428 $59,660 120.7
13 Wyoming $49,215 $45,180 91.8
14 North Carolina $49,201 $46,200 93.9
15 Texas $48,291 $43,800 90.7
16 Nevada $47,337 $48,900 103.3
17 Washington $46,787 $49,220 105.2
18 Colorado $46,743 $48,520 103.8
19 Iowa $46,131 $41,980 91.0
20 Maine $45,649 $50,580 110.8
21 Tennessee $45,279 $40,480 89.4
22 Nebraska $44,967 $41,190 91.6
23 Alabama $44,835 $40,890 91.2
24 Kansas $44,638 $40,130 89.9
25 Ohio $44,584 $41,820 93.8
26 New Mexico $44,424 $42,870 96.5
27 New York $44,251 $57,970 131.0
28 Indiana $43,508 $38,940 89.5
29 Kentucky $42,850 $38,780 90.5
30 Oklahoma $42,096 $37,550 89.2
31 Florida $41,922 $41,210 98.3
32 Oregon $41,851 $48,380 115.6
33 Georgia $41,531 $37,960 91.4
34 Arkansas $40,918 $35,640 87.1
35 Maryland $40,804 $51,210 125.5
36 New Hampshire $40,709 $47,630 117.0
37 Pennsylvania $40,522 $41,090 101.4
38 Missouri $40,442 $36,560 90.4
39 Mississippi $40,139 $34,480 85.9
40 California $39,948 $54,290 135.9
41 West Virginia $38,822 $36,260 93.4
42 South Dakota $38,784 $40,220 103.7
43 Delaware $38,491 $39,030 101.4
44 Alaska $37,475 $49,130 131.1
45 Arizona $37,255 $36,510 98.0
46 South Carolina $35,897 $35,610 99.2
47 Vermont $35,309 $42,760 121.1
48 Massachusetts $35,224 $46,990 133.4
49 Montana $34,771 $35,050 100.8
50 Hawaii $32,906 $55,250 167.9
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