Social Work Is In High Demand



Social work is in high demand. Even before the longest two years of our lives from 2022 through today, the social work industry was a fast-growing industry. The employment possibilities in the field of social work are also on the rise.  Of course, some fields of social work are more in demand than others.

Social work salaries vary depending upon a number of factors, including geographic location, highest social work degree, and area of practice. Social workers are employed in various types of jobs and earn some of the highest wages at federal agencies, brokerages and insurance companies, surgical hospitals, and insurance carriers. The demand for travel social workers and social workers in healthcare continues to increase due to the growing number of aging persons and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Social Work Employment Outlook, 2016-2026 Growth
16% Growth Projected in Overall Social Worker Employment
14% Growth in Child, Family & School Social Work Positions
20% Growth in Healthcare & Medical Social Work Positions
19% Growth in Mental Health & Substance Abuse Positions
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections

Hospitals; state, local, and private $58,490
Local government, excluding education and hospitals $52,900 Ambulatory healthcare services $48,340
State government, excluding education and hospitals $46,120
Individual and family services $40,800
Mental health and substance abuse social workers $43,250
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Variables with Significant Relationships to Salary
MSW salaries are $13,000+ higher than BSW salaries
PhD & DSW earn $20-$25,000 more than MSWs
MSW males earn $1200 more than females
PhD females earn $7,000 more than males
MSWs earn more in research organizations, government agencies and hospital inpatient facilities
MSWs earn higher salaries in large cities or in urban clusters
Results of the Nationwide Survey of 2017 Social Work Graduates by the National Social Work Workforce Study

Maryland – Baltimore region

According to Indeed, the top salaries and highest-paying social worker employers in my area are:

  • Corewood Care LLC – $99,745 per year
  • United States Department Of Defense – $98,944 per year
  • Supportive Care LLC  – $98,777 per year
  • U.S. Army – $98,321 per year
  • Kaiser Permanente – $89,053 per year

Increasing Your Earnings

Indeed’s recommendations of ways in which social workers can make more money:

  • Being promoted into a supervisory role
  • Moving to a different location
  • Working in a different industry
  • Specializing in a particular aspect of social work

We are talking money – social work compensation and income potential – all week long and I will certainly tackle these recommendations and statistics in upcoming blogs.



Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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