Healthcare social workers are one of the least happy careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, healthcare social workers rate their career happiness 2.8 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 14% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy healthcare social workers are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Family social worker
2.8
$49k
Licensed practical nurse
2.8
$48k
Pharmacy technician
2.8
$37k
Medical administrative assistant
2.8
$37k
Clinical nurse specialist
2.8
$78k
Healthcare social worker
2.8
$61k
Medical billing & coding technician
2.7
$40k
Speech language pathologist
2.7
$79k
Registered nurse
2.7
$78k
Nurse
2.7
$44k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are healthcare social workers happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do healthcare social workers find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as healthcare social workers?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are healthcare social worker’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are healthcare social workers making the best use of their abilities?

Are healthcare social workers happy with their salary?

Healthcare social workers rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.6/5. Healthcare social workers tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

We asked healthcare social workers how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.6 out of 5 stars

205 healthcare social workers

5 Star
7%

7% of healthcare social workers rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
20%

20% of healthcare social workers rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of healthcare social workers rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
24%

24% of healthcare social workers rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
22%

22% of healthcare social workers rated their compensation 1 stars

Do healthcare social workers find their jobs meaningful?

On average, healthcare social workers rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.2/5. Most tend to be satisified with the level of meaning they find in their careers.

We asked healthcare social workers how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

3.2 out of 5 stars

204 healthcare social workers

5 Star
17%

17% of healthcare social workers rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
30%

30% of healthcare social workers rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
21%

21% of healthcare social workers rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
17%

17% of healthcare social workers rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
15%

15% of healthcare social workers rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as healthcare social workers?

Healthcare social workers rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.6/5. The majority of healthcare social workers find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked healthcare social workers how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.6 out of 5 stars

219 healthcare social workers

5 Star
22%

22% of healthcare social workers rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
37%

37% of healthcare social workers rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of healthcare social workers rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
8%

8% of healthcare social workers rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
7%

7% of healthcare social workers rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a healthcare social worker’s work environment?

As a whole, healthcare social workers rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.2/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked healthcare social workers how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.2 out of 5 stars

215 healthcare social workers

5 Star
16%

16% of healthcare social workers rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of healthcare social workers rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
30%

30% of healthcare social workers rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
18%

18% of healthcare social workers rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
9%

9% of healthcare social workers rated their work environment 1 stars

Are healthcare social workers making the best use of their abilities?

Former healthcare social workers on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 3.0/5. Healthcare social workers tend to feel that they don’t manage to use their abilities to their fullest, when compared to other careers.

We asked healthcare social workers how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

3.0 out of 5 stars

218 healthcare social workers

5 Star
12%

12% of healthcare social workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
23%

23% of healthcare social workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of healthcare social workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
25%

25% of healthcare social workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
13%

13% of healthcare social workers rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars