Clinical Social Worker Salary
Earnings for Clinical Social Workers in the United States come in at around $51K annually on average. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. The vast majority of Clinical Social Workers (82 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Clinical Social Worker
The duties performed by a clinical social worker role are numerous and vary according to the particular setting in which they work. Overall, clinical social workers deliver therapy to individuals who are in need of mental or emotional support, as well as coordinate various other services to help meet individuals’ needs. Clinical social workers’ work environments vary widely depending on their employers; typical employers include hospitals, mental health clinics, residential nursing facilities, home healthcare companies, and substance abuse treatment centers.Read More...
The tasks that a clinical social worker performs throughout the day vary according to case load and setting. Often, the first encounter with a patient comes as the result of a social work referral from another professional or clinician. Initially, clinical social workers assess patients for psychological disorders, sometimes making a diagnosis. In addition, clinical social workers also typically analyze patients for difficulty in their daily lives. By combining both of these sets of information, clinical social workers formulate a treatment plan, often in conjunction with other clinicians. Clinical social workers give therapy to patients and refer them to additional supportive resources as needed.
Working as a clinical social worker generally requires a master’s degree in social work, as well as appropriate state-specific licensing or certification. A number of skills are critical for working as a clinical social worker. These include empathy, excellent communication and organizational skills, effective time management, and the ability to work well under stress.
Clinical Social Worker Tasks
- Coordinate patient interactions from patient care, discharge instructions, follow-up to aftercare information.
- Negotiate with payers, outreach, family, and third party groups to safeguard patients.
- Communicate with patients and rehabilitation or care programs to ensure appropriate actions are taken.
- Conduct psychosocial evaluations and advise clinicians on social work matters.
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Popular Skills for Clinical Social Worker
Survey takers working as Clinical Social Workers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Bereavement Counseling, Assessment, Clinical Supervision, and Crisis intervention are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 20 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Spanish Language, mental health, and Group Therapy. Competency in Case Management frequently indicates knowledge of Counseling.
Pay by Experience Level for Clinical Social Worker
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Clinical Social Workers with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $48K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $55K. Clinical Social Workers bring in $58K after working for 10 to 20 years. Clinical Social Workers who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $63K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Clinical Social Workers, working in the bustling city of San Diego has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Clinical Social Workers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Hartford (+24 percent), Minneapolis (+17 percent), Houston (+15 percent), and Dallas (+15 percent). Trailing the national average by 18 percent, Chicago is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Detroit and Columbus also lean toward paying below-median salaries (11 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).
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