How to make extra money as a social worker

Earn money while doing meaningful work with these side hustles!

Find jobs for extra income

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People usually picture social workers as individuals working with communities and advocacy groups. And while most social workers do work in these settings, some may seek out side hustles to earn extra income. 

With the rising cost of living these days, it’s not surprising that social workers welcome extra sources of income while having day jobs. 

How do you increase your income while still doing meaningful work? Here are tips and side hustle ideas for social workers. 

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 counseling

Clinical social work is one of the highest-paying jobs in this field. These include social work jobs in hospitals, mental health facilities, and insurance companies. So, if good pay is your top priority, licensure is the way to go. A license 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, consider starting a 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. Organize events. 

Smiling woman social worker decorating birthday party. Event planning, party help 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 organize their events worry-free by becoming an event planner or party helper. Coordinating event preparations is another way to use your excellent people skills! 

2. Create content for social enterprises and small businesses. 

Social worker creating online content to earn extra money. “Help our planet” landing page in laptop screen

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 organizations, charities, and local businesses. 

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

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 organizations expand their reach and address queries from the community. 

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 toward 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.

7. Do research work. 

A good research assistant can collect, analyze, 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.  

8. Take care of other 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, 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 staff 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.

Browse our Tasks page to find all sorts of side hustle opportunities. Having control over your work schedule is essential, given the challenges of a social work career. 

By finding flexible work and one-off jobs, you can earn extra money whenever and however you want. The best part is that you can explore new skills or maximize your current skill set. Sign up on Airtasker now! 

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FAQs on social work

You’ll need a bachelor’s or master’s degree program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, you’ll need a license relevant to your social work specialization. Licensure requirements may vary depending on your location.

The median pay for social workers is $50,390 per year. Meanwhile, the median annual wage for healthcare social workers is $60,840, while child, family, and school social workers earn around $49,150. 

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

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

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