How Much Does a Social Worker Make?

If you’re thinking about going to school to become a social worker, you are likely wondering how much they make. The average wage for social workers in the United States is $54,500. Let’s learn more about this average wage, factors that could impact your salary, career options, and what majors are perfect for this line of work.

A social worker on her computer - do you want to study social work in college?

How Much Does a Social Worker Make?

On average, across all fields and states, a social worker makes around $54,500. However, the line of work you choose, your education level, and the state you work in can greatly affect this number. Florida, for example, has a lower-than-average salary of around $47,000 for social workers. You’re also likely to make more in specific fields or if you have a master’s degree.

What Careers Are Available to Social Workers?

Social work can be extremely rewarding, and there are a number of career options available for those interested in this line of work. It’s important to note that while some social work positions may only require a bachelor’s degree, some states and positions also require licenses, certificates, a master’s degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree. Here are just a few and their average salaries:

Healthcare Social Worker

A healthcare social worker focuses on helping individuals, groups, and families with psychosocial support during illnesses. They also assist with counseling, referrals, treatment, disease prevention, and more.

  • Healthcare social workers make around $60,840 a year (median wage).
  • Employment for this position is expected to grow about 17% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Most people in this field have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Postsecondary Social Work Teachers

Postsecondary social work teachers focus on teaching social work to other students in college. They may also be involved with projects and research.

  • The median salary for postsecondary social work teachers is $71,010.
  • Employment is projected to grow 7%.
  • Most in this field have a master’s degree, doctorate, or professional degree.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers

Child, family, and school social workers assist families, schools, and children. They can help with academic functioning, adoptions, fostering, teenage pregnancy, school misbehavior, and more.

  • Child, family, and school social workers make, on average, around $49,150.
  • The field is expected to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028.
  • Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Mental health and substance abuse social workers assist individuals and families with substance abuse problems, mental health issues, crisis intervention, prevention, and education.

  • Mental health and substance abuse social workers’ median wage is $49,130.
  • Employment is expected to grow 17%.
  • 75% in this field hold a master’s degree.

All Other Social Workers

For all other social workers, the median wage is $61,190. Most have either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. This includes all other types of social work not listed above.

What Majors Are Great for Future Social Workers?

Did one of these careers sound interesting to you? You should definitely focus on one of these majors then!

Social Work

Social work is usually a master’s degree program, but there are similar bachelor’s programs available, too. These classes are for individuals interested in social welfare administration, counseling, the study of services available for vulnerable people, social welfare policy, case work, child welfare, family services, probation, and more.

All of the careers listed above can be pursued with a degree in social work.

Clinical/Medical Social Work

Clinical/medical social work is another master’s or bachelor’s program designed for future social workers. Those in these courses will learn about social work in medical settings, interviewing techniques, psychiatric case work, counseling, patient testing, rehabilitation, planning, and record-keeping.

This is a great program for those interested in becoming healthcare social workers, teachers, and mental health and substance abuse social workers.

Juvenile Corrections

Juvenile corrections is a major option for those interested in becoming a child, family, and school social worker. Students will learn about correction services for underage populations, development, psychology, juvenile law, and social services. However, only one school offers this major: Prairie View A & M University in Texas.

Youth Services/Administration

Youth Services/Administration programs are designed for bachelor’s degrees. Those in this major learn about social services, child development, psychology, social work, family and juvenile law, counseling, ethics, and more. This is another great major for those interested in becoming a child, family, and school social worker.

Social work can be a fantastic avenue for those who want to give back to their community, assist youth, and help those with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems. While it may not pay as much as other lines of work, it can be extremely rewarding.

Are you in search of the best schools for social work and related majors? Use our College Match tool to discover the colleges and universities that fit your wants, needs, budget, goals, and achievements. You can also use our Career Finder tool to uncover more about the jobs in this field.

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