Social Work Programs

April 14, 2012

Social Worker Salaries And Teacher Earnings

Filed under: teacher and social worker salaries — Tags: — admin @ 10:42 pm

social workers and teacher salaries Teachers and social workers both play important essential roles in society. Teachers are responsible for influencing new adults and a completely new generation of people who will be the future of our world. Social workers also are very influential on future generations through their work with children and families. On an average, teachers get paid more than social workers even when they have the same educational qualifications and experience. However, the actual salary may vary depending on several factors including whether or not a social worker has an administrative position or works in private practice. Also, states differ in pay and whether one works for a county or government agency is also a factor. Jobs at correctional facilities or drug rehab centers can also be higher paying.

Most social workers have a bachelor’s degree in social work, but they might have a related degree in psychology or sociology. A high number of social workers get the MSW or masters degree. After completing the master’s degree, candidates may opt for a license with their local state boards. Teachers also complete the bachelor degree, may continue their education with a masters in education and they may also opt for a doctoral program. In this comparison, teachers with a bachelor’s degree and experience get paid between forty to forty six thousand dollars, while social workers with a similar background get paid a median salary of $36,400. Teachers with a master’s degree get paid in the range of forty four thousand to forty eight thousand dollars. Social workers with a master’s degree in social work often earn between forty five thousand and forty seven thousand dollars. However, keep in mind that if someone see clients on the side privately or is in a group private practice, the earnings can be higher. Teachers also can make more money if they have a specialization such as reading or do tutoring on the side.

Experience And Salary

Experience is also a factor in salary. A quick yearly breakdown of salaries is as follows:

Teachers with less than one year experience get an average salary of about $34,000 while social workers with less than 1 year of experience get paid about twenty seven thousand to forty three thousand dollars. Again remember that whether one works in a private or public school can make a big difference. For social workers, the factors of the setting also matter since working in the prison system may be higher paying than an agency. You also have to look at the benefits, number of sick days etc to figure out your true pay.

Teachers with 1-4 years of experience can expect an average salary of about thirty six thousand dollars and more while social workers with 1-4 years of experience get paid between twenty four thousand dollars and forty five thousand dollars.

Teachers with 5-9 years of experience get paid about forty two thousand, while social workers with the same experience get paid about between thirty six thousand fifty thousand dollars. Again, don’t forget that teachers may have reeived additional certificates which can increase their salaries. Plus they may work on the side with students helping them prepare for various standardized tests in a tutoring capacity. Social workers may do some PHP groups part-time and bring in extra income that way. Or they may see clients in private practice to increase their income. Although these are average salary ranges, you have to remember that inflation does come into the picture. Also, teachers often have the summers off and vacation breaks for Christmas and Easter.


For social workers, the private field has turned out to be much more lucrative than agency practice. Social workers may work in solo or group practices and they may extend their services to schools, nursing facilities and other organizations as consultants. This increases their scope of practice and at the same time, increases the average salary that the social worker can expect. If a therapist decides to get the DSW or PhD in social work, there can be teaching opportunities at universities which are high paying. Administrative social work jobs are also paid more because working with teams and social projects often increase one’s pay. For example, social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community social service projects. Of course, working in an agency with all types of mental health disorders even as a BSW is quite difficult work and sadly many feel unappreciated for their levels of dedication.

Future Prospects

Just because current salaries are low, it does not mean that social workers are in low demand. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, there is expected to a more than average demand for trained social workers in the next decade ranging to about 22%. The demand is going to be the highest for trained and accredited social workers who have experience with mental health and substance abuse. As the current population ages, social workers with geriatric experience are also invaluable. With increasing knowledge and rising demand, it is possible that agency salaries will increase and this may also help with the burnout rate.

Many teachers and social workers are doing what they love and never put money as the deciding factor in their career choices. However, the burnout rates are high in these professions and some argue that higher compensation would increase both satisfaction and job longevity. When one feels appreciated, dedication is also much easier.

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