How to make extra money as a social worker

Wondering how to earn extra while helping people? Check out these great side hustles for social workers.

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Many social workers dedicate their lives to helping people. They get involved in all aspects of people’s lives, from mental health struggles to war relief efforts. 

However, the hardest-working professionals don’t always get paid well enough. So, while you’re in this career for the mission, you may feel the need to take on side hustles to make ends meet. 

Wondering how to make more money as a social worker? Read on to find out more.  

How to make more money as a social worker

Pursue clinical social work.

It could be time for you to upskill or get a master’s degree. Some employers pay more for specific qualifications and certifications! 

Clinical social work. Senior female psychologist with young woman. Sitting on comfortable chairs beside floor-to-ceiling window during counselling

The highest-paying social work jobs are usually the ones you find in hospitals, mental health facilities, and insurance companies. So, if good pay is your top priority, licensure is the way to go. A licence is not only for aspiring therapists but also those aiming for leadership roles at some point. 

You can also research locations with high average salaries in your niche. Social workers may earn more in some cities than others, and you can factor this into your long-term career plans. 

Start a side hustle.

Aside from your full-time job as a social worker, you could also consider starting a part-time job or side hustle to earn extra income. Or, turn your hobbies into money-making activities. Below is a list of side jobs for social workers.

Great side hustles for social workers 

1. Organise events. 

Smiling woman social worker decorating birthday party as a side hustle

If you’ve ever been part of the committee for a conference or a school dance, you know how stressful events can be. Help families or companies organise their events worry-free by becoming an event manager or event planner. Coordinating event preparations is another way to use your excellent people skills! 

2. Create content for social enterprises and small businesses.Social worker creating website content as a side hustle. “Help our planet” landing page on laptop

If you have the right skills to create videos, take photos, and write witty social media posts, this may be the best side hustle for you. You can create content for causes you feel passionate about with non-government organisations, charities, and local businesses. 

Suppose you have some photography skills. Why not offer to take some nice product photos for small businesses at an affordable rate? 

Explore content creation jobs

3. Manage social media accounts.

Happy smiling young man managing social media account on phone

Creating content isn’t the only way to earn money from spending your free time online. Another side hustle to consider is social media management, where you can help charity organisations expand their reach and address queries from the community. 

Check out some promising social media marketing and management jobs now. 

4. Help people with household tasks.

Person delivering basket of groceries to elderly woman

People are always looking for extra help with all sorts of tasks around the home. You can earn extra cash by picking up groceries and cleaning houses. Or, help elderly persons with gardening tasks if you have a green thumb. These types of jobs are available on Airtasker; simply browse our tasks page

5. Become a life coach.

Life coaches help people navigate personal and career challenges. They also guide people towards their goals. There are several types of life coaching; you could be a personal, spiritual, or financial life coach. 

6. Start a cooking or baking business. Closeup woman decorating raspberry cupcakes. Baking side hustle

Are you someone who constantly receives compliments for your cooking? Turn your passion into a source of income and a thoughtful way to help people. A nice healthy meal can go a long way for those too busy to prepare their own food. And so does a cake or special dish when marking important occasions.

Explore cooking side hustles 

7. Do research work. 

A good research assistant can collect, analyse, and present data and fact-check and proofread research. You most likely have experience working with case files and fact-checking in your day job, so research jobs can be a good side hustle for you.  

8. Take care of people’s pets. 

Man petting a cat. Pet sitting side hustle for social workers

Pet care – specifically dog and cat care – could be a part-time job that doesn’t feel like a job at all, especially if your heart for service extends to animals. This job is perfect for dog and cat lovers who have extra hours to pet sit for owners going away on business or vacation.

Pet grooming and pet transport are other side hustles you can consider. 

9. Work part-time in customer service. 

Here’s another side hustle fit for social workers. Customer service agents have a variety of responsibilities; they help customers with their questions or product complaints. You could definitely use your excellent people skills as a social worker in this job! 

10. Rent out equipment – or even your home.

Woman making bed, holding pillow. Preparing extra room for renting out

Have items or a spare room you don’t know what to do with? Whether it’s old baby equipment, cooking tools, or a spare room, you can earn extra cash from rentals. You’ll be helping people who might not have the budget to buy brand-new equipment or tourists looking for affordable accommodations.

For more side hustle ideas, consider signing up on Airtasker and start browsing our jobs page. We know how important it is to have control over your work schedule, so here’s some good news: You will be able to pick and choose jobs—related to social work and your advocacies— that match your skills and location. You’ll be able to use your stellar people skills as well because you’ll have personal interactions with job posters on the site!

Create your profile and start browsing jobs in minutes

Start earning now

FAQs on social work

You can opt to study for an undergraduate degree in social work or, if you already have a different degree, get a postgraduate degree in social work. What’s more, you can gain social work experience by doing volunteer work while studying (via Open Universities Australia). 

According to the Australian Career Service (ACS), social work graduates have a median starting salary of $65,400. ACS adds that this salary ranks third behind two of the toughest fields to get into – medicine and dentistry. 

Social workers are involved in many fields, such as child protection, housing support, aged care, and refugee resettlement. Social workers also provide support for people dealing with addiction and other mental health conditions (via These different types of work have varying licensure requirements. 

As a social worker, you’ll need counselling skills, sensitivity and understanding, patience (especially in stressful situations), the ability to work well with others, and active listening skills.

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