Updated August 22, 2022

Average Social Worker Salary


$24.09 hourly

Entry level Salary
$37,000 yearly
10 %
90 %

How much does a Social Worker make?

Social workers make $50,102 per year on average, or $24.09 per hour, in the United States. Social workers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $37,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $67,000.

Location impacts how much a social worker can expect to make. Social workers make the most in Oregon, Alaska, California, Washington, and Nevada.

Highest Paying States For Social Workers

The darker areas on the map show where social workers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

  • State View
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Average Salary:

Social Worker average salary by State

Rank  State  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Count  
6New Hampshire$53,534$25.74368
9New Mexico$53,253$25.60408
10Rhode Island$55,730$26.79161
12West Virginia$49,219$23.66319
14District of Columbia$62,788$30.19206
22South Carolina$47,915$23.04891
23North Dakota$49,816$23.9599
24New Jersey$53,256$25.60864
26North Carolina$47,712$22.941,679
27New York$51,304$24.672,055
40South Dakota$42,906$20.63230

Highest Paying Cities For Social Workers

Rank  City  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Portland, OR$67,065$32.24
2San Francisco, CA$63,180$30.38
3Washington, DC$62,783$30.18
4Seattle, WA$60,188$28.94
5Reno, NV$59,521$28.62
6Phoenix, AZ$53,662$25.80
7Salt Lake City, UT$53,350$25.65
8Rochester, NH$53,215$25.58
9Worcester, MA$52,597$25.29
10Saint Paul, MN$51,759$24.88
11New York, NY$51,336$24.68
12Urban Honolulu, HI$50,024$24.05
13Fort Worth, TX$49,724$23.91
14Denver, CO$49,560$23.83
15Portland, ME$49,013$23.56

Here Are The Five Most In Demand Cities Right Now:

  1. Portland, OR
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Reno, NV

Social Worker Salary Details

Average Social Worker Salary Graph
Average Social Worker Salary Graph, Trends, and Summary

What is a Social Worker's Salary?

Percentile  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  
90th Percentile$67,000$5,583$32
75th Percentile$58,000$4,833$28
25th Percentile$42,000$3,500$20
10th Percentile$37,000$3,083$18

Average Salary By Related Titles

Job Title  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
Family Counselor$41,510$3,459$19.9693,253
Crisis Counselor$51,142$4,262$24.5976,255
Service Counselor$35,402$2,950$17.0244,284
Family Therapist$50,774$4,231$24.41106,982
Social Service Coordinator$40,946$3,412$19.69109,487
Family Support Worker$38,207$3,184$18.37159,875

How would you rate the starting salaries for Social Workers, as well as the prospects for salary advancement?

Sarah Christa Butts MSW

Director of Public Policy, National Association of Social Workers

Social workers are required to have a high level of education. Usually, a Master's degree and starting salaries are often far too low. Still, social workers can increase their wages over time, and there are many opportunities and positions available. Increasing reimbursement and compensation for social workers and reducing student loan debt are advocacy priorities for NASW.Show more

Which Companies Pay Social Workers The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, Health Advocates and Medical Billing are the highest paying companies for social workers.
Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Health Advocates$79,323$38.14
2Medical Billing$76,003$36.5412
3Whidbey General Hospital$74,014$35.582
4Trident Medical Center$73,863$35.51
5Renal Research Institute, LLC$73,681$35.42
6US Oncology Holdings Inc$73,024$35.119
7American Renal Associates Holdings$71,453$34.3511
8Medical City Arlington$70,251$33.77
10AHMC Healthcare$70,038$33.6714
11Favorite Healthcare Staffing$69,874$33.592
12Vail Health$69,535$33.43
13Mission Health Services$69,198$33.275
14Landmark Hospital$69,041$33.191
15Healthcare Resolution Services$68,955$33.15
16SCA Health$68,872$33.111
17Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center$68,830$33.097
18Cibola General Hospital$68,472$32.923
19The University of Chicago$68,213$32.792
20Baptist Health Care$68,138$32.7627

Social Worker Salary Trends

The salary for a social worker can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

Social Worker Salary By Experience Level

Experience Level  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
Entry Level$36,500$17.56
Mid Level$55,500$26.67
Senior Level$73,800$35.50

Average Social Worker Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    Social Worker Salary By Year

    Year  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  % Change  

    Recently Added Social Worker Salaries

    Company  Job  Location  Date Added  Salary  
    The County of San MateoIhss Social Worker II/III-Bilingual Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Farsi, Russian Pref (Open & Promo)San Mateo, CA07/26/2022$73,528
    Alamance CountySocial Worker III-IntakeAlamance, NC07/26/2022$50,000
    Brightspring Health ServicesSocial Worker-Lmsw-PRNDenver, CO07/26/2022$70,958
    Midland Care ConnectionSocial WorkerTopeka, KS07/26/2022$54,000
    Opengate, Inc.Social Worker/Intake CoordinatorHawthorne, NY07/26/2022$60,000
    Centura HealthSocial Worker MSW PRNFrisco, CO07/26/2022$64,071
    Swedish Medical CenterSocial Worker IIEnglewood, CO07/25/2022$54,262
    Saint Luke's Health SystemsKidney & Liver Transplant Social Worker PRNDenver, CO07/25/2022$62,944
    The Medical Center of AuroraSocial Worker IIIAurora, CO07/25/2022$60,773
    Radiology Oncology at SwedishSocial WorkerEnglewood, CO07/25/2022$55,432

    Social Worker Salaries FAQs

    What state pays Social Workers the most?

    Oregon pays Social Workers the most in the United States, with an average salary of $67,057 per year, or $32.24 per hour.

    How do I know if I'm being paid fairly as a Social Worker?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Social Worker if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in Alaska you should be paid close to $64,923 per year.

    What type of Social Worker gets paid the most?

    Clinical Social Worker gets paid the most. Clinical Social Worker made a median salary of $63,056. The best-paid 10 percent make $77,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make $51,000.

    What is a good starting salary for a Social Worker?

    A good starting salary for a social worker is $40,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a social worker in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for social workers is $53,175, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for a social worker can vary by state.

    Can you make 100k as a social worker?

    Yes, you can make $100,000 per year as a social worker. However, this is highly unlikely. Even social workers in higher-paid positions do not typically earn more than $70,000 per year.

    Certain qualifications are useful for increasing your earning potential as a social worker. Most social workers will have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in social work. This is often shortened to BSW.

    Do social workers get paid well?

    Yes, social workers get paid well. Depending on the location and area of social work, it is possible for a social worker's yearly earnings to exceed $90,000. It is much more typical for social workers to earn between $30,000 per year and $70,000 per year.

    Do social workers make good money?

    No, social workers do not make good money. Many social workers have intense jobs that can be very stressful, but also gratifying. However, this does not translate into them being well-compensated.

    What field of social work pays the most?

    The highest-paying field for social workers are at the government (state or federal) level and the medical field. These positions tend to pay well because they tend to require the most knowledge and expertise.

    What is the highest-paid social work job?

    The social workers who are usually paid the highest are those who work for the government at the state or federal level and the social workers who work within the medical field.

    These positions tend to pay well because they tend to require a good amount of knowledge. Social workers in these positions must know how to navigate complex systems with rules and procedures that can be very rigid.

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