Social worker earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Social worker salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Idaho $66,455
Alabama $65,602
Maryland $67,810
Georgia $67,630
District of Columbia $82,630
Massachusetts $75,340
Rhode Island $77,970
Nevada $79,030
Hawaii $70,645
Washington $77,440
California $72,550
South Dakota $73,450
Alaska $65,432
New Hampshire $72,690
West Virginia $73,450
Virginia $73,450
Pennsylvania $64,260
Texas $75,820
New Jersey $66,110
New York $67,940
Vermont $69,390
Florida $69,310
Michigan $58,447
Minnesota $65,310
Kentucky $52,708
Nebraska $63,270
Delaware $58,430
Missouri $65,920
North Dakota $63,080
Oklahoma $63,270
New Mexico $55,040
Louisiana $58,000
North Carolina $63,270
Iowa $50,313
Wyoming $50,970
Wisconsin $53,840
Mississippi $46,820
Colorado $52,070
Indiana $47,539
Oregon $51,650
Tennessee $47,840
Maine $48,810
Ohio $49,260
Utah $43,770
Arizona $45,680
Illinois $44,957
Connecticut $47,075
Guam $38,770
South Carolina $43,280
Kansas $43,348
Montana $38,620
Arkansas $33,815
Puerto Rico $27,420

How much does a Social Worker earn?

Social worker salaries can vary widely depending on several factors, including specialization, state, and qualifications. Qualifications can range from the number of years spent as a social worker, whether or not an individual has a Masters of Social Work and what types of special certifications one might hold. According to PayScale, social workers with only a bachelor’s degree earn $25,000 to $48,000 a year. New graduates can expect earnings on the lower end of that scale. A 2009 National Association of Social Workers study shows an average increase of $15,000 annually for social workers who have completed their Master of Social Work versus those who have simply completed an undergraduate degree.

  • Child, family and school social workers handle the needs of children and families. Social workers in this category earned an average of $3,700 per month as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Healthcare social workers provide support to individuals and families with chronic or terminal illnesses. Healthcare social workers earned approximately $4,208 per month.

  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers treat those with mental, emotional or addiction problems such as alcoholism or drug abuse. Mental health and substance abuse social workers earned $3,554 per month.

The highest-earning states for social work vary depending on specialty, but, in general, include Connecticut, New Jersey, California, District of Columbia, and Rhode Island.

How do social worker salaries compare to similar careers?

Social workers earn about the same as related careers in the United States. On average, they make less than fire inspectors but more than firefighters.

Career Median Salary
Fire inspector salary $63K
Court reporter salary $57K
Recruiter salary $57K
Real estate appraiser salary $55K
Librarian salary $59K
Social worker salary $55K
Healthcare social worker salary $56K
Police officer salary $55K
Postal service clerk salary $55K
Firefighter salary $50K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)