Social Worker (MSW) Salary

Average MSW Social Workers in the United States make around $43K per year. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $32K and $61K per year. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geography, followed by tenure and the specific company. A large number enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to slightly more than half. For the most part, MSW Social Workers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Women account for the majority of MSW Social Workers who took the survey — 88 percent to be exact. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$31,960 - $59,488
(Median)
$32K
$43K
$59K
MEDIAN: $42,563
10%
50%
90%

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$14.97 - $30.74
(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
$31,960 - $59,488  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,960  
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).
)
$31,751 - $61,141  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,520
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 - $30.74  
   
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 - $1,960  
   
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).
)
$31,751 - $61,141  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 609
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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 not commonly seen, MSW Social Workers who transition into a Non-Profit Executive Director position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Non-Profit Executive Directors 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)


While select Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. employees may bring in up to $64K, a median salary of only $49K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department.

Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. 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. Most people familiar with 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.


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $41K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $46K on average — a distinctly larger sum. MSW Social Workers bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. MSW Social Workers who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $54K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For MSW Social Workers, busy Sacramento offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 31 percent above the national average. MSW Social Workers will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+19 percent), Dallas (+15 percent), Seattle (+12 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). Chicago ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 13 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Charlotte (10 percent less).

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%





Patient Education
up arrow 4%

Clinical Psychology
up arrow 4%

Community Health
up arrow 3%

Case Management
up arrow 1%

Training
up arrow 1%

National Average
$44,000

Counseling
up arrow 1%

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%

Family Practice
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 348 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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