What Are the Highest Paying Specialties in the Field of Social Work?

By Steve Bailey

Last Updated: May 15, 2020

Social work's many specialties allow professionals to earn lucrative salaries and pursue many different career opportunities. Some specialties require master's or doctoral degrees, while others only need a bachelor's degree.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11% growth rate for social workers from 2018-28. The following social work specialties offer the most competitive salaries:

Social Work Teacher

Mostly serving at the postsecondary level, these professionals teach students about all facets of social work. They usually need at least a master's degree and several years of practical experience before becoming teachers.

Median Salary: $68,300

School and Career Counselor

These social workers help students in elementary, middle, and high schools overcome challenges preventing them from achieving academic success. They also prepare older students for college and career opportunities. Most states require a master's degree to secure a social work specialty certification in this area.

Median Salary: $56,310

Social and Community Service Manager

These professionals plan, coordinate, and monitor the success of social service programs. They work with community members to identify needs and develop services to address those needs. Most community service managers possess at least a bachelor's degree.

Median Salary: $65,320

Healthcare Social Worker

Serving mostly in hospitals and clinics, healthcare social workers help people deal with the emotional, physical, and financial impacts of serious illnesses. They must each hold a master's degree and work directly with patients and their family members.

Mean Salary: $58,470

Clinical Social Worker

A clinical social worker must secure a minimum of a master's degree to deliver therapy and other support to individuals with mental health, substance abuse, and health challenges. They work directly with individuals and families.

Median Salary: $55,998

Healthcare Administrator

These professionals lead healthcare organizations, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. They may supervise large numbers of staff members and ensure quality care gets delivered to patients. A healthcare administrator typically possesses a master's degree.

Median Salary: $66,459


Learn More About Social Work Degree Programs

Top MSW Online Programs

Most Affordable Master's in Social Work Programs

Top Social Work Degrees

Most Affordable Selective Schools for a BSW


Find Your Degree
Socialworkdegreeguide.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.