Becoming a case worker is a great choice if you want to help people, and while you shouldn't decide on your career based solely on income, you're probably wondering what your case worker salary will be like once you start working in the social services field. The best way to figure out your potential salary is to look at a few different considerations.
The first thing you should consider is what type of industry you want to work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top four industries that you can pick from are:
- educational services
- state and local government
- healthcare and social assistance
- religious, civic and professional organizations
If you work for a hospital or social assistance agency, you can expect to make $36,130, but if you work in a school, you'll probably make almost $20,000 more than that. In general, working with substance abusers will pay less than working with patients in the healthcare system. You should make sure to do your research when looking at different industries that you can get into. Since pay can vary so much, make sure to look at information for the specific kind of job you want instead of reading through articles that are about case workers in general.
Just like with any other job, your case worker salary will increase as you become more experienced in your field. The more education you have, the better your pay will be. This means that even though you'll need at least a bachelor's degree to start your career, you may want to consider continuing your education even more. You'll also get regular raises if you continue to be a case worker year after year. You'll probably only earn $30,000 to $35,000 during your first year, but workers that have four or more years under their belt usually earn between $35,000 and $40,000. By the time that you've been working as a case worker for twenty years, you could be making up to $50,000.
Your case worker salary will largely depend on where you choose to work. While a caseworker who works with children, families and schools can usually expect to make around $45,000 per year, you could make much more than that if you live in the right area. For instance, you could make between $55,000 and $65,000 if you live in Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey or Rhode Island. Finding the average pay rate in your state is great, but don't forget to look for even more localized information. Your town or city could have much higher or lower averages than the rest of your state. As far as salary is concerned, the five best metropolitan areas for case workers are:
- Suffolk, NY
- Springfield, IL
- Waterbury, CT
- Minneapolis, MN
- New Haven, CT
Resource: Social Work Degree Programs in Connecticut
You probably won't become rich as a case worker, but you'll get to help people, and by taking different factors into account, you should be able to get a rough idea of what your case worker salary will look like.