Salary Report for Iowa Social Workers

  • The number of Social Workers currently employed in Iowa is 2,020.
  • Social Workers in Iowa earn an average of $50,380 per year or $24.22 per hour.
  • The percentage of U.S. Social Workers who work in Iowa is 1%.
  • Iowa will need 3,620 new Social Workers by 2030 or 350 new psychologists per year.

Iowa Rankings

  • Iowa ranks #25 in the U.S. for Social Workers salary and #46 when adjusted for cost-of-living.
  • Iowa ranks #37 in the U.S. for the total number of Social Workers employed.
  • Iowa ranks #30 in U.S. for the number of new Social Workers needed by 2030.
  • Iowa ranks #16 in U.S. for the percentage of new Social Workers needed by 2030.

Compare Iowa to U.S.

Iowa Social Workers earn an average of $50,380 which is 8% less than the national average salary of $54,880.

TypeIowaU.S.% Difference
Average Hourly Wage$24.22$26.39-8.22%
Average Annual Salary$50,380$54,880-8.20%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary Range by Education and Experience

In Iowa, 50% of Social Workers earn between $37,250 and $62,470 a year, depending on factors such as level of education, experience, location and place of employment.

About 10% of Social Workers earn more than $77,020, a rate generally associated with highly educated and experienced Social Workers.

Approximately 10% of Social Workers earn under $30,730, a rate generally reserved for less experienced or entry level Social Workers.

PercentExperienceEmployedAnnual Salary
10%Less than a Year202Under $30,730
15%2 – 4 years303$30,730 – $37,250
25%5 – 9 years505$37,250 – $47,040
25%10 – 14 years505$47,040 – $62,470
15%15 – 20 years303$47,040 – $77,020
10%20+ years202Above $77,020
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Adjusted for Cost-of-Living

After being adjusted for cost-of-living, Social Workers in Iowa psychologists earn about $55,332 per year which is less than the average U.S. psychologist of $54,880.

Cost-of-living in Iowa is 9% less than the national average, which means Iowa residents have an overall less cost for food, housing, utilities and transportation compared to other states.

  • National average salary for Social Workers is $54,880.
  • Average Iowa Social Workers salary is $50,380.
  • Adjusted for cost-of-living, Iowa Social Workers earn an average salary of $55,332.

More cost-of-living reports for U.S. States.

Salary Compared to Related Professions

With an average annual salary of $50,380, Iowa Social Workers tend to earn less than Forensic Psychologists ($106,200), Clinical and Counseling Psychologists ($103,070), Psychology Teachers ($90,930), School Psychologists ($67,710), Health Care Social Workers ($57,840), and Substance Abuse Counselors ($51,570).

However, Social Workers tend to earn more than Marriage and Family Therapists ($49,920).

TitleAnnual Salary
Forensic Psychologists$106,200
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists$103,070
Psychology Teachers$90,930
School Psychologists$67,710
Health Care Social Workers$57,840
Substance Abuse Counselors$51,570
Social Workers$50,380
Marriage and Family Therapists$49,920
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Projected Demand for Psychologists in 2030

The U.S. Department of Labor projects that in Iowa the three professions needing the most new psychologists by 2030 are Substance Abuse Counselors (4,160), Social Workers (3,620) and Health Care Social Workers (1,430).

The three professions in Iowa needing highest percentage new psychologists by 2030 are Substance Abuse Counselors (30.8%), Marriage and Family Therapists (22.4%) and Social Workers (13.5%).

Title20202030ChangeYearly Openings
Social Workers3,1903,62013.5%350
Substance Abuse Counselors3,1804,16030.8%430
Health Care Social Workers1,2601,43013.5%140
Marriage and Family Therapists67082022.4%80
Psychology Teachers40045012.5%40
Forensic Psychologists1101100%10
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2022*

Salaries Ranked by Iowa Cities

The average salary for Social Workers in Iowa is $50,380. The top cities that pay Social Workers the most are Iowa City ($52,880), Northeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area ($52,860) and Des Moines-West Des Moines ($52,570).

When adjusted for cost-of-living, the cities that pay Social Workers the highest average annual salary are Northeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area ($60,487), Southeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area ($59,789) and Northwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area ($58,576).

The following table shows the average yearly salary range for Social Workers in each city, and the average yearly salary after being adjusted for cost-of-living in that state.

The difference column shows how much more or less purchasing power a Social Workers salary will have in that area.

AreaAverage SalaryCOL AdjustedDifference
Iowa City$52,880$55,470$2,590
Northeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area$52,860$60,487$7,627
Des Moines-West Des Moines$52,570$55,419$2,849
Southeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area$52,250$59,789$7,539
Northwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area$51,190$58,576$7,386
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island$50,610$55,348$4,738
Ames$49,600$52,332$2,732
Waterloo-Cedar Falls$48,680$52,988$4,308
Cedar Rapids$46,640$51,434$4,794
Southwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area$46,420$53,118$6,698
Sioux City$45,080$50,089$5,009
Dubuque$43,950$48,376$4,426
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary FAQ for Iowa Social Workers

Iowa Social Workers earn between $30,730 and $77,020 a year depending on their level of education, experience and skill.

There are currently 2,020 Social Workers employed in Iowa which is about 1% of the U.S. total.

Forensic Psychologists are the highest paid psychologists in Iowa with an average annual wage of $106,200.

An entry level psychologist makes as much as $30,730 a year in Iowa

The most Social Workers work in the Des Moines-West Des Moines area where 540 Social Workers are employed.

After being adjusted for cost-of-living, Social Workers in Iowa earn 55,332 per year, while the average across the United States earns $54,880.

By 2030, Iowa will need 3,620 Social Workers. A total of 350 Social Workers will need to enter into the Iowa work forces each year.

City and Rural Summaries

Ames

Average Social Workers Salary: $49,600
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $52,332
Hourly Wage: $23.85
Currently Employed: 70
Cost-of-Living Index: 94.78
Ames Salary Report

Cedar Rapids

Average Social Workers Salary: $46,640
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $51,434
Hourly Wage: $22
Currently Employed: 250
Cost-of-Living Index: 90.68
Cedar Rapids Salary Report

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island

Average Social Workers Salary: $50,610
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $55,348
Hourly Wage: $24.33
Currently Employed: 280
Cost-of-Living Index: 91.44
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Salary Report

Des Moines-West Des Moines

Average Social Workers Salary: $52,570
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $55,419
Hourly Wage: $25
Currently Employed: 540
Cost-of-Living Index: 94.86
Des Moines-West Des Moines Salary Report

Dubuque

Average Social Workers Salary: $43,950
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $48,376
Hourly Wage: $21.13
Currently Employed: 40
Cost-of-Living Index: 90.85
Dubuque Salary Report

Iowa City

Average Social Workers Salary: $52,880
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $55,470
Hourly Wage: $25
Currently Employed: 100
Cost-of-Living Index: 95.33
Iowa City Salary Report

Northeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $52,860
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $60,487
Hourly Wage: $25.41
Currently Employed: 130
Cost-of-Living Index: 87.39
Northeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Northwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $51,190
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $58,576
Hourly Wage: $25
Currently Employed: 100
Cost-of-Living Index: 87.39
Northwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Sioux City

Average Social Workers Salary: $45,080
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $50,089
Hourly Wage: $21.67
Currently Employed: 150
Cost-of-Living Index: 90.00
Sioux City Salary Report

Southeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $52,250
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $59,789
Hourly Wage: $25
Currently Employed: 290
Cost-of-Living Index: 87.39
Southeast Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Southwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $46,420
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $53,118
Hourly Wage: $22.32
Currently Employed: 90
Cost-of-Living Index: 87.39
Southwest Iowa Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Waterloo-Cedar Falls

Average Social Workers Salary: $48,680
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $52,988
Hourly Wage: $23
Currently Employed: 100
Cost-of-Living Index: 91.87
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Salary Report

Official Data Sources for Social Workers: Salary Data | Projected Employment | Cost of Living Data