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Allied Destinations February 19, 2020

By Brook Jillings, contributor

4 Top Paying States for Traveling Social Workers

For a traveling social worker, taking your skills on the road has a number of benefits, though the increase in salary potential may be the most impactful. With permanently placed medical social workers making an average of $56,200 each year — or $27.02 hourly — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), taking a travel position is a great way to improve your financial outlook.

Where you choose to accept your travel assignment, however, can make a significant difference in the pay rate you're offered. If maxing out your earning potential is a priority for you, check out these four states that offer traveling social workers the highest wages for their field.

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4 STATES WITH THE HIGHEST TRAVELING SOCIAL WORKER COMPENSATION

1. California

California offers lucrative opportunities for the traveling social worker, offering the highest earning potential for acute care and competitive compensation for home health and outpatient care. Travelers who accept a social worker position in The Golden State can expect to earn from $41.25 to $48.75 per hour, depending on their work experience and official title at placement. Keep in mind that the area you choose within California can also make a difference, with larger cities often offering higher salary ranges.

2. Alaska

Alaska is another top-earning state for social workers, providing travelers with lucrative employment opportunities. Perhaps due to the remote communities, Alaskan medical facilities are motivated to offer competitive wages traveling social workers working with residents in rural areas. Current job postings show a traveling social worker can earn an average of $42.50 to $48.75 per hour on assignment in our northernmost state. These higher wages may also be offered as compensation for the more extreme seasons and isolated setting.

3. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is another state offering top dollar for traveling medical social workers. The salary range for open traveling positions in this state falls between $42.08 and $44.58 hourly, providing impressive compensation when compared to the average pay for permanently located social workers. It's important to note that the cost of living is rather high in Massachusetts, with housing coming in at 47.52% higher than the national average. Taking an assignment that provides free or low-cost housing is another great way to maximize your earnings.

4. Illinois

Illinois is not often recognized for offering high wages to medical professionals. However, for medical social workers searching for a travel assignment, this state actually comes with a rather impressive pay rate. Job postings show an hourly rate potential of $41.25 to $44.38. Located in the Midwest, Illinois also has a reasonable cost of living in many areas, with rural communities often coming in below the national average, stretching your earned dollars further while on assignment.

CONSIDER THE EXCEPTIONS

Even though there are certain states that offer a higher average wage for traveling social workers, remember that every state has the potential for high-paying assignments. Facilities that experience staffing issues or areas that have been affected by natural disasters sometimes offer a more lucrative package to attract talent to fill their needs.

For example, North Dakota had a position for an acute care social worker that offered $43.13 to $44.38 per hour. Although this is not the standard rate for this state, certain conditions can drive up the salary offerings. When searching for your next travel assignment, make sure to look at all listings and speak with your recruiter to ensure you're maximizing your earning potential.

Take time to consider how your wage will balance out against the local cost of living and factor in intangible perks that can improve your experience, such as recreational options. Sometimes, a higher salary does not mean you will come home with more cash in your pocket, and a lower wage can leave you with more money saved.

Working as a traveling social worker can give you the chance to explore the country while taking advantage of the increased salary potential enjoyed by travelers. If you're ready to take advantage of the higher pay offered to a traveling social worker, check out the open positions on Club Staffing to find an assignment that works for you.

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