Salary Report for Washington Social Workers

  • The number of Social Workers currently employed in Washington is 9,030.
  • Social Workers in Washington earn an average of $60,230 per year or $28.96 per hour.
  • The percentage of U.S. Social Workers who work in Washington is 3%.
  • Washington will need 9,840 new Social Workers by 2030 or 1,100 new psychologists per year.

Washington Rankings

  • Washington ranks #12 in the U.S. for Social Workers salary and #7 when adjusted for cost-of-living.
  • Washington ranks #12 in the U.S. for the total number of Social Workers employed.
  • Washington ranks #12 in U.S. for the number of new Social Workers needed by 2030.
  • Washington ranks #10 in U.S. for the percentage of new Social Workers needed by 2030.

Compare Washington to U.S.

Washington Social Workers earn an average of $60,230 which is 9% more than the national average salary of $54,880.

TypeWashingtonU.S.% Difference
Average Hourly Wage$28.96$26.399.74%
Average Annual Salary$60,230$54,8809.75%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary Range by Education and Experience

In Washington, 50% of Social Workers earn between $47,550 and $71,990 a year, depending on factors such as level of education, experience, location and place of employment.

About 10% of Social Workers earn more than $77,120, a rate generally associated with highly educated and experienced Social Workers.

Approximately 10% of Social Workers earn under $38,580, a rate generally reserved for less experienced or entry level Social Workers.

PercentExperienceEmployedAnnual Salary
10%Less than a Year903Under $38,580
15%2 – 4 years1,354$38,580 – $47,550
25%5 – 9 years2,258$47,550 – $59,950
25%10 – 14 years2,258$59,950 – $71,990
15%15 – 20 years1,354$59,950 – $77,120
10%20+ years903Above $77,120
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 Washington psychologists earn about $56,101 per year which is more than the average U.S. psychologist of $54,880.

Cost-of-living in Washington is 7% higher than the national average, which means Washington residents have an overall higher cost for food, housing, utilities and transportation compared to other states.

  • National average salary for Social Workers is $54,880.
  • Average Washington Social Workers salary is $60,230.
  • Adjusted for cost-of-living, Washington Social Workers earn an average salary of $56,101.

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

Salary Compared to Related Professions

With an average annual salary of $60,230, Washington Social Workers tend to earn less than Forensic Psychologists ($105,640), Clinical and Counseling Psychologists ($103,190), School Psychologists ($95,780), Psychology Teachers ($74,460), and Health Care Social Workers ($71,800).

However, Social Workers tend to earn more than Marriage and Family Therapists ($49,220), and Substance Abuse Counselors ($56,500).

TitleAnnual Salary
Forensic Psychologists$105,640
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists$103,190
School Psychologists$95,780
Psychology Teachers$74,460
Health Care Social Workers$71,800
Social Workers$60,230
Substance Abuse Counselors$56,500
Marriage and Family Therapists$49,220
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 Washington the three professions needing the most new psychologists by 2030 are Substance Abuse Counselors (34,160), Social Workers (9,840) and Health Care Social Workers (5,230).

The three professions in Washington needing highest percentage new psychologists by 2030 are Marriage and Family Therapists (26.3%), Substance Abuse Counselors (23.1%) and Psychology Teachers (15.6%).

Title20202030ChangeYearly Openings
Substance Abuse Counselors27,76034,16023.1%4,100
Social Workers8,5409,84015.2%1,100
Health Care Social Workers4,5505,23014.9%580
Psychology Teachers64074015.6%80
Marriage and Family Therapists38048026.3%60
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 2022*

Salaries Ranked by Washington Cities

The average salary for Social Workers in Washington is $60,230. The top cities that pay Social Workers the most are Olympia-Tumwater ($63,800), Eastern Washington Nonmetropolitan Area ($63,000) and Wenatchee ($61,280).

When adjusted for cost-of-living, the cities that pay Social Workers the highest average annual salary are Eastern Washington Nonmetropolitan Area ($64,948), Western Washington Nonmetropolitan Area ($62,216) and Olympia-Tumwater ($61,317).

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
Olympia-Tumwater$63,800$61,317$-2,483
Eastern Washington Nonmetropolitan Area$63,000$64,948$1,948
Wenatchee$61,280$61,188$-92
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue$61,160$54,632$-6,528
Western Washington Nonmetropolitan Area$60,350$62,216$1,866
Bremerton-Silverdale$59,170$56,085$-3,085
Longview$59,110$60,775$1,665
Kennewick-Richland$59,050$57,972$-1,078
Mount Vernon-Anacortes$57,550$56,223$-1,327
Spokane-Spokane Valley$57,480$58,468$988
Walla Walla$57,330$58,536$1,206
Yakima$57,190$59,579$2,389
Bellingham$55,730$54,482$-1,248
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Salary FAQ for Washington Social Workers

Washington Social Workers earn between $38,580 and $77,120 a year depending on their level of education, experience and skill.

There are currently 9,030 Social Workers employed in Washington which is about 3% of the U.S. total.

Forensic Psychologists are the highest paid psychologists in Washington with an average annual wage of $105,640.

An entry level psychologist makes as much as $38,580 a year in Washington

The most Social Workers work in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area where 4,810 Social Workers are employed.

After being adjusted for cost-of-living, Social Workers in Washington earn 56,101 per year, while the average across the United States earns $54,880.

By 2030, Washington will need 9,840 Social Workers. A total of 1,100 Social Workers will need to enter into the Washington work forces each year.

City and Rural Summaries

Bellingham

Average Social Workers Salary: $55,730
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $54,482
Hourly Wage: $26.79
Currently Employed: 300
Cost-of-Living Index: 102.29
Bellingham Salary Report

Bremerton-Silverdale

Average Social Workers Salary: $59,170
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $56,085
Hourly Wage: $28
Currently Employed: 230
Cost-of-Living Index: 105.50
Bremerton-Silverdale Salary Report

Eastern Washington Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $63,000
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $64,948
Hourly Wage: $30.29
Currently Employed: 220
Cost-of-Living Index: 97.00
Eastern Washington Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Kennewick-Richland

Average Social Workers Salary: $59,050
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $57,972
Hourly Wage: $28
Currently Employed: 270
Cost-of-Living Index: 101.86
Kennewick-Richland Salary Report

Longview

Average Social Workers Salary: $59,110
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $60,775
Hourly Wage: $28.42
Currently Employed: 140
Cost-of-Living Index: 97.26
Longview Salary Report

Mount Vernon-Anacortes

Average Social Workers Salary: $57,550
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $56,223
Hourly Wage: $28
Currently Employed: 180
Cost-of-Living Index: 102.36
Mount Vernon-Anacortes Salary Report

Olympia-Tumwater

Average Social Workers Salary: $63,800
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $61,317
Hourly Wage: $30.67
Currently Employed: 420
Cost-of-Living Index: 104.05
Olympia-Tumwater Salary Report

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue

Average Social Workers Salary: $61,160
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $54,632
Hourly Wage: $29
Currently Employed: 4,810
Cost-of-Living Index: 111.95
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Salary Report

Spokane-Spokane Valley

Average Social Workers Salary: $57,480
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $58,468
Hourly Wage: $27.64
Currently Employed: 920
Cost-of-Living Index: 98.31
Spokane-Spokane Valley Salary Report

Walla Walla

Average Social Workers Salary: $57,330
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $58,536
Hourly Wage: $28
Currently Employed: 70
Cost-of-Living Index: 97.94
Walla Walla Salary Report

Wenatchee

Average Social Workers Salary: $61,280
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $61,188
Hourly Wage: $29.46
Currently Employed: 100
Cost-of-Living Index: 100.15
Wenatchee Salary Report

Western Washington Nonmetropolitan Area

Average Social Workers Salary: $60,350
Adjusted for Cost of Living: $62,216
Hourly Wage: $29
Currently Employed: 460
Cost-of-Living Index: 97.00
Western Washington Nonmetropolitan Area Salary Report

Yakima

Average Social Workers Salary: $57,190
Adjusted for Cost-of-Living: $59,579
Hourly Wage: $27.50
Currently Employed: 360
Cost-of-Living Index: 95.99
Yakima Salary Report

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