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 $47,000 and $79,000 depending on their area of expertise, location and experience. There are over 5,000 social workers working in New Zealand.

For comparison, the average ordinary time hourly wage in New Zealand for the quarter ending 31 December 2018 was $31.63 according to Statistics New Zealand. This would give an annual average salary of around $62,500, working standard full-time hours (38 hours).

Social Worker Salaries / Wages in 2018 – 2019

PositionSalary / Wage $Location
Care Support Social Worker50,000 – 60,000Auckland
Youth Justice Social Worker45,000 – 65,000Auckland
Social Worker in School50,000 – 75,000Auckland
Social Worker Contact Centre45,000 – 77,000Auckland
Social Worker – Taumarunui team47,000 – 79,000Manawatu
Social Worker45,000 – 50,000Tauranga
Support Worker – Mental Health and Addiction45,000 – 50,000Wellington
Part-time Social Worker22 – 28 per hourWellington
Family Support Worker / Social Worker22 – 27 per hourChristchurch
Part-time Social Worker40,000 – 60,000Christchurch
SSocial Worker / Counsellor45,000 – 60,000Christchurch

Registered social workers must register and maintain an annual practising certificate with the Social Workers Registration Board. In the 2017/18 year 5,502 annual practising certificates were issued.

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  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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