Social Worker Salary Information

The salary statistics of social workers are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of social workers in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of social workers within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The social workers annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Social Worker Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
25th Percentile Wage
50th Percentile Wage
75th Percentile Wage
90th Percentile Wage

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for social workers. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) social workers is $79,740. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $47,980. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $29,560. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 169% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of social workers from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2.27% 7.88%
2.11% -
0.87% -
0.99% -
1.89% -
- -

Table 2. Social Worker Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of social workers in 14 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for social workers occupations is the educational services sector with an annual salary $57,310. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $31,600).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Educational Services
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Finance and Insurance
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Wholesale Trade
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Federal, State, and Local Government
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Health Care and Social Assistance
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
Retail Trade


💰 Highest paying industries for social workers.