Social workers aren’t just a part of the impressive social work statistics, but they are also a big part of our everyday lives. Their presence in our society might be invisible to the eye, but their influence is surely noticeable.
Social work aims to improve other people’s lives in different areas. Social workers are professionals who selflessly help others solve problems that prevent them from moving forward in life.
They focus on helping others get the most out of their work, different relationships, and community life. Social workers transform many people’s lives, so it’s high time we learned more about them and their profession.
Interesting Facts About Social Workers (Editor’s Choice)
- The social work profession was established in the late 19th century.
- Social work emerged as a way to help vulnerable groups of people rise above poverty and inequality.
- Social workers provide over 60% of mental health services.
- Social work is one of the fastest-growing careers in the US.
- The average age of male and female social workers is 43.5 and 42, respectively.
- White (Non-Hispanic) account for 58.4% of all social workers in the United States.
- There were 713,200 social worker jobs in the US in 2019.
General Social Work Stats
Social workers are workers who empower people and help them overcome challenges. The need for social workers is growing exponentially year by year, making them one of the most in-demand employees out there. Here are some interesting stats that illustrate that.
1. There were 713,200 social worker jobs in the US in 2019.
Due to the ever-increasing number of people who struggle with poverty or are victims of physical and mental abuse, the number of social workers is increasing as well. According to projections, there will be 109,700 more social work jobs by 2026.
2. It is expected that social worker employment will grow 13% by 2029.
Social worker job growth is at its peak. If we add both the mental and financial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (lockdowns and restrictions) into the equation, social worker jobs are bound to grow faster than any other career in the US.
3. Jane Addams was one of the first female social workers who received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Jane Addams was mostly known for helping immigrants in Chicago by establishing settlement houses during the 1900s. She was a committed sociologist, peace activist, and reformer.
Evidently, she was a powerful woman who inspired and improved so many lives. Therefore, she deserves to be a part of social worker statistics.
4. 36.6% of social workers are found in individual and family services.
(Profile Of The Social Work Workforce)
In terms of the work setting, the majority of social workers are found in individual and family services. Furthermore, 11.4% of social workers are found in the administration of human resource programs, 10.3% work in hospitals, and 8.3% work in outpatient care centers.
5. Females account for around 83% of all social workers.
(Profile Of The Social Work Workforce)
This is one of the better-known social work statistics. Even though the majority of social workers are women, men are also a part of the equation. Still, they are in the minority. This can be connected with a woman’s innate need to nurture.
6. The most common race (ethnicity) in social workers occupation are White (Non-Hispanic), accounting for 58.4% of all social workers in the United States.
According to racial demographics of social workers, Black (Non-Hispanic) account for 20.6% of social workers, making them the second most common race (ethnicity) in social worker occupation.
7. 1 in 4 people in the world will suffer from mental disorders at some point in their lives.
Mental disorders have been the main causes of disability for some time. Is it because of the hectic lifestyle, lack of physical exercise, and absence of real-life communication? It’s probably a combination of all three factors. That’s why social workers are in-demand and a vital part of a recovery period.
8. Healthcare social workers and family, child, and school social workers are the highest paying social work jobs.
(The Best Schools)
The median annual salary of healthcare social workers was $56,750 in May 2019, which was the highest salary among social workers. The median annual salary of child, family, and school social workers was $47,390 in May 2019. Social workers specializing in mental health and substance abuse had a slightly lower median annual salary, standing at $46,650 in May 2019.
9. Social workers helped decrease the number of juvenile arrests by 68% between 1996 and 2015.
Social workers still contribute to decreasing the numbers of juvenile arrests and mentor troubled youth. Some of them struggle with addiction, poverty, crime, domestic violence and need professional help to overcome obstacles in life.
10. According to the US social work statistics, over 1.2 million students decide to drop out of high school each year.
In other words, every 26 seconds, one student drops out of high school, which equals 7,000 students per day. Social workers’ role is to identify factors contributing to such a high rate and work toward finding a solution to the problem.
11. Nearly 59% of child neglect and abuse reports are made by teachers, lawyers, police officers, and social service staff.
Friends, neighbors, and relatives submit only one-fifth of child neglect and abuse reports. It’s up to social workers to detect abuse and take necessary action.
12. Over 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies each year.
These referrals include more than 6.6 million children. If these numbers confuse you, note that one referral can cover multiple children.
Essential Social Work Facts
Social worker jobs are far from regular jobs. These jobs usually can’t be finished in eight hours on a workday. Their scope of work is oftentimes challenging, making this profession one of the noblest ones out there. The following facts and stats show the complexity of this occupation.
13. A social worker’s job is not a typical job that you can finish in an eight-hour workday.
(KVC Health Systems)
Social workers tend to spend a lot more time in the community than in an office. So, what do social workers do? They meet with clients, attend court hearings, supervise court-ordered visitation, etc. They usually go above and beyond to attend to different problems a client might be facing.
14. Men account for 20.4% of US social workers with a non-social work bachelor’s degree.
(Profile Of The Social Work Workforce)
According to social worker demographics, male social workers are in the minority. Male social workers with a non-social work bachelor’s degree account for the majority of male social workers. Moreover, 11.7% of male and 88.3% of female social workers have a bachelor’s degree in social work, while 15% of male and 85% of female social workers have a master’s degree or greater in social work.
15. The average social work salary per hour in the US is $26.09.
This has been the average salary per hour since February 2021. However, the average social work salary depends on the worker’s skill level, experience, and other factors, so it’s hard to define the exact numbers. To help you compare it with other salaries, take a look at the minimum wage statistics. The minimum wage in the US has been increased three times since 1938 and currently stands at $7.25.
16. Social workers provide most mental health services in the US.
(KVC Health Systems)
In 2019, the number of social workers in the US was 713,200. This number is still on the rise, making social workers one of the largest groups of mental health service providers in the US.
17. It is estimated that the number of social workers will increase to more than 790,000 by 2026.
In the US, the demand for social workers is increasing. Social worker jobs are growing at a faster rate than any other occupation. By 2026, the number of child, family, and school social workers will increase by 45,000. The overall number of social worker jobs will increase by 109,700.
18. According to social work burnout statistics in 2006, the lifetime burnout rate was 75%.
The main factors of burnout among social workers are personal, such as different types of trauma and attachment to clients, and occupational, such as long hours, supervision, and work overload.
19. Around 68% of all social workers are between 43 and 62 years old in the US.
More than two-thirds of social workers have years of professional experience. As statistics show, around 20% of social work clinicians have at least 25 years of experience in their field.
(Florida State University)
20. Improved methods of dealing with trauma have become one of the main concerns of social workers.
(Florida State University, Statista)
Social work trends are dictated by modern society and local and global turmoils. For example, the rise in the rate of terrorism and other types of violence has resulted in many people who need help in dealing with trauma. In 2019 only, there were 8,302 terrorist attacks and 25,082 casualties worldwide.
21. The average salary of a social worker in California ranges from $59,500 to $76,450.
Social worker salaries by state vary. While the average salary of a social worker in Texas ranges from $40,470 to $69,070, in New York, it ranges from $58,050 to $67,120. Note that the cost of living in New York is much higher than in California and Texas.
22. In some states, more than 60% of social workers have a master’s degree or higher.
(Profile of The Social Work Workforce)
The states with the highest number of social workers with a master’s degree are the District of Columbia (60.5%), Rhode Island (70.9%), Delaware (60.4%), and New Mexico (63.8%). On the other hand, social work statistics show that some states have a small number of social workers with a master’s degree or greater, namely Montana (13.9%), North Dakota (4.1%), Iowa (14.9%), and South Dakota (9.1%).
By looking at the latest stats and facts about a social worker salary, duties, and the complexity of this profession, one can better understand what social work entails. The demand for social workers is increasing, making the social worker occupation one of the most popular ones out there. Social workers’ efforts to help impoverished individuals and victims of physical and mental abuse will remain vital. Those who aspire to pursue this career path should know that social work is more of a calling than a job.