Social Work Salaries

NASW Research Library

Below is a sample of the many resources you’ll find in the Research Library on the topic of social work salaries. 

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Example Resources

5 Salary Negotiation Strategies for Social Workers

Author:  Arendt, Valerie
Source: New Social Worker, Spring 2015
The article offers suggestions for social workers on salary negotiation. The author suggests doing research on salary offers befor saying yes to a job. The author says it is good to research about the organization's financial position and look at websites such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics;; or to know about salaries being offered in the industry. According to the author, money at offer is not the only thing, the reputation of the organization also matters.

Social Work Salaries: Keeping Up With the Times?

Author: Linsley, Jeann
Source: New Social Worker, Winter 2003
The article examines the sufficiency of social workers' salaries. It is observed that social workers continue to work for salaries that are not increasingly significant in real dollars. In fact, these salaries are generally lower than those of other professions like teaching, law and nursing. Gender inequity also remains prominent in levels of pay for social workers. Experts even agree that data drawn from many sources show that social work pay has remained flat over time. Inflation and cost of living continue to decrease the relative value of social work wages.

Employment-Related Salaries and Benefits in Social Work: A Workforce Survey

Authors: Suk-Young Kang and Judy Krysik
Source: Advances in Social Work, 2010
The purpose of this study was to develop a descriptive benchmark of social work employment in Arizona and to provide useful information to administrators, job seekers, and prospective social work students. The results, based on telephone and Internet surveys to a random sample of 463 NASW Arizona members, indicate that salary was positively related to level of education and years of social work employment experience. Salary was also higher for men than for women and higher for social workers with administrative roles compared to other roles. Access to employee-related benefits appeared widespread. Implications are provided for administration and future research.

Gender-based salary inequity in social work: mediators of gender's effect on salary

Authors: Koeske, Gary F. and Krowinski, William J.
Source: Social Work. April 2004
This study examined the direct effect of gender, controlling for years of experience, job role, and other variables, in a sample of 359 Pennsylvania social workers. Men social workers received significantly more yearly salary (an estimated $3,665 more) than women social workers. A path analysis suggested that the salary advantage for men that was attributable to their acquiring more experience and management positions was slightly larger than the direct effect of gender. The ability of merit variables to explain salary was somewhat greater for men than women. Other variables that mediated the effect of gender on salary were MSW specialization, working in a social work or a related area, and practice area (children and youths, health, mental health, or other area). The results suggest that substantial gender disparity continues to exist in social worker salaries.

Social Work Educational Debt and Salary Survey: A Snapshot from Ohio

Authors: Jennifer C. Hughes, Hyejin Kim, and Sarah E. Twill
Source: Social Work, April 2018
Educational debt is on the rise, and social work salaries remain low compared with salaries of other similarly educated and trained professionals. To better understand the implications of educational debt for social workers, an online survey was sent to social workers in Ohio. More than 700 respondents provided information concerning educational debt and social work wages. It was found that educational attainment levels were correlated with educational debt burden but did not affect the length of the payback period.

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Elevate social work

2019 National Social Work Month Journals Collection

In celebration of Social Work Month, the editors of the NASW journals have curated a collection of articles related to elevating the profession, including social work salaries. The articles are freely available for a limited time.

Read the journal articles