How Much Do Social Services Specialists Make?

When a person is considering majoring in social work or a related field, they might want to know the answer to the question, “How much do social services specialists make?” While most people do not go into the social services in order to become wealthy, it is important for a person to know what to expect when it comes to salaries. There are several ways in which a person can examine the earnings of social services specialists.

Range of Wages for Social Services Specialists

There is a wide range of wages for social services specialists. As of May 2018, the bottom 10 percent of earners brought in an average of $25,780 per year, and the average wage of the lowest 25 percent of earners was $33,040. The median wage for social services specialists was $42,620. The average wage of the highest 25 percent of earners was $55,790. The highest paid 10 percent of earners had an annual salary averaging $72,210.

Annual Salary for Social Services Specialists By Employer Type

The average annual salary for a social services specialist also varies based on the industry of employment. Those in the scientific research industry have the highest median wage, which was more than $61,000 in 2018. Also among the top five paying industries for social services specialists are specialty hospitals, general and emergency hospitals, other professional and scientific services and colleges and universities.

Highest Paying States for Social Services Specialists

Another way to look at how much money social services specialists make is to take a look at the median wage by state. Social services specialists in the state of New Jersey have the highest median pay of all 50 states and the United States territories. Their median pay was $57,490 in May 2018. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the other top-paying states or districts for social services specialists include Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, New York and Virginia. New York is the state with the highest total number of jobs and the highest concentration of jobs for social services specialists.

Cities With the Highest Pay for Social Services Specialists

It is also important to consider the city or metropolitan area’s pay level for social services specialists. The city with the highest median wage for social services specialists in May 2018 was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Some other cities on the top five median wage list include Trenton, New Jersey, and Fairfield, California. Job applicants should also keep in mind that some cities or states have higher than average costs of living, and those should be compared against the median wage when evaluating whether a job offer is a fair rate of pay.

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

It is also important to keep in mind that social services specialists with advanced degrees and those who are in management positions will typically earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree and just a few years of work experience. Social services specialists who are bilingual or speak several languages may also be able to command a higher salary or negotiate for more benefits because of the high demand for bilingual and multilingual social workers. Knowing the answer to the question, “How much do social services specialists make?” makes it easier for a person to plan their college path and employment track.