Salaries For Licensed Clinical Social Workers

In this article, We know about the ‘Salaries For Licensed Clinical Social Workers’.

Salaries For Licensed Clinical Social Workers

The term “clinical social worker” isn’t something we use on a daily basis, so let’s try to understand and answer questions like- what is it?  What does this person do? How much does the person get paid? How does one become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker? And what are the challenges they face?  Through this article, we will be trying to answer some of these questions. 

A licensed clinical social worker is a person who works with people to provide them with the appropriate emotional and mental support by helping them deal with an array of problems like societal, environmental, natural etc. These people are of extremely high emotional quotients and they help the state and a few private entities in helping grief-stricken individuals to deal with their sorrow and become the asset that they are. This is a field that requires a lot of experience and on-field training. The prerequisite for being a licensed Social Worker is to have nearly 30,000 hours of experience. 

How to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

Below are a few steps required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)-

  • Get a bachelor’s degree. Preferably in Psychology or Sociology. 
  • Get a Masters’s degree in Social Work.
  • Give the examination for the State Legislature.
  • Once you pass the exam, Apply for State License
  • Try to get field experience as much as you can. 

Salary for the LCSW

The salary for a Licensed Clinical Social Worker ranges, in the context of the American Legislature- the average comes down to $76,911 

The salary of social workers depends highly on the country they work in. If they work in third-world countries like India their salary will range from three to four lakhs per annum. Whereas if they work in countries like Canada, Britain or the USA their salary can range from thirty to forty lakhs per annum. 

Considering the kind of job these people do and the difficulties and challenges they face, they are paid considerably less. 

Talking solely from the US perspective,

As mentioned prior, the average salary of a licensed clinical worker in the USA averages around $76911. But let’s take a deeper dive into this sector and its salary policies in the USA.

The USA ranks amongst one of the highest-paying countries when it comes to Clinically Licensed Social Workers.  Considering the various states in the USA the salary ranges from nearly $70,940 to around $85,465. The salary that is given to these individuals obviously varies on a lot of factors like experience, education, special skills and certifications. 

In the USA itself as seen in the case of third world countries, the Southern States or those States that are a little more underdeveloped or orthodox, pay less as compared to cities and states that are well of. Like San Francisco, Washington, and Chicago see nearly a 25% increase in salaries whereas states like Miami, Texas pay in the bottom 2% of the pay grade. 

The salary of licensed clinical social workers increases as they move on to better positions after mustering a cornucopia of experience. In the USA, the salary increases as you move to become a Rehabilitation Counselor and then to the next step which is the top social services executive. 

According to studies in the USA, the salary of an average Licensed Clinical Social Worker increases by two things- A master’s degree and A good amount of experience especially in managing people. If you have a Doctorate degree then you might be able to directly bag higher positions like that of a Top Social Services Executive. 

Also according to studies and surveys, firms in the USA, when hiring a licensed clinical social worker look for certain skills like – counselling, interviewing etc. The chances of getting paid higher salary increases if you are skilled in these aspects. 

A few of the best and highest-paying states in the USA are mentioned below-

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Washington
  • Connecticut
  • Utah 

This is because the demand for a licensed clinical social worker has increased in these states since 2021 and hence they are willing to pay more. Salaries average between $75,000 to $84,000, in the above states depending on the demand. 

A CNN study also stated that Social Workers have the challenge of Low pay and High Stress. This gives them a low incentive to work but the moral dilemma they are in is the humane genes in them, they tend to succumb to it, put their head down and help those in need. 

In a capitalist world like ours, a job as noble as this is remunerated so minimally. This is a comment on what we are as a society. 

Challenges to face as an LCSW

  • Low Pay
  • High Stress
  • Dealing with vulnerable people
  • Setting aside biases
  • To be available at any time of the day
  • Irregular working hours
  • Difficult patients
  • A time taking process
  • Lack of social benefits 
  • No recognition for the hard work put in. 


Let us try to break down this step by step. A licensed Social Clinical Worker is a boon to our society and yet they are paid in pennies. The fact their importance is not understood in our society is a problem we are yet to address. In order to be considered healthy, WHO specified that mental health is as important as Physical health. Yet we don’t consider these social workers as important as say, engineers or doctors. 

Why is it so?

  • The taboo regarding mental health still hasn’t left its grasp on the minds of the people.
  • The field is rather less touched and job growth seems to be a herculean task
  • Considering the fact that the pay is less, people tend to go for more traditional job opportunities like that of a psychiatrist or say a doctor
  • The placement or the workstation is usually in remote areas, making the job seem less interesting and lucrative
  • The fact that it requires staying on the field and interacting with so many people doesn’t sound really fancy to tell when sitting at a dinner table with friends and family. 

Hence, we all as a society should realize how important it is for us to express our emotions and build a society that will be more acceptable and welcoming to all sorts of people, beliefs, ideals and choices. The first way or first step in doing so is to give long-due credit to these Clinical Social Workers. 

Frequently asked questions

1. Which countries pay the highest to a Licensed Social Worker?

California pays the highest. 

2. Which country pays the least to a Licensed Social Worker?

Hungary, and usually third-world countries like India, Africa, Libya, Syria, Iraq etc.

3. How to prepare for the LCSW examination?

Practice regularly, Use daily life examples in your answers, and Answer previous year’s question papers

4. What is the passing score in an LCSW examination?

Usually across countries, the passing marks lie between the range of 90 to 107. But it also depends on the country you are giving the exam in.

Salaries For Licensed Clinical Social Workers

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