5 High Paying Social Work Careers

5 Social Work Jobs with High Salaries

  • Employee Assistance Program Counselor
  • Clinical Coordinator
  • Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Non-profit Organization Director
  • Hospital Discharge Planner

While some therapy and public service workers are notorious for being underpaid and overworked, there are an increasing number of high-paying careers in social work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that new jobs are added to this field at a much higher rate than average. This increase is partly due to social workers finding jobs in industries that have not traditionally hired them. Many of these industries can afford to pay higher salaries for positions including the following.

1. Employee Assistance Program Counselor

EAP counselors are therapists hired by businesses to treat struggling employees. Most of this counseling is on a voluntary basis at no cost to the employee and often has little to do with the workplace or professional relationships. These social workers perform the same services as their counterparts working with the general public but usually get paid a higher salary. Companies are willing to do this because their employees are most productive when they are not preoccupied by worries in their personal lives or suffering from mental health issues.

2. Clinical Coordinator

This is higher-paying social work job because it involves management and leadership responsibilities. These employees are responsible for overseeing a group of clinical social workers and therapists in a hospital or outpatient setting. Monitoring the treatment of clients and verifying the appropriateness of treatment plans are large parts of the job. Clinical coordinators are also responsible for the mental well-being of their employees as this work often is stressful and emotionally taxing.

3. Director of Corporate Social Responsibility

Businesses are noticing that customers are interested in their policies and core values, not just the products and services they offer. As a result, they are hiring social workers to implement employee health and wellness programs and to help the company change its image. These professionals suggest different ways the company can contribute to society as well as change privacy or environmental policies to be more socially responsible.

4. Non-profit Organization Director

Social workers also can find high-paying jobs as the manager or director of a nonprofit organization. Getting overall direction from an executive board, the director manages the day-to-day operation of the organization and supervises all departments including marketing, outreach, fundraising, and volunteer divisions. They prepare annual and project reports for the board.

5. Hospital Discharge Planner

Healthcare systems are starting to put more emphasis on preventing return visits by ensuring patients have a suitable living situation on discharge. Social workers employed in this position are responsible for evaluating the patient's needs after leaving the hospital and arranging for the necessary support system at home or finding a suitable rehabilitation unit for transfer. These professionals also make all followup appointments and ensure that the patient understands discharge instructions and can obtain any necessary medications.

Related Resource: 20 High-value BSW Degrees in Metro Areas with Top Salaries for Social Workers 2018

Social worker trainees get extensive training in improving human life, looking at both individual circumstances as well as a larger systemic picture. As such, they can be employed in a variety of industries, some of which offer quite high-paying jobs for social workers.