Social Worker (MSW) Salary

MSW Social Workers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $43K per year. The bottom of the pay range sits near $32K, and the top verges on $61K per year. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and the particular employer. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Women make up the vast majority of MSW Social Workers (88 percent) who answered the questionnaire. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$31,933 - $59,443
(Median)
$32K
$43K
$59K
MEDIAN: $42,577
10%
50%
90%

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$14.99 - $30.64
(Median)
$15
$22
$31
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
$31,933 - $59,443  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,966  
Profit Sharing
$1.21 - $1,957  
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).
)
$31,772 - $61,033  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,524
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
$14.99 - $30.64  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $44.55  
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 - $1,966  
   
Profit Sharing
$1.21 - $1,957  
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).
)
$31,772 - $61,033  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 611
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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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While MSW Social Workers do not often become Non-Profit Executive Directors, the job pays $59K per year on average. 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)


Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. is infamous for dishing out the smallest paychecks in the area (the median in that office is $49K), but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $36K while workers on the upper end may rake in $64K.

Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, facility with Dialysis, Bereavement Counseling, and Hospice are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 11 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Family Practice and Spanish Language. Those proficient in Case Management are, more often than not, also skilled 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for MSW Social Workers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $41K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $46K. MSW Social Workers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $50K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $54K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, MSW Social Workers in Sacramento enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. MSW Social Workers will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+19 percent), Dallas (+15 percent), Seattle (+13 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). With compensation 14 percent below the national average, Chicago 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 Atlanta and Detroit (11 percent lower and 3 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.

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Experience Affects Social Worker (MSW) Salaries




National Average
$44,000


Skills That Affect Social Worker (MSW) Salaries

up arrow 22%


up arrow 10%





Clinical Psychology
up arrow 5%

Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Community Health
up arrow 3%

Case Management
up arrow 2%

Training
up arrow 1%

Counseling
0%

National Average
$44,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%

Family Practice
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 362 votes.

Gender

Female
88 %
Male
12 %

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: 17%
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