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Women’s Pay More Equal to Men in Social Work

Social work is a profession where women are on a more equal footing with men, at least on the bachelor’s degree level, according to this New York Times article.

The article referred to data from PayScale that analyzed the difference between pay between men and women after controlling for demographic factors. PayScale based its data on social work from 1,200 employee profiles.

The median pay for female social workers with a bachelors degree was $35,800 a year compared to $36,600 for men, a difference of just two percent, the article said.

Other careers where the pay between men and women with bachelor’s degree are more equal included communications, finance, psychology, criminal justice and chemical engineering.

To learn more about social work labor force and salary levels visit the National Association of Social Workers’ Center for Workforce Studies by clicking here.

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  1. That is heartening, but I would guess these figures for BSWs are for beginning social workers. Older research, by myself and others in the 1970s and 80s showed that the longer in the field, the wider the gap between men and women social workers. Men were promoted sooner, and into higher paid positions. In my own study of administrators of human service agencies on Long Island I found that most were men, but that when women were CEOs, they tended to be in smaller agencies, focused on women and children and their pay was less than male administrators. I haven’t seen more recent research and would hope the picture has changed–anyone working on this?

    Ruth Brandwein
    Dean and Professor Emeritus
    Stony Brook University SSW

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