I Make $46,000 As A Social Worker — & I Struggled In Hourly Jobs For Years

Illustrated by Hannah Minn.
In our series Salary Stories, women with long-term career experience open up about the most intimate details of their jobs: compensation. It’s an honest look at how real people navigate the complicated world of negotiating, raises, promotions, and job loss, with the hope it will give young women more insight into how to advocate for themselves — and maybe take a few risks along the way.
Been in the workforce for at least eight years and interested in contributing your salary story? Submit your information here.
In 2019 women are still fighting the gender wage gap. On average, women are paid 80 cents for every dollar that a man earns. The wage gap for Black women is considerably steeper; Black women make 61 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day — the exact date is selected each year based on the day that Black women achieve pay parity with men.
Age: 29
Current Location: Raleigh, NC
Current Industry & Title: Nonprofit, Family Engagement Specialist
Starting Salary: $12/hour in 2011
Current Salary: $46,000
Number Of Years Employed: 8
Biggest Salary Jump: From $35,000 to $46,000 in 2019
Biggest Salary Drop: No big salary drops.
Biggest Salary Negotiation Regret: "I wish I had negotiated my salary from my first job after graduate school. I was so excited to have an offer within the first two weeks of graduation that I did not consider asking for more. I was worth more and should have come in higher than the starting."
Best Salary-Related Advice: "Always ask for more and ask for more than what you actually want. The worst that could happen is the company/organization saying no, and that's okay."

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series