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Social Worker (MSW) Salary (United States)

MSW Social Workers in the United States pull down an average of $41K annually. Compensation ranges between $31K and $59K per year. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geography, followed by years of experience and the particular employer. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and the larger part earn dental coverage. There are far more female MSW Social Workers who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 87 percent. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Social Worker (MSW) Salary (?
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.
)
$31,003 - $57,831
(Median)
31K
41K
49K
58K
MEDIAN: $41,480
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Social Worker (MSW) Salary (?
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.
)
$14.47 - $30.01
(Median)
14
18
21
25
30
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$31,003 - $57,831  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,993  
Profit Sharing
$125.00 - $550  
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).
)
$30,896 - $59,448  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,738
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$16$32$48
Hourly Rate
$14.47 - $30.01  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $45.52  
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$32K$64K$96K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,993  
   
Profit Sharing
$125.00 - $550  
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).
)
$30,896 - $59,448  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 691
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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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It's not very common for MSW Social Workers to move on to become Non-Profit Executive Directors. Average pay for an Non-Profit Executive Director is $59K annually. More commonly, MSW Social Workers become Licensed Clinical Social Workers or Medical and Public Health Social Workers.

Social Worker Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Social Worker (MSW)

MSW Social Workers will find the worst pay at Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc., where the median salary crawls in at $48K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $62K, leaving little room for growth.

Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)

MSW Social Workers report using a deep pool of skills 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 23 percent, 14 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. 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.
For MSW Social Workers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average beginner in this position makes around $40K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $49K. After two decades in the workforce, the average MSW Social Worker generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $53K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Diego
up arrow 24%
Los Angeles
up arrow 21%
Seattle
up arrow 16%
San Francisco
up arrow 15%
Houston
up arrow 12%
Dallas
up arrow 8%
Charlotte
up arrow 7%
Baltimore
up arrow 5%
Philadelphia
up arrow 2%
Cleveland
0%
National Average
$42,000
Denver
up arrow 3%
Boston
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 6%
up arrow 14%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Surpassing the national average by 24 percent, MSW Social Workers in San Diego receive some of the highest pay in the country. MSW Social Workers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+21 percent), Seattle (+16 percent), San Francisco (+15 percent), and Houston (+12 percent). Chicago is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 14 percent. Workers in Atlanta and Boston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (6 percent less and 5 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Social Worker (MSW) Salaries

National Average
$42,000

Skills That Affect Social Worker (MSW) Salaries

up arrow 23%
up arrow 13%
Clinical Psychology
up arrow 5%
Case Management
up arrow 3%
Training
up arrow 3%
Counseling
up arrow 2%
National Average
$42,000
Spanish Language
up arrow 1%
Family Practice
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 632 votes.

Gender

Female
87%
female alumni
 
Male
13%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 82% dental benefits Dental: 67%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 16%