With the promise held by the health care industry for the upcoming years, demand for professionals in the field is rapidly growing. Included in this call for professionals are the social workers, most of which are offered opportunities in the field of aged care. Social worker salary tends to be very lucrative and hence is one of the primary driving forces in the growth of job seekers who are interested to try the profession.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says in its 2008 report that the average annual salary for social workers in the US is about $49,000. Of course, there are states in the country where you could earn way more than this salary, while there are also areas where you could be earning less. And there are certain areas of specialization that allow you to actually hit the ceiling pay (which is about $80,000 to $100,000), while there are also niches that could peg your earning below such levels.
There are three important variables that come into play when determining the salary that you can expect for the job. These include the field or specialization that you will be working on, your location, and your experience and training background as a social worker. Confluence of these three factors essentially makes up what your expected pay would be.
For location, urban areas, like the mega cities, offer most of the top-paying positions for social workers. There are suburban and rural areas that do offer competitive wages, but these opportunities tend to be sparse and hard to find. Salaries in cities are often higher because of the high costs for living that the income should cover, notwithstanding the fact that the big bulk of demand for the services of social workers are concentrated in such areas. Indeed, the top-paying social worker positions can be found in the states of California, District of Columbia, Maryland, Connecticut and Nevada. For example, a social worker in Connecticut could earn as much as $60,000 which is way over the average pay.
Your specialization and the industry that you will be serving also play an important role in your income range. The highest salaries could be found in the medical and health field, where you could earn more than $50,000 annually. Working at the local government could bring you to income playing around $35,000 to $50,000. If you plan to pursue a job in a school community, you can expect your pay to be around $50,000 to $56,000.
Finally, your length of experience as a social worker, including the variety of skills that you have learned in the practice, is another important factor that most employers would look into when they’re thinking of hiring you. If you’re a fresh grad, you have to prepare for getting mostly entry-level jobs with salaries often pegged at $30,000 to $40,000. As you gain more experience and undergo further training, you could now go for the higher-paying positions. Usually, if you’re already long in the practice, say ten to fifteen years, you could already be earning the ceiling social worker salary or even way over it.