Social Worker Salary Guide - 2022

Last Reviewed: August 29th, 2022



As prices rise worldwide, everyone’s looking for ways to save money and earn a little extra cash. If you’re a social worker, there are several things you can do to increase your social worker salary. Here are a few avenues you can explore.

Continuing Education

One way to increase your social worker salary is by increasing your qualifications. If you have a bachelor’s degree in social work, consider going back to school to get your master’s degree or doctorate in social work. This step can make you a more attractive candidate for top jobs and allow you to command a higher salary. There are several ways to finance your education, including scholarships, grants, and student loans.

Additional Certifications

If you’re already a licensed social worker, you can further your education by taking additional coursework to become certified in a specialty area. This increase in certification can make you more marketable to employers and help you command a higher salary. You can find information about certification requirements on the National Association of Social Workers website.

Change Areas of Focus

If you’re interested in earning more money, you may want to consider changing the focus of your social work practice. There are many areas of social work that are more profitable than others.

For example, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the highest median wage for a social worker is with a local government agency, $61,190 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021).

Consider Private Practice

Another way to increase your social worker’s salary is by starting your own private practice. This can be a great way to earn more money and have more control over your work schedule. Private practices can be profitable, but they require time and money to get started.

If you’re interested in starting your own private practice, many resources are available to help you get started, including the Small Business Administration’s website.

Negotiate Your Salary

One of the best ways to increase your social worker’s salary is by learning how to negotiate your salary. Here are four tips to help you get started:

1. Do your research

Before you negotiate, it’s essential to do your research and find out the going rate for social workers in your area. This part of the process gives you a good starting point for negotiations.

2. Know your worth

Besides knowing the going rate for social workers in your area, it’s critical to know your own worth. Consider your qualifications, experience, and skills when determining your worth.

3. Be prepared to compromise

When you’re negotiating your salary, be ready to compromise. There may be areas where you’re willing to give for a higher salary.

4. Be confident

It’s essential to be confident when you’re negotiating your salary. If you don’t believe in yourself, your employer won’t either.

Salary negotiation is an important skill for social workers to possess. By using these tips, you can increase your chances of earning a higher salary. Remember to do your research and be confident when negotiating with potential employers.