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Social Worker (MSW) Salary

An average MSW Social Worker in the United States can expect to take home roughly $42K annually. Lower pay rates hover around $32K, and the higher rates verge on $61K per year. Residence is the main element affecting pay for this group — experience level and the specific company are driving factors as well. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a majority earn dental coverage. Among survey respondents, women are more common than men; 87 percent of MSW Social Workers are female. Work is enjoyable for MSW Social Workers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$31,878 - $59,142
(Median)
$32K
$42K
$59K
MEDIAN: $42,045
10%
50%
90%

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$14.97 - $30.44
(Median)
$15
$22
$30
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$31,878 - $59,142  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
Profit Sharing
$1.14 - $1,379  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,746 - $60,602  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,571
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$14.97 - $30.44  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $44.65  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,957  
   
Profit Sharing
$1.14 - $1,379  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,746 - $60,602  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 627

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Social Worker (MSW)

Social workers with a focus in MSW, or master of social welfare, are trained medical workers who use their knowledge and abilities not only to work with people, but also to help set policy and regulations for their community. The goal of the social worker MSW is to improve the lives of patients, starting with their first visit and all the way through to their full recovery. A social worker MSW requires a master's degree in social work. The social worker MSW will also need to possess knowledge about drugs, welfare, legal information pertaining to patients, and cultural traditions and differences.

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Social Worker (MSW) Tasks

  • Gather relevant information pertaining to case issues.
  • Facilitate education, support groups and referrals.
  • Maintain caseload, documentation and reevaluate patients at appropriate intervals.
  • Assess and treat patients and their families in understanding and coping with emotional and social problems.
  • Provide advocacy and resource services for the patient.

Common Career Paths for Social Worker (MSW)


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Though not the most common occurrence, MSW Social Workers sometimes become Non-Profit Executive Directors, where the average income is $59K per year. A more likely transition for MSW Social Workers is Licensed Clinical Social Worker or Medical and Public Health Social Worker.

Social Worker Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Social Worker (MSW)


The consistently lowest paying firm on the list is Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc., where the median salary is just $48K. However, employees at the top of the pay scale do tend to do well, earning around $64K.

Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)


Survey results imply that MSW Social Workers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Dialysis, Bereavement Counseling, and Hospice are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 13 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Family Practice. Most people skilled in Case Management are similarly competent in Patient Education and Geriatrics.

Pay by Experience Level for Social Worker (MSW)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $41K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $46K. MSW Social Workers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $50K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $54K.

Pay Difference by Location


For MSW Social Workers, location is an influential factor in determining pay. Three cities in California — Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles — not only offer salaries upward of the national average, but are the highest-paid American cities for those in the field. Chicago is the lowest-paying area, 14 percent south of the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and Detroit (11 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

Social Worker (MSW) Reviews

What is it like working as a Social Worker (MSW)?

Social Worker (MSW) in Los Angeles:
"Business to MSW."
Pros: Autonomy, working from home, field-based mental health, helping homeless veterans, providing context for others growth, assisting them in their growth.
Cons: Poor hygiene of clients, exposure to bugs and viruses, importance of productivity rates and clinical notes, clients ambivalence and lack of insight, lack of resources, lack of support from headquarters.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Social Worker (MSW) Salaries




National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Social Worker (MSW) Salaries

up arrow 23%


up arrow 11%





Clinical Psychology
up arrow 5%

Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Community Health
up arrow 4%

Case Management
up arrow 2%

Training
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

National Average
$43,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 2%

Family Practice
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 423 votes.

Gender

Female
87 %
Male
13 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 82% dental benefits Dental: 67%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 16%
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