New Zealand Social Worker Salaries

Salaries are annual unless otherwise stated.

Salary and wage information for New Zealand professions is compiled regularly by analysis of New Zealand jobs advertised in major publications. Job ads in New Zealand often do not mention remuneration. Salaries are generally negotiable, within limits.

Job titles in this occupation vary and some examples are community social worker, youth justice worker, care and protection social worker and case worker.

Social workers are usually employed by District Health Boards, Child, Youth and Family or non-government sector organisations.

This occupation has recently been removed from New Zealand’s long term skills shortage list.

Social workers typically earn between $52,000 and $82,000 depending on their area of expertise, location and experience. There are over 7,000 social workers working in New Zealand.

For comparison, the average hourly wage in New Zealand for the quarter ending 31 March 2020 was $33.20 according to Statistics New Zealand. This would give an annual average salary of around $65,600, working standard full-time hours (38 hours).

Social Worker Salaries / Wages in 2020

PositionSalary / Wage $Location
Care Support Social Worker55,000 – 80,000Auckland
Youth Justice Social Worker45,000 – 65,000Auckland
Counsellor /Therapist / Social Worker55,000 – 65,000Auckland
Senior Social Worker45,000 – 59,000Auckland
Social worker/ Lead Professional / Part-time45,000 – 55,000Hamilton
Social Worker55,000 – 100,000Hastings
Social Worker – Youth Justice55,000 – 100,000Wellington
Part-time Social Worker27 – 35 per hourWellington
Family Support Worker / Social Worker25 – 32 per hourChristchurch
Registered Social Worker35 – 40 per hourChristchurch
Social Worker / Counsellor45,000 – 60,000Christchurch

Registered social workers must register and maintain an annual practising certificate with the Social Workers Registration Board. In the 2018/19 year there were 7,812 registered social workers.

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2 thoughts on “New Zealand Social Worker Salaries”

  1. Hi Douglas,

    Thanks for the interesting website. I happened upon it because I work with an international Christian ministry which has opened a new branch in New Zealand. I’m in the process of hiring PT and FT workers and am in need of data for developing wages and salary packages. One example is a man, 42, married with 4 young children, living in a small town close to Dunedin. He has a two year certificate from a NZ Bible school. His primary role will be teaching the Bible, an average of 45 hours/week.

    Do you have any data that might compare for a starting salary?

    Thanks for any assistance you can provide,

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