Clinical social workers diagnose and treat individuals suffering from mental, behavioral, and emotional issues. In the US, clinical social workers earn about $54,620 per year, similar to earnings in New Zealand converted to the US dollar at NZ$72,000 ($50,630 USD). Among the countries reviewed for this guide, earnings in Australia are the greatest at AU$82,200 ($62,011 USD) per year, while Canada and the UK fall on the lower end of the scale at C$53,268 ($39,462 USD) and £36,000 ($38,615 USD), respectively. A clinical social worker salary varies by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Clinical Social Worker Make?
Annual salaries for clinical social workers in select countries as well as their US dollar equivalency are provided in the chart below.
|Clinical Social Worker Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand|
Clinical Social Worker Salary Determinant Factors
Payscale.com and country-specific employment resources provide salary ranges and information on a career in this field. Salaries vary by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting as further explained in the following paragraphs.
1. How Much Does a Clinical Social Worker Make by Country?
Clinical Social Worker Salary in the US
Clinical social workers in the US earn between just over $40,000 and more than $82,000 per year. Up to an additional $9,000 in bonus and profit sharing potential is available through some employers. Skill and experience with the Spanish language, geriatrics, clinical supervision, and health and wellness can increase earnings between 7% and 10%. Geographic region within the US also impacts income with those in the California cities of Los Angles, Sacramento, and San Diego earning more than the national average salary for this career by 34%, 31%, and 22%, respectively, and positions in Denver, New Orleans, Boston, and Chicago paying slightly less by 1% to 2%.
Clinical Social Worker Salary in Canada
The average annual salary for a clinical social worker in Canada is C$53,268 per year. This career is young in Canada with about 75% indicating they have nine years or less experience. About one-third of clinical social workers in Canada reports they do not receive any health care benefits while nearly 70% professionals in this career field report having dental and vision coverage and only about 33% report receiving medical coverage.
Clinical Social Worker Salary in the UK
In the UK, clinical social workers earn between £18.97 and £33.73 per hour. The median annual income is about £27,000. Those who are beginning their careers can expect a starting salary of about £26,000 per year, increasing to more than £36,000 annually. Those who are employed in and near London often receive a high cost of living stipend.
Clinical Social Worker Salary in Australia
Salaries for clinical social workers in Australia range between AU$40,000 and AU$140,000 per year. The average salary for this career sits at AU$82,200 annually. Most jobs in this career field are found in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
Clinical Social Worker Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, clinical social workers earn an average salary of NZ$72,000 per year. Those who are beginning their careers can expect a starting annual salary of about NZ$44,000. Salaries increase to more than NZ$100,000 per year for those with the most experience and managerial experience. Child, Youth and Family (CYF) and District Health Boards provide more than 50% of all positions with the District Health Boards paying slightly more. Demand for clinical social workers in New Zealand is increasing, which should support future salary levels.
2. How Much Does a Clinical Social Worker Make According to Experience?
Experience is a strong influencer of income for clinical social workers worldwide. The difference in pay for those beginning their careers and experienced professionals is greatest in Australia with 250% growth, followed by New Zealand at 127%. In the US, income increases by more than 100% with experience.
To practice as a clinical social worker, the equivalent of a four-year bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree is required. Additional supervised training is necessary and makes one more marketable for employment. Registration or licensure with a governing board is required in some locations.
3. How Much Does a Clinical Social Worker Make According to Work Environment?
Clinical social workers work in many different types of work settings including mental health clinics, schools, government agencies, hospitals, and private practice. Non-profit organizations and those within the public sector often pay less and offer fewer opportunities for bonus income as well as no profit sharing while for-profit organizations and those who are in private practice often have greater potential for these additional payments.
Most clinical social workers work a full-time schedule that may involve long work days as well as on-call hours. Those who work in private practice often work Monday through Friday during typical business hours. Due to the nature of their work, evenings, weekends, and holiday hours may be required. While clinical social workers often work in stressful situations and deal with emotional issues, most indicate a high level of job satisfaction that comes from helping others. Some work part-time and enjoy flexible scheduling, leading to a positive work-life balance.
Bonuses and Benefits
Clinical social workers often receive health care benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage; however, some who work in this career field report receiving only some or none of these benefits. Despite the long work hours that may come with this position, overtime pay is not common. Some employers offer bonus and profit sharing income potential, but these are more common for those who work in private sector or in for-profit organizations.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of clinical social worker job openings is expected to grow by 12% between 2014 and 2024, which is a faster rate than the national average of all occupations. This growth is due to increased awareness of mental health issues and treatment as well as an aging population who are among a growing group of patients. This future growth should continue to support income levels and provide sufficient employment opportunities for those who are entering the career field. Some areas have a more competitive job market, making internships and volunteer work important in one’s job search.
Clinical social workers earn solid salaries, and while earnings are lower than some other healthcare positions, those who work in this field often report a high level of job satisfaction that comes from helping others deal with mental and behavioral issues. Additionally, the amount of education and training required for this career is less than some other healthcare positions. Job outlook is positive for this career field with future growth expected to be faster than the national average, thereby, supporting salary levels and offering sufficient employment opportunities.