Social Worker Salary in South Africa

How much do social workers earn in South Africa? This is a frequently asked question when it comes to considering a career in social work. Social workers refer to professionals with the right qualifications who are committed to enhancing the communities or individuals’ overall quality of life and addressing a wide range of their basic and complex needs.

Occupation:Social Worker
Monthly Salary Range:R 1250 – R 25750
Average Monthly Salary:R 13500
Description:A social worker is a trained professional whose main duty is to help people, communities, or individuals cope with issues in their everyday lives. Their important task is to understand the requirements of their clients, develop and implement care plans, and stand up for their rights and well-being.
Minimum Qualification:Becoming a social worker in South Africa requires a Bachelor’s degree in social work. You also need a National Senior Certificate or a Senior Certificate or a National Senior Certificate with degree endorsement along with a Certificate in Social Auxiliary Work (NQF Level 4) plus one year of professional practice as a registered Social Auxiliary Worker.

Social workers earning potential varies depending on multiple elements, including years of experience, geographic location, occupation responsibility, industry, and the economy. Let me walk you through the social worker’s monthly minimum and maximum earnings and their responsibilities.

Moreover, some positions or sectors may also require a Master’s degree or Doctor of Social Work degree (DSW). The average salary for a social worker in South Africa is estimated to be R13,500 per month. The figure can vary significantly due to the sector, geographic area, and your degree.


Do social workers earn any extra income besides their salary? Social workers in higher positions with years of experience and excellent academic background may receive additional bonuses. However, overall, social workers in South Africa have limited bonus and incentive opportunities.

Salary Structure

The salary of social workers depends on the different social work careers and experience levels. Following are the estimated salaries of common social work positions:

PositionsEstimated Salaries
Entry-Level Social WorkerR15K Per Year
Senior Social WorkerR170,820 Per Year
Social Worker SupervisorR325,380 Per Year

In addition to the experience level, social workers’ salaries also vary by city and location. Metropolitan cities in South Africa offers reasonable salary compared to non-metropolitan cities or rural regions. The difference stems from the cost of living and demand.

Cities (South Africa)Salaries
Durbanville, Western CapeR21,462 Per Month
GautengR16,500 Per Month
Kuils River, Western CapeR14,565 Per Month
Eerste River, Western CapeR13,758 Per Month
Bellville, Western CapeR10,404 Per Month
De Waterkant, Western CapeR9,069 Per Month
Johannesburg, GautengR8,795 Per Month
Cape Town, Western CapeR4,655 Per Month
Durban, KwaZulu-NatalR2,833 Per Month

Furthermore, besides location and experience level, the educational background of the social worker also determines their salaries. A social worker with a Master’s degree has access to a wide range of employment opportunities compared to an individual with limited academic qualifications.

Also Check:  Teachers Salary in South Africa

Social Worker’s Responsibilities and Roles

Social workers work in different settings or sectors, including institutions, hospitals, agencies (private and public), military, prisons, nursing homes, and more. They have a wide range of responsibilities, and some are listed below:

Understand Your Client

The most basic responsibility of a social worker is to assess and understand the client’s needs, conditions, and situation. This assessment is necessary to develop an effective treatment plan customized according to the client’s situation. Additionally, the assessment allows the social worker to gain insight into the client’s social relationship, medical history, etc.

Care Plan

After the assessment, it is time to develop a treatment plan that will help the client cope with the challenges in their life. The plan includes therapy sessions or family sessions. Moreover, you also have the authority to refer clients to other professionals or specialists with additional qualifications.

Secure Resources

Social workers also refer clients to different services, including government organizations, healthcare or unemployment agencies, etc, to ensure they receive necessary support and assistance.

How much is a social worker paid in South Africa?

The average annual salary of a social worker in South Africa amounts to R199,696. Furthermore, entry-level social workers receive an average income of R6,650 or above. In contrast, senior social workers with years of experience earn approximately R170,820 Per Year.

To sum up, social workers are responsible for the welfare of the community and people, helping them in dealing with different challenges in their lives. In addition, if you are planning to pursue a career in the social work profession, you can expect to earn an average income of R199,696 per year.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.