Can I Get a High Paying Job with an MSW Degree?

The chance of finding a high-paying job with a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) is often the top concern of individuals interested in pursuing social work as a career but unsure of which degree level to choose. Social workers have many responsibilities, but their main duties are generally to help clients solve, cope with and overcome their problems. Social work programs are available at the baccalaureate and graduate degree level, but the master’s degree programs offer students so many more areas of specialization. Here are some high-paying jobs available with an MSW.

Medical Social Worker

Medical social workers provide support to patients dealing with chronic and terminal illnesses, while also providing support to their families. Medical social workers act as part of a team and collaborate with other healthcare professionals in the hospital’s emergency rooms, in hospices, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. They act as advocates for patients’ rights, assist with decision making, provide comfort during very hard times and work directly with the patients to make sure they’re receiving the best possible care. Medical social workers are very much in demand. Medical Social Workers earned wages ranging from $49,077 to $70,293 or more with the average wage at $60,562, according to a June 2018 report by

Substance Abuse Counselors

Substance abuse counselor is another job possible with an MSW. These professionals work with people who are suffering from dependency on alcohol, drugs and similar substances through both group and individual psychotherapy. Because of the difficulties in overcoming addictions, substance counseling is often considered the most challenging, while yet rewarding, areas in social work. Substance abuse counselors may work in rehabilitation facilities, correctional facilities, non-profit organizations and in private practice. Substance abuse counselors earned an average yearly wage of $38,242 with wages ranging between $27,067 and $49,973 as of a July 2018 PayScale report.

Child Welfare Case Worker

Child welfare caseworkers are a group of professionals who should be strong, very compassionate and have a strong commitment to helping children because they help children who are neglected, abused, or victims of homelessness or impoverishment. If they suspect child abuse or neglect, the social worker may intervene and remove the child or children from the home. Child welfare caseworkers work closely with child protective services to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect and visit children in their homes to assess the condition of the home and the family dynamics. Child welfare social workers earned an average yearly wage of $40,695 with wages ranging between $34,101 and $100,039 as of a July 2018 PayScale report.

School Social Worker

School social worker is another occupation available with an MSW and another one that requires a love for children and a passion to help them. School social workers act as liaisons between the child’s home and school while trying to help children with personal and academic problems. They also help facilitate numerous school programs, including those for health education, sex education, crisis intervention, and behavioral intervention. School social workers may also work as guidance counselors or with children suffering from disabilities or learning difficulties. School social workers earned an average annual wage of $48,076 with wages ranging from $36,834 to $68,455, according to a July 2018 PayScale report.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees

Social workers are expected to see an employment growth of 16 percent between 2016 and 2026 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With such a positive growth expected and excellent salary potentials, an aspiring social worker should have little trouble finding a high-paying job with an MSW degree.