Social Worker (MSW) Salary
MSW Social Workers in the United States take home approximately $44K per year on average. While career duration and the particular employer impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Female MSW Social Workers far outnumber their male contemporaries among survey respondents. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and a majority earn dental coverage. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Job Description for Social Worker (MSW)
Although social work includes a wide range of specialties, social workers are generally tasked with helping people cope with problems in their daily lives. This includes offering support and services to children and families in need, as well as the academic needs of children in schools. They may also assist patients in health care settings, explain treatments, and set up at-home care.Read More...
Clinical social workers often focus on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral issues, while addiction counseling is another specialization. Most of these positions require at least a bachelor's degree in social work, although some employers may accept a degree in psychology. Clinical social workers may be required to have a master's degree, at least two years of clinical experience, and valid licensing in their state. All social workers should have excellent interpersonal skills, listening skills, and a passion for helping people, as well.
Social workers usually work in offices within hospitals, government buildings, schools, and private practice. They may occasionally travel to visit with clients, and those who specialize in education may travel from school to school. They often work an average full-time schedule, but may also need to be available on weekends, at night, or on holidays.
Social Worker (MSW) 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 Social Worker (MSW)
MSW Social Workers do not often transition into Non-Profit Executive Director roles. The role averages $60K per year. The most common next step for a MSW Social Worker is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker or a Medical Social Worker. The former position pays an additional $6K per year on average, and the latter position pays $6K more per year.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Social Worker (MSW)
Although salaries only range from $44K to just $68K, DaVita Inc. still offers the highest pay with a median paycheck of $58K.
Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)
MSW Social Workers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Dialysis, Acute Care, Bereavement Counseling, and Hospice are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 18 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Training. Most people who know Case Management also know 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 does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $44K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $49K on average. On average, MSW Social Workers make $53K following one to two decades on the job. MSW Social Workers who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is approximately $60K.
Pay Difference by Location
For MSW Social Workers, busy Philadelphia offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 33 percent above the national average. MSW Social Workers will also find cushy salaries in Sacramento (+32 percent), Dallas (+16 percent), Los Angeles (+10 percent), and Houston (+7 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for MSW Social Workers is geography, with workers in Buffalo earning a whopping 23 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Chicago (10 percent lower) and Detroit (7 percent lower).
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