Medical social workers are part of a patient’s total healthcare team as they provide counseling and connections with community resources to both patients and family members dealing with illness, injury, and death. Annual earnings for medical social workers in the US approaches $56,000 compared to C$57,000 ($44,551 USD) in Canada and more than £31,000 ($36,387 USD) in the UK.
In Australia, the annual salary for medical social workers is nearly AU$83,000 ($63,608 USD), while yearly pay is about NZ$70,000 ($47,870 USD) in New Zealand, followed by about R222,000 ($15,685 USD) in South Africa and Rs430,000 ($6,625 USD) in India. Assessing earning potential for medical social workers requires an examination of geographic region, work experience, and work setting. Further details are found in this guide.
How Much Does a Medical Social Worker Make per Year?
The chart below outlines annual and hourly pay for medical social workers in select countries.
|Medical Social Worker Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Medical Social Worker Salary
Annual salaries vary by geographic region, work experience, and work setting. The following paragraphs provide further details on the impact of these employment aspects upon earning potential.
1. Geographic Area
Medical Social Worker Salary in US
In the US, medical social workers earn between nearly $40,000 per year for entry level employees and $88,000 per year for those in senior level positions. The overall average for all experience levels is nearly $56,000 annually, plus an additional $1,000 or more in bonus income. Those earning an hourly wage can see $27 per hour.
Medical Social Worker Salary in Canada
As a medical social worker in Canada, annual pay exceeds C$57,000, or C$27 per hour, with bonus income potential exceeding C$1,000 in additional income. Entry level medical social workers receive nearly C$41,000 per year in starting pay, increasing for those with the most experience and in senior level positions to more than C$90,000 per year.
Medical Social Worker Salary in UK
Medical social workers in the UK see annual earnings ranging from well over £22,000 during the early career years to more than £49,000 per year at the senior level. Among all experience levels, annual pay averages more than £31,000 per year, while the average hourly rate is £15 per hour. There is some potential for bonus earnings, averaging more than £500 in additional income.
Medical Social Worker Salary in Australia
In Australia, medical social workers earn an average salary approaching AU$83,000 per year, or AU$40 per hour. Bonus income opportunities can add more than AU$1,500 to total earnings. The average starting salary for entry level positions is more than AU$59,000 per year compared to nearly AU$131,000 annually for senior level professionals.
Medical Social Worker Salary in New Zealand
As a medical social worker in New Zealand, the average annual salary is nearly NZ$70,000 per year, with an additional NZ$1,300 in bonus income potential. If paid an hourly wage, NZ$33 per hour can be expected, on average. Those beginning their careers can expect an average starting salary of about NZ$50,000 per year, increasing with experience to nearly NZ$110,000 annually for those at the senior level.
Medical Social Worker Salary in India
Medical social workers in India seen Rs430,000 per year, on average, or Rs207 per hour. There is potential to add another Rs8,000 in bonus income to overall earnings. While entry level pay is about Rs312,000 per year, senior level positions garner an average annual salary of Rs689,000.
Medical Social Worker Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, medical social workers receive average pay ranging from R160,000 per year for those beginning their careers to more than R353,000 per year upon reaching the senior level. For all experience levels, annual pay averages R222,000 per year, or R107 per hour, while bonus income can add another R4,000 or more to overall earnings.
Earning potential increases along with additional experience with annual earnings for senior level professionals ranging from 120% to 122% more than those early in their careers. The US and Australia are the countries with the highest earning potential, and both see a widening gap between entry level and senior level pay that averages $48,000 and AU$72,000 more per year, respectively. This represents a 120% increase in the US compared to 122% in Australia. In India, where earnings are on the low end of the pay scale, senior level professionals earn roughly Rs377,000 per year more than their entry level counterparts, an increase of 121%
Medical social workers are employed in hospitals, clinics, community agencies, long-term care facilities, and hospice. Nonprofit or publicly funded organizations may offer lower earning potential and fewer opportunities for bonus income compared to those working in for-profit settings. Those employed in this career field express a high level of job satisfaction stemming from helping others despite some stressful and emotionally-filled times in their work days.
Most medical social workers are employed full-time. While standard work hours are Monday through Friday during normal business hours, the nature of this position may involve working with families experiencing serious health conditions, and even death. This may require some on-call hours and work times during the evenings and weekends, as well as potential holiday needs.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
There are some opportunities to boost overall earnings through bonus income; however, the potential amounts are relatively low. Benefits packages are commonly offered to medial social workers and typically include healthcare coverage and paid time off. Other benefits may include health savings accounts and allowances for meals, memberships to professional organizations, and allowances for additional training and seminars.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a growth rate of 15% between 2016 and 2026 for social workers, including those working in medical settings. This is a much faster than average rate of growth due to increased demand for social services, combined with an aging population and increasing number of people with chronic health conditions who may endure additional healthcare needs and prolonged care and treatment. To work as a medical social worker, a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree and two years of training in a clinical setting are required. Licensure and registration with the appropriate governing agency are also required in most regions.
Medical social workers earn solid incomes, and while these positions do not garner the same level of pay compared to some other healthcare professionals, a high level of job satisfaction is expressed in this career field. There are some opportunities for bonus pay, although the additional earnings are minimal. Faster than average growth is expected in this career field, which should support overall earnings and provide good employment opportunities for future trained professionals.