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Social Worker (MSW) Salary

Pay for MSW Social Workers in the United States sits in the ballpark of $42K annually. The bottom of the pay range sits near $32K, and the top verges on $60K per year. While tenure and the particular employer impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a majority collect dental insurance. MSW Social Workers who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 87 percent. Job satisfaction for MSW Social Workers is high. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$31,816 - $58,942
(Median)
$32K
$42K
$59K
MEDIAN: $41,917
10%
50%
90%

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$14.88 - $30.45
(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
$31,816 - $58,942  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,938  
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).
)
$31,638 - $60,462  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,569
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
$14.88 - $30.45  
   
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 - $1,938  
   
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).
)
$31,638 - $60,462  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 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 some MSW Social Workers move into positions like Non-Profit Executive Director (where the average salary is $59K), this progression is not the norm. However, it's more common for MSW Social Workers to move into roles as 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)


For MSW Social Workers, below-average salaries can be found at Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.; in fact, average earnings are around $48K, the lowest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($36K versus $64K) is great.

Popular Skills for Social Worker (MSW)


MSW Social Workers seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, facility with Dialysis, Bereavement Counseling, and Hospice are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 13 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Family Practice. 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 make $41K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $46K. After working for 10 to 20 years, MSW Social Workers make a median salary of $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


Relative to MSW Social Workers in the rest of the country, MSW Social Workers in Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles see salaries beyond the national average. In fact, these California cities offer more pay than any other American city. In Chicago, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Atlanta and Detroit (9 percent lower and 4 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 22%


up arrow 12%







Clinical Psychology
up arrow 5%

Case Management
up arrow 2%

Training
up arrow 2%

Counseling
up arrow 1%

National Average
$43,000

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%

Family Practice
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 437 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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