Masters In Social Work Degree Salaries

What is an MSW Degree?

As the National Association of Social Workers of the United States of America says, the job of a social worker is to help people deal with situations in not only how they feel, but also in what they can do to improve their circumstances. Working in the field of social work means that you are working to improve the lives of individual, families, and even entire communities. While this is very noble and rewarding work, we all have to make a living, so an important question in your mind might be, “What salary can I expect with an MSW degree?”

As you know, an MSW degree holder has responsibilities pertaining to the social work arena, and the skill-set of an MSW degree holder entitles him or her to a certain average salary.

Expectations vs. Reality

First, you have to acknowledge that the demand for social workers is heavily dependent on the political climate of the day, and that a glut can often arise. Therefore the amount of money you, as an MSW degree holder, will make, depends on the policies of the government of the day, as well as the kind of qualifications you have.

So while entry-level social work requires only a bachelor’s degree in social work, more advanced work will require a masters-level degree. This does not, however, entitle you to an exponentially higher level of earnings. Your salary will still depend on many other factors. Therefore, while your MSW will entitle you to work in therapeutic positions, as well as help shape policy in your department, the work you do will often have little to do with your qualifications, and more to do with the need of the moment.

MSW Salary Reports

A cursory glance at the career of a social worker can expect median salary of $46,890 with the highest 10% earning $78,510, according to This is a huge difference. This is likely due to the difference between being a social worker and a clinical social worker. Clinical Social Workers must have an MSW, 2 or more years of experience in a clinical setting, and obtain a license to practice in their state. Also keep in mind that the higher earnings levels can depend on certain locations, positions, and work environments.

So What Can I Expect to Earn as an MSW Degree Holder?

Overall, social workers and even clinical social workers earn less than the average of other careers with similar degrees. That said, the field of social work is expected to grow 16% over the next ten years (, much faster than the national average for all occupations.

Online MSW and MPA Degrees

Completing your Master's in social work or public administration can be very rewarding for getting ahead in the social work field. Online Master's degrees are perfect for working professionals or people with families to complete course work at their own convenience. Please see our colleges below that offer online class for MSW degrees.

Walden University — The Walden University Master of Social Work provides the chance to gain real world experience as a social worker. These experiences can be gained from a community agency, a healthcare setting, an educational agency, or a social services agency. Walden also offers several specializations for an MSW degree, like Military Social Work, as well as DSW programs.

Ashford University — A MBA in Public Administration from Ashford University teaches you the methods of public service. A MPA degree will contribute to your understanding of social initiative strategies. Additionally, the MAOM in Public Administration and MA in Education & Public Policy will improve your leadership and managerial skills. Ashford is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 5107489001,

Rutgers University of New Jersey — The Master of Social Work at Rutgers University of New Jersey boasts a deep network of experienced professionals and faculty. These individuals prepare you for the rigors of a career in social work, public administration, and public management. Your dreams can be achieved at Rutgers.

Click here to learn about more Master of Social Work colleges.

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