What Is the Salary of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)?
As a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), your salary is determined by years of experience and type of employer. LCSWs work in social and human services, providing aid in the fields of medicine, public health, substance abuse, mental health and family services. Schools offering Clinical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Median Salaries for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by Experience
The 10th-90th percentile salary range for LCSWs was $35,797-$76,446 according to Payscale.com in September 2011. The salary range for LCSWs showed an increase with years of experience:
- Less than one year - $30,503-$58,555
- 1 - 4 years - $30,721-$57,786
- 5 - 9 years - $35,635-$64,767
- 10 - 19 years - $39,494-$72,033
- 20 or more years - $40,880-$80,362
Median Salary by Specialty
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that social workers can expect to see growth by up to 16% over the 2008-2018 decade (www.bls.gov). Overall, growth in the social work field is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations with percentages varying by specialty. The BLS stated in May 2010 the median annual wage for various social worker specialties were:
- Mental health and substance abuse social worker - $38,600
- Healthcare social worker - $47,230
- Child, family and school social worker - $40,210
- All other social workers - $51,500
Mean Salary by Employer Type
Median salaries in social work also vary by the type of employer. In May 2010, the BLS reported social worker median annual wages by employer for each specialty area. The top-paying industries for child, family and school social workers were elementary and secondary schools, other schools, junior colleges, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and legal services with mean annual salaries of $57,100, $55,260, $55,040, $50,230 and$49,760, respectively.
In the field of healthcare social work, the top-paying industries were specialty hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, universities and professional schools, employment services and general medical and surgical hospitals. The mean annual salaries for these industries were $57,210, $55,150, $55,070, $54,770 and $54,500, respectively.
If you work in mental health and substance abuse, the top-paying industry was other ambulatory health care services with a mean annual salary of $58,990. The other top-paying industries were general medical and surgical hospitals with a mean annual wage of $50,530, college, universities and professional schools with a mean annual wage of $49,340, state governments with a mean annual wage of $48,960 and the offices of other physicians with a mean annual wage of $48,310.
Social workers not falling into these categories, had the top-paying industries listed as the federal government, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, specialty hospitals, insurance carriers and insurance and employee benefit funds. The mena annual salaries for these industries were $69,830, $67,200, $63,510, $62,920 and $62,710, respectively.
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