Salary for Social Worker with Masters Degree. The social worker is a licensed professional that provides therapy and counseling. In addition, they counsel and provide rehabilitation services in institutions or programs such as halfway houses and community centers.
As a social worker with a master’s degree, you’ll earn $50,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Buffalo, N.Y., the median annual wage for this occupation was $43,640 as of May 2014, which translates to $21.11 an hour. Social workers are paid well – especially in higher-cost areas such as New York City or San Francisco – but salaries across disciplines and regions vary widely.
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Salary For Social Worker With Masters Degree Overview
If you’re a social worker with a Master of Social Work degree and want to make 100,000, here’s how.
First, before you apply for jobs, you should figure out how much other social workers at the same level are making in your area. You can do this by looking at salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS includes information on how much social workers make by state and occupation type, so you can find out exactly what your peers are making in your area.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start applying for jobs!
For starters, make sure your resume is up-to-date and ready to go. Then start searching for positions online—you can use sites like Indeed or Monster to find openings in your area or specific organizations that interest you. If there aren’t any openings posted yet (or if there are too many), send out resumes anyway! You never know when one might come open unexpectedly (and even if it doesn’t, it shows potential employers that you’re serious about working for their company).
Once you’ve found a job posting that looks interesting, apply for it! Make sure all of your information is accurate and professional.
Salary Range for Social Workers With and Without a Master’s Degree
Social work has a reputation for being a low-paying career, but that isn’t always the case. The median average salary for a social worker – regardless of his or her highest level of education – was $51,760 as of 2020, according to the BLS. That’s not a lucrative salary, for sure, but it is significantly above the $41,950 median wage that the BLS reported across all industries in 2020. A social work salary with master’s degree education is better than a social work salary with only a bachelor’s degree.
However, different jobs within the field of social work earn different pay rates, which makes comparing social work salaries a bit more complex than you might have expected.
Among the lowest paying jobs in social work is child or school social worker. Overall, these social workers earned a median wage of just $48,430 per year in 2020, the BLS reported. Mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a similar median wage of $48,720. Income was considerably higher for healthcare social workers, at $57,630 annually.
Among social workers of all other kinds – a classification which encompasses 62,500 workers in the United States, or less than one-tenth of the total social work occupation – the median annual wage was quite a bit higher, at $64,210, the BLS reported. These social work professionals include all those who work in an industry outside of mental health, substance abuse, child and family social work, school social work and healthcare social work.
The BLS doesn’t distinguish between social workers with master’s degrees and those with only bachelor’s degrees when reporting on earning potential, job outlook, and other occupational data. However, Salary.com reports a difference of several thousands of dollars per year between these two roles. The median salary for social workers with BSW degrees nationwide was $59,556 in 2021, with salaries typically falling in the range between $53,148 and $66,402. For social workers with their MSW degree, Salary.com lists a median wage of $65,860, with most social work master’s salaries in the range of $59,571 through $72,657.
Over the course of your professional life, earning an additional $6,000 more per year can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra income. If you go by the $13,000 pay difference reported by the National Association of Social Workers, you could be looking at additional earnings of nearly half a million dollars. That’s not bad, especially considering that established social workers with a BSW can often enter graduate programs with advanced standing and complete their Master of Social Work degrees in as little as one year.
Master’s Degree in Social Work Salary for Managers
In the field of social work, as in other occupations, wages rise as you move into management roles. For example, the BLS reported a median salary of $69,600 in 2020 for social and community services managers, the occupation that, according to O*NET, includes job titles such as social services director, community services director, clinical services director and social worker supervisor. The nationwide median salary for social work supervisor roles, specifically, was $84,966 in 2021, according to Salary.com, with wages typically falling between the range of $76,198 and $96,629. Social service directors can make salaries approaching the six-figure range, Salary.com reported.
While social and community services managers still make a difference, this role is very different than direct-service social work positions and clinical social work roles. The tasks that are most important for social and community services managers include establishing administrative procedures and organizational policies, creating and monitoring administrative documents and records and hiring, training and overseeing the performance of staff, including social workers. In a managerial role in social work, you handle more of the work behind the scenes, developing and coordinating social services programs. There are both advantages and disadvantages to leaving behind direct-service roles. While you no longer have the same stress you face when dealing directly with clients, you face plenty of administrative stress, and some social workers find their work less fulfilling without that direct connection to the people they help.
Masters in Social Work (MSW) Salary
Having you Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree will not only give you a much greater diversity of possible careers, it will also enable you to command a significantly higher salary. The difference between someone holding a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and someone with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is substantial. According to Salary.com, the Median expected pay for a Social Worker who holds a Bachelor of Social Work is $47,4091 this is compared to a median salary of $56,4202, a difference of $9,000 per year.
During the course of a 25-year career, that is a difference of $225,000, a difference that more than makes up for the additional cost of earning your Master of Social Work (MSW) degree.
Some specific jobs in Social Work that require a Master’s degree and their salaries can be found below:
Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker
If you are interested in working in the counseling end of social work and wish to help families of terminally ill people as well as the dying work with their grief, you may wish to consider a career as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker. For these specialized Social Workers, you can expect a median pay depending on employer and the state in which you work of between $40,740 and $70,600.