Social work is one of those careers where you can actually see how you’re making a difference in another person’s life and are normally associated with charity, but this list of the highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in social work will prove that working in this field does have its other (read: monetary) rewards too!
Social work, for the most part, is one that is heavily involved in people’s circumstances, behaviors, and welfare. Some of the jobs that social work master’s degree holders can get coincide with or are related to the 11 highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in psychology.
Like any career path, the higher your education in social work, the more leverage you get in the industry and its limited labor market. With the cost of post-college education, it is important to secure a job that pays enough to return the educational investment.
We have gathered a host of social work jobs that require a master’s degree on entry from sources like Social Work Degree Center, Best MSW Programs, and Careers in Psychology and used apps and websites like Salary and Payscale to find out the most comprehensive pay rates for said jobs. The figures may vary depending on city, location, and employers.
So, which jobs top the list of the 11 highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in social work? Read on to find out.
11. Mental Health Counselor
Annual Average Salary: $40,000
One of the highest paying jobs with a Master’s Degree in Social Work is in mental health counseling. The work entails providing counseling and support for the family of mental health patients and the patients as well. Because it is in the medical field, mental health counselors are required to complete clinical experience along with a master’s degree in social work.
10. Child Welfare Social Worker
Annual Average Salary: $42,000
Child welfare social workers focus on cases involving children who are abused and maltreated in any form. This position is mostly available in the government agencies, but non-profit organizations, and even some orphanages hire child welfare social workers too. While some employers hire graduates of bachelor’s degrees in social work, master’s degree holders get better chances at holding supervisory and managerial positions which pay better.
9. Marriage/Family Therapist
Annual Average Salary: $46,000
Couples and families going through a rough patch, a traumatic experience, or a stressful time in their lives turn to marriage and/or family therapists for help. One of the highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in social work, marriage/family therapy enjoys an increasing demand as more individuals and families across America are finding the benefit of letting a professional into the family.
8. Healthcare Social Worker
Annual Average Salary: $51,000
Healthcare social workers’ job is concentrated mostly on support, counseling, and professional help for individuals going through illness and disease. Their job can range from helping patients cope with the illness to helping them find ways to function despite the illness.
7. Clinical Social Worker
Annual Average Salary: $52,000
Clinical social workers focus on clinical aspects of the job – providing therapy, diagnosing emotional and mental disorders, and creating treatment plans among others. The job is clinical and, therefore, requires actual clinical experience and a license alongside a master’s degree.
6. Medical Social Worker
Annual Average Salary: $53,000
The sixth spot on the list of the 11 highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in social work belongs to Medical Social Workers. Unlike healthcare social workers, they are more concerned helping assess the psycho-social well-being of patients and find ways for them to get help through both government- and non-government-agencies for their specific cases.
5. School Counselors
Annual Average Salary: $56,000
School counselors are primarily involved in the affairs and well-being of the school’s students making sure that everything is all right with them. While school counseling can be pretty stressful, the compensation is quite hefty especially in larger schools and when having better qualifications.
4. Community Program Administrator
Annual Average Salary: $58,000
Community program administrator jobs are dealing with organizing, supervising, and managing programs, organizations, and institutions mostly concerned with welfare issues (i.e. shelters, orphanages, etc.). This job is available for people with managerial experience, exemplary social skills, and natural leadership skills.
3. Substance Abuse Counselor
Annual Average Salary: $60,000
The growing awareness on treating substance abuse as a disease has opened a higher demand for substance abuse counselors across the states. Social workers with master’s degrees need to have clinical experience and in most cases licenses are required especially for one-on-one therapy jobs. The job is one of the most unique and most challenging on this list of the highest paying jobs with a master’s degree in social work but it is also one of the most rewarding.
2. Social Work Teacher
Annual Average Salary: $71,000
Every profession requires a teacher and so the greatest social workers of tomorrow are under the tutelage of the greatest social work teacher of today. Most big universities normally require a PhD for social work teaching positions, but there are many schools that open the position for master’s degree holders as well.
1. Speech Pathologist
Annual Average Salary: $73,000
And, the highest paying job with a master’s degree in social work is a job of a speech pathologist. While speech-language pathology (SLP) is a slightly different path from social work, it works closely with social workers because of the nature of both professions’ clients. MSW holders who take up a course in SLP will have the advantage of knowing how to handle their clients who have speech difficulties. With both an MSW and SLP certifications, one can expect for the annual salary to make up for more than the education necessary to get the position.