Social worker earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Social worker salary by state

State Name Average Salary
District of Columbia $82,630
Hawaii $85,060
Rhode Island $77,970
Massachusetts $76,670
Nevada $79,030
Washington $77,440
California $72,550
South Dakota $73,450
New Hampshire $72,690
Idaho $75,820
Alaska $69,930
West Virginia $73,450
Virginia $73,450
Texas $75,820
New Jersey $66,110
Maryland $69,980
Georgia $75,510
New York $67,940
Vermont $69,390
Connecticut $64,920
Indiana $69,370
Florida $69,310
Minnesota $65,310
Iowa $66,810
Nebraska $63,270
Delaware $58,430
Michigan $62,070
Alabama $67,340
Missouri $65,920
North Dakota $63,080
Oklahoma $63,270
New Mexico $55,040
Kentucky $67,330
Louisiana $58,000
North Carolina $63,270
Wyoming $50,970
Wisconsin $53,840
Kansas $46,900
Mississippi $46,820
Colorado $52,070
Oregon $51,650
Tennessee $47,840
Maine $48,810
Ohio $49,260
Utah $43,770
Illinois $42,644
Arkansas $36,680
Guam $38,770
Pennsylvania $43,574
South Carolina $43,280
Montana $38,620
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 financial clerks but more than upholsterers.

Career Median Salary
Financial clerk salary $32K
Ambulance dispatcher salary $33K
Event planner salary $33K
Correctional officer salary $35K
Insurance sales agent salary $33K
Social worker salary $36K
Librarian salary $36K
Wedding planner salary $32K
Hairdresser salary $26K
Upholsterer salary $34K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)