How Much Do Mental Health Social Workers Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Mental Health Social Workers

Mental Health Social Workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

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Master's degree
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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$54540 per year
Hourly wage
$26 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$30,770 to $37,220 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$15 to $18 per hour

Entry-level Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $30,770 to $37,220 per year or $15 to $18 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $42 $87,420
Senior (Top 25%) $31 $65,210
Middle (Mid 50%) $23 $48,720
Junior (Bottom 25%) $18 $37,220
No experience (Bottom 10%) $15 $30,770

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
NJ $44 $91,070
DC $35 $73,490
CA $35 $73,150
CT $32 $66,500
RI $31 $65,430
NY $31 $64,750
MN $31 $63,510
NH $30 $62,700
NV $29 $60,620
IL $29 $59,520

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NJ doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at NJ might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Mental Health Social Workers are in the states of NJ, DC, CA, CT and RI.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Insurance Carriers $71460 $34.35
Other Ambulatory Health Care Services $71030 $34.15
Specialty Hospitals $70240 $33.77
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $65530 $31.50
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $65040 $31.27
Local Government $60790 $29.23
State Government $60670 $29.17
Offices of Physicians $60400 $29.04
Educational Support Services $59650 $28.68
Office Administrative Services $58630 $28.19
Grantmaking and Giving Services $58420 $28.09
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $57840 $27.81
Child Day Care Services $56630 $27.23
Scientific Research and Development Services $56530 $27.18
Employment Services $56530 $27.18
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities $56450 $27.14
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $56150 $27.00
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) $55360 $26.62
Elementary and Secondary Schools $54910 $26.40
Outpatient Care Centers $54380 $26.15
Civic and Social Organizations $52040 $25.02
Home Health Care Services $51550 $24.78
Management of Companies and Enterprises $50000 $24.04
Individual and Family Services $48550 $23.34
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $48260 $23.20
Other Residential Care Facilities $48010 $23.08
Social Advocacy Organizations $47620 $22.89
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly $47450 $22.81
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services $45070 $21.67
Vocational Rehabilitation Services $41920 $20.15

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