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Social Workers

At a glance

• 1,400 employees
• 930 FTEs
• 45 years = average age
• $89,400 per year = average compensation including benefits for a full-time social worker

There are 1,400 social workers in BC’s public health sector who seek to improve the quality of life and subjective well-being of individuals, groups and communities through direct practice and crisis intervention, as well as working in areas such as community organizing and teaching.

The combined total straight-time (not including overtime) hours of work is equivalent to 930 full-time employees. The majority of social workers work in acute care facilities (64 per cent) and community mental health services (16.7 per cent)

Social Workers providing service under the general supervision of another social worker (Grade I Social Workers) account for 67.6 per cent of total social worker full-time equivalents (FTEs).

FTE and employee trend 2008-2013

FTE and employee trend

The average age of a social worker is 45 years, which is higher than it was in 2009 (44.7 years). Approximately 25.5 per cent of social workers are now 55 years or older, an increase from 2009 when 23.8 per cent of social workers were 55 years or older.

Employees by Age Group (2009 vs. 2013)


Wages and benefits
The average annual compensation for one full-time social worker is $89,400 or $47.58 per hour, including wages and benefits. Since 2005, social worker’s wages have increased by 14.5 per cent while the rate of inflation (BC Consumer Price Index) during this period was 10.0 per cent.

Wage Settlements vs. Inflation (BC CPI 2005-2013)


Compensation breakdown for a full-time social worker (2013)


Overtime and sick leave
Over that last five years, social workers had an average of less than ten minutes of overtime per week. Paid sick leave for social workers has remained fairly constant over the past five years.

Overtime and sick leave

Last updated: 26-11-2014