Social Worker Salary in South Africa


If you have a desire to assist others and take care of them, then you might just have a future as a social worker. If you are going to be a social worker, then you should at least have an idea of how much they earn in South Africa.

In this post, we will discuss how much a social worker in South Africa earns monthly and yearly. We will also discuss how you can become a social worker and the requirements to be met. Let’s get straight to answering your questions about social workers in South Africa.

social worker salary in south africa

What is Social Work?

This profession is interested in the improvement of human life and ensuring the pursuit of social justice. Social work is just one of the many helping professions that exist. Others include teaching, nursing, counseling, etc.

The occupation helps people overcome the challenges they face in their day-to-day life. It runs on a person-in-environment model that majorly emphasizes social justice. It is part of the responsibility of social workers to consider the internal struggles faced by individuals. They also examine relationships, community environment, family structure, and the policies and systems that affect them.

The profession involves serving both old and young people from all races in different settings including hospitals, homesteads, and community organizations. It involves direct service and advocacy to pursue justice at local, national, and international levels.

What do Social Workers do?

It is common for social workers to be involved directly with individuals, families, couples, and small groups. They assist clients to tackle problems which include addiction, poverty, unemployment, abuse, disability, addiction, mental illness, etc.

They usually work in conjunction with NGOs, hospitals, schools, and the government to achieve the greater good. Sometimes, they are involved in program evaluation, human services management, and program development.

The fight against inequality, advocate on behalf of the vulnerable and see off injustices that occur in communities. They engage in policy analysis, legislative advocacy, and organization of communities to drive reform and destroy barriers.

What is the Salary of Social Workers in South Africa?

This is the part everyone looks forward to, it is probably why you are reading this post. As a social worker in South Africa, your average yearly salary amounts to R186 287. You are also entitled to bonuses and profit sharing.

It is important to note that different organizations pay differently and the salary scale is dependent on qualification and experience. Stated below are the average annual salaries of different classes of social workers in South Africa:

  1. Counseling – R191 108 (This is the most popular form of social work in South Africa today).
  2. Case Management – R185 418
  3. Group Therapy – R200 440
  4. Child Advocacy – R184 811
  5. Community Outreach/Activism – R208 733

Skills in Group Therapy, Counselling, and Community Outreach/Activism allow you get paid above average while the other two are below-average pay.

At entry-level, an individual is expected to earn about R147 938 per year which includes bonuses, tips, and overtime. Entry-level is between 0 to 1-year experience. When you attain the experience of about 1 to 4 years, then you can earn as much as R170 534 annually. This could rise to R219 504 with 5 to 9 years of experience. At the peak of your career, between 10 and 19 years of experience, you should earn R249 393.

One of the best ways to increase your pay as a Social Worker in South Africa is to build connections and improve personal skills. To achieve these, you may need to do some volunteering with nonprofit organizations during your free time.

How to Become a Social Worker in South Africa

These are the steps to take if you want to be a social worker in South Africa:

Bag a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. This is the first step to becoming a social worker from a university that is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). The Bachelor of Social Work degree prepares the students for different levels of social work. The students also gain experience while in school so they can apply the knowledge to the real world.

Earn a Master’s Degree. A Master’s Degree in Social Work puts you in a position to earn better that social workers who stay at Bachelor’s Degree level. The course takes a maximum of two years and combines classroom education with real-life experience. At this point, you can choose what part of social work you want to focus on. One fact you should know is that to be involved in clinical social work in South Africa, you must have a Master’s Degree.


Social workers are very important to maintaining equity and justice in our society. They help individuals at different levels to tackle problems and birth solutions. This is one great way to give back to humanity while working and earning a decent salary at it.

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