Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Salary
Job Description for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
A licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) is a mental health care professional who provides not only psychological counseling and therapy, but also assists in many of the practical aspects related to various mental conditions. For instance, an LCSW may help place patients in jobs, help individuals find living arrangements, and work to ensure that basic needs are being met. In so doing, the LCSW can remove obstacles that may inhibit the quality of life of someone with chronic mental health issues.Read More...
Hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers and similar institutions are common employers of licensed clinical social workers, although some LCSWs have dedicated private practices as well. In a larger setting, the LCSW may use a variety of therapeutic approaches that could include both private and group sessions. In doing so, the LCSW is not only assessing the patient's condition and improvement, but also evaluating how to best help the individual. The social worker tries to help the patient fully understand his or her condition, the triggers that may be detrimental to behavior and how to react more positively to these triggers.
An LCSW also works within the community to try to accommodate the needs of persons in his or her care. Hospitals and clinics may help subsidize housing costs and work with different housing providers to find shelter for patients undergoing care. An LCSW also typically develops a network of potential employers and business contacts who may be able to help place persons in care into job settings.
As the name implies, a licensed clinical social worker must be properly certified to practice; this certification is gained by earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees related to clinical sociology and counseling. An LCSW typically works in an office that may be part of a larger clinical institution. They normally work during regular office hours, but may work off-hours to respond to emergencies.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Tasks
- Assess and treat patients and their families in understanding and coping with emotional and social problems.
- Provide advocacy and resource services for the patient.
- Maintain caseload, documentation and reevaluate patients at appropriate intervals.
- Gather relevant information pertaining to case issues.
- Facilitate education, support groups and referrals.
Common Career Paths for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
It's not very common for Licensed Clinical Social Workers to move on to become Clinical Directors. Average pay for a Clinical Director is $71K annually. Licensed Clinical Social Workers most frequently advance into Clinical Social Worker and Social Work Supervisor roles even though the median salaries are $5K lower and $8K lower, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Licensed Clinical Social Workers include DaVita Inc., Kaiser Permanente, Self-Employed, The Veterans Administration (United States), and Department of Veteran's Affairs. The biggest paychecks can be found at Kaiser Permanente — the median salary there is $87K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $51K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $128K. Licensed Clinical Social Workers can also look forward to large paychecks at Dignity Health ($77K), U.S. Air Force (USAF) ($73K), and The Veterans Administration (United States) ($66K).
Other low-paying employers include University of Utah at $50K and Self-Employed at $51K, though some Licensed Clinical Social Workers there earn up to $305K.
Popular Skills for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Workers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Spanish Language, Geriatrics, Training, and Clinical Supervision are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 9 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Family Practice and Group Therapy. The majority of those who know Case Management also know Clinical Supervision and Psychiatric.
Pay by Experience Level for Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Licensed Clinical Social Workers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $50K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $56K. Licensed Clinical Social Workers see a median salary of $60K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $64K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Licensed Clinical Social Workers, location is an influential factor in determining pay. Three cities in California — San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento — not only offer salaries upward of the national average, but are the highest-paid American cities for those in the field. With compensation 7 percent below the national average, Indianapolis is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Salt Lake City and Denver (6 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).
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