Highest Paid Social Workers in 2022 | 10 Best Careers in Social Work

Before discussing the highest-paid social workers, one must understand what social work is and who a social worker is.

Social work combines both academics and professionalism. Social work is an academic discipline as well as a profession. The profession connects the workers to several other professions like health, education, religion, law, society, among others.

A social worker is a person who is involved in the lifestyles of children, adults, vulnerable, disabled, elderly. By this, it means that a social worker seeks to enable better lives for individuals and families.

A social worker assists their clients going through challenges. They also support some advocacies on abuse, human rights, and mental health for communities and individuals.

Generally, a social worker helps foster social change, social development, peaceful coexistence, life empowerment, human rights, and the overall well-being of people.

The profession is among some of the longstanding professions in the United States. Social work has been practiced for over 120 years in the USA.

In this article, we will discuss the highest-paid social workers and the 10 best careers in social work.

Ten Best Careers in Social Work

Are you thinking of studying or getting trained as a social worker? Do you have an interest in advocacy and helping others?

There are many specializations of the social work profession that you can focus on.

Whether it’s a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) or a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW), here are ten of the most popular careers in social work.

Any of these careers may place you among the highest paid social workers in the U.S.Ambulatory care social work.

1. Ambulatory care social worker

As an ambulatory care social worker, you get to offer assistance in healthcare facilities. Ambulatory care social work is a career in medical social work.

Social workers in this field help patients who are elderly or those living with life-threatening diseases to navigate their illness period.

A person who is an ambulatory care social worker would also offer assistance to patients who cannot take care of themselves during sickness to the recovery period.

They also help their patients to get proper treatment plans and good in-home healthcare services.

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2. Marriage and family counselor

Another amazing career you may focus on in social work is marriage and family counseling.

A marriage and family counselor in the social work field combines legal and social functions. As a marriage and family counselor, you would responsible for couples and families.

You also offer solutions for families and couples experiencing marital challenges. Likewise, the social worker also must help partners understand life and interpersonal differences.

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This is one of the highest paid social workers careers to pursue if you enjoy love with healthy bonds and relationships.

3. Children welfare social worker

Social work careers also include children’s welfare. A child welfare social worker focuses on child development. They also offer support to vulnerable, abused, behavioral dysfunctional children.

Such people are involved in several advocacies that concern children especially abuse, violence, education, and displacement. you may also be responsible for helping children get foster or adoptive homes.

4. Community outreach social worker

This is another highest paid social worker career is for those who enjoy taking the stage in any activity.

Community outreach social workers are always on the front stage when it comes to advocacies. They are often intermediaries between organizations, states, and communities. 

5. Substance abuse and mental health social worker

You may choose the mental health and substance abuse path in social work. Those who work in this field are often therapists, and counselors for substance abuse and mental health.

The need to help people maintain proper mental health and reduction in substance abuse can be a spur for this career. The job opens you to several opportunities in different sectors.

6. Corporate social responsibility

This is one of the growing opportunities in social work. Corporate social responsibility also brings you to the community.

You have an opportunity to make a positive impact on society and your environment as a CSR social worker. You also get to work mostly in private organizations.

7. School social worker

A child who is having educational challenges needs a school social worker. School social workers help children to cope with mental health, academic challenges, and behavioral health in the school.

8. Social worker supervisor

Social work supervisor specializes in leadership roles in social work. You will be helping young social work professionals build up every stage of their careers.

A social work supervisor takes up supervisory, counseling, and management of social work students or young staff.

9. Licensed clinical social worker (LCSWW)

The role of a licensed clinical social worker looks similar to a psychologist or therapist. The difference is that an LSCW applies a social approach to treating their patients.

10. Academics

Among leading careers in social work is the Academics. You may decide to be a professor of Social work. Your duties will be to educate and train in the education sector.

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Also read: Top 10 Colleges with The Highest Paid Graduates in the World

Can a social worker make $100,000?

Social work is a profession with an amazingly diverse range of employment opportunities. Although social work contributes tremendously to society, the payment oftentimes does not match the accomplishments and background of the employees.

This, however, does not dispute that there are still very rewarding and well-compensated opportunities in social work.

Since there are several careers in social work, salaries and payments may also differ across states in the U.S. A part of social work may have the highest-paid social workers while others do not. 

There are instances where you can make an average salary of $100,000 annually. The state in which you reside might also determine the level of salary you receive.

Most social workers in the medical sector especially ambulatory care social workers earn about $100,000 median salary every year. Social workers who hold top managerial positions are also among the people that would earn this amount.

As a private or consultant social worker, you may also accrue wealth from the profession. 

Where do social workers make the most money?

A social worker’s salary is a result of many factors like the industry, and positions. State, and specialty.

Most often the industry determines the payout of a social worker.

Social workers who are among the highest-paid social workers are medical sectors, federal executive positions, insurance companies, and brokerages.

These highest paid worker social workers draw approximately a median salary of about $90,800.

What is a social worker’s average salary?

As of May 2020, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the annual average salary of social workers to be $64,940.

On an annual average, the highest paid social workers receive a median pay of about $51,760.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 13%of the U.S workforce are social workers.

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What state has the highest paid social workers?

The location of social workers can determine if they will be among the highest-paid social workers. In the United States, there is no fixed structure of payment for social workers across all the states.

Salaries in each state also differ according to the specialties.

While some states may pay higher for child, family, and school workers. they may not pay higher for healthcare social workers.

Among all the states in the U.S, Los Angeles, CA has the highest-paid social workers in all fields of social work.

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Top 10 countries with the highest paid social workers in 2022

Here are 10 countries with the highest-paid social workers. These countries are very suitable for the social work profession.

1. United State of America

In the United States, social workers receive an annual average salary of $59,461. These combine both entry-level, average earning, and senior-level social workers.

2. Vietnam

In a year, a social worker makes about $56,395 in Vietnam. 

3. Russia

A social worker in Russia would make about $49,980 annually. This brings Russia to be number 3 with the highest-paid social workers.

4. Australia

Social workers in Australia are paid an average base salary of $65,634 (AUD) per year which is equivalent to $49,100 (USD).

5. Germany

With the median social workers’ salary of £39,135, Germany takes place as the fifth country in the world with the highest-paid social workers of all types.

This income is equivalent to $46,431 (USD).

6. Canada

Canada also ranks number six among the top 10 countries with the highest-paid social workers. Canadian social workers’ salary is about $56,750 (CAD).

This salary is equivalent to $45,533 (USD).

7. Hong Kong

Social workers in Hong Kong receive an average salary of $321,114 (HKD) or $41,367 (USD) annually.
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8. Netherlands

The Netherlands is the eighth country with the highest paid social workers. The average social worker’s salary in the Netherlands is £34,817 per year. This equals $41,308 (USD)

9. France

The annual median salary of social workers in France is £34,706. This converts to about $41,176 (USD).

10. Italy

Following closely France as the next country with the highest paid social workers in Italy. The annual average salary of social workers in this country is £31,249 equivalent to $37,074.88 (USD).


Social work is a growing profession with wide specialties. In the U.S, it is one profession that cannot go extinct due to its relevance in other fields.

People will always need professionals to help them navigate and cope with their many life problems.

No matter the state you are in, you can have a field of social work to explore. You may be lucky to stay in the state with the highest paid social workers. 



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