Social Worker Salary

The average Social Worker Salary is calculated by the US Government Bureau of Labor Statistics from a variety of sources. Social workers work in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, public health, and social services departments .

Social worker wages vary depending on the location and the setting. The assumption was made that the social workers reflected here were working an average of 40 hours per week with a total of 2080 hours per year.

Median Hourly & Annual Data


A Social Worker average wage is $25.25 per hour. The lowest 10% earn $15.28 per hour and those in the upper 10% earn more than $36.12 per hour.


On an annual basis the median salary is $50,820. The lowest 10% earn a salary of $31,790 per year while the upper 10% earn more than $75,140 per year. These salaries are calculated as a mean or average.

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Lowest and Highest Social Worker Salary

The lowest paid Social Worker's earn less with mean or average wages below $15.00 per hour. Presumably this is offset by costs of living and other factors. The lower pay levels are associated with rural areas and schools. The highest pay levels are found in major population areas where the mean or average wage is over $38.00 per hour. Demand and low supply seem to be a significant factor in fueling higher salaries.

Top 5 States

The top paying states are District of Columbia $68,380, California $65,810, Nevada $64,710, Connecticut $62,600 and Rhode Island $61,030.

Top 5 Metropolitan Areas

The best city or metropolitan areas to earn a Social Worker Salary are Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $81,870, Sherman-Denison, TX $78,720, San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division $78,650, Napa, CA $77,510 and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA $77,220.

Click here to see the salary of Social Workers for all 50 states

Other Industries that Employ Social Workers

Insurance companies, Federal Executive branch, military and consulting services also employ social workers.

Employment Data

According to the US Department of Labor there are approximately 63,110 Social Workers who earn a salary in the United States.

Where They Work

The majority work in local, state, and federal social and family services departments. A small number are employed by hospitals and clinics.

Private Practice vs. Employment

Social Workers may be able to establish private practice in family and social services. Opportunity for private practice is limited.


Fringe benefits such as vacation, health insurance and retirement plans will vary depending on the work setting and size of the employer. A typical benefits package is worth over $20,000 per year.

International Salary

United Kingdom (UK)[1]

In the UK, social workers salaries range from £19,500 to £25,000 a year. With more experience and responsibility, this can rise to between £26,000 and £40,000.


Social worker, certified social worker and registered social worker - According to the latest figures, the highest hourly average wages are earned in Alberta at $41.54 per hour and the lowest average wages are earned in Fredericton, New Brunswick at $25.61 per hour.

 A typical full-time annual salary for this occupation is in the region of $55,000 – $75,000.

Employment prospects for social workers are good in Canada. It is expected that there will be an increase in demand for this profession in response to the needs of the aging population.


Social Workers provide a key function in society as they work to help families, individuals as well as groups address a range of problems. In this capacity, they work to help address social problems and human rights issues. They may be called upon to help very diverse groups of people in a variety of ways. The goal is always to improve the situation of those in need of assistance.

  • Starting salary: $30,000 P/A
  • Senior salary: $65,000 P/A
  • Average salary: $42,500 P/AWages will vary according to your level of skill, experience and employer
  • Employment level:25,800 as of November 2012 (Projected employment levels in 2017 of 31,000)
  • Average weekly hours: Average weekly hours worked for a full time Social Workers is 33.2 hours
  • Employment by region: The top three regions for employment as a Social Worker include:NSW: 30.3%VIC: 29.7%QLD: 17.0%

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