Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Washington


Updated January 4, 2023

Looking for the best PhD in Social Work in Washington? You should consider these top-tier institutions and jobs in the social work field. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Washington

Earning a Doctoral Degree in Social Work in Washington

Interested in a career that’s rewarding and fun? Start your search with the best social work degrees in Washington. Doctoral degree-seekers can apply to diverse careers. A doctorate can open doors for employment in a variety of fields.

With a doctorate, graduates typically make $1,909 per week, or $7,636 a month, and $99,268 per year.

Social Work PhD Programs for You

Working and Living in Washington in the Social Work Profession

Social work programs provide thoughtful and balanced education about human behavior and social welfare. Coursework builds on your knowledge of social sciences, including sociology, anthropology, and psychology. You'll also study the diverse populations in the U.S. as well as across the globe. Common social work careers include clinical social worker, community organizer, and addiction counselor. You can also specialize in a particular field such as mental health or aging.

The annual wage in Washington is $50,450, or $24.25 per hour. This number applies to a total of 3,205,930 employees in Washington. Typically, the lowest 10% of earners make $30,460 a year. The highest 10% bring home $127,470 per year. By contrast, the following list shows the average salary for social workers in Washington.


Social Workers in Washington
Social Workers Nationally
All Occupations in Washington
All Occupations Nationally

Social Work Careers and Salaries in Washington


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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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A report by MERIC ranked Washington number 40 out of 51 states (including Washington D.C.) on the cost of living index. The cost of living index measures the average cost of living in the U.S. against specific states in the U.S. As a whole, the U.S. average is set at 100, and every location in the U.S. has either a cost above (higher) or below (lower) than the U.S. average. In Washington, the cost of living index currently stands at 113.9, which is 13.9% higher than the national average. This table compares the cost of groceries, housing, utilities, and other items in Washington to the national average.


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Jobs for social workers are projected to grow 5.8% over the next decade. The BLS projects that the occupation's total employment will change from 71,400 in 2020 to 75,500 in 2030. A doctorate qualifies professionals for many positions.

Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Washington

#1 Doctoral Degrees in Social Work in Washington

University of Washington

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The Ph.D. in social welfare program at the University of Washington appeals to doctoral students seeking an online route to their doctorate. Degree-seekers benefit from flexible course options through the public institution. Doctoral students participate in career counseling and benefit from research support.

The doctoral program incorporates advanced social work coursework. Doctoral candidates advance in the program by passing comprehensive exams and writing an original dissertation. As the highest degree in social work , the doctorate meets requirements for research, academic, and leadership roles.

Doctoral students qualify for federal financial aid and fellowships at the accredited institution. Prospective applicants can contact the program for more about financial aid and admission requirements.

University of Washington at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,931

Online Master's Programs: 10

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition Rate: $18,198

Average Tuition
Retention Rate
Admission Rate
Students Enrolled
Institution Type
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Financing a Doctorate in Social Work

The financial aid program can help you pay for college. Many opportunities for financial aid include scholarships and fellowships. It is common for students to pay for their college with federal and private loans. The college's financial aid office is a great resource for applicants who need help determining their financial aid options.

Checklist for Maximizing Your Financial Aid:

Average Cost of Attending College in Washington

The cost of education in Washington varies by institution. Public and private institutions do, however, share some commonalities. Review the information below to determine whether attending a public institution is the right choice for you.

Public 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Washington vs. National Average


National Average


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Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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How about attending a private college or university instead of a public one? Tuition at private colleges generally costs more. The following is a good way to learn about private colleges in Washington.

Private 4-Year School Tuition Rates: Washington vs. National Average


National Average


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Federal Student Loan Information

Would taking out student loans help you pay for your degree? You should keep a few things in mind before committing to a loan.

Review the data below to learn what students typically borrow.

Undergraduate Federal Loans
Demographic Percent who borrowed Amount borrowed
Total 66.6% $27,400
Female 69.6% $28,100
Male 62.5% $26,500
White, not Hispanic or Latino 66.1% $26,700
Black, not Hispanic or Latino 85.7% $34,800
Hispanic or Latino/a, of any race 67.7% $25,700
Asian, not Hispanic or Latino 43% $22,700
Other or Two or more races, not Hispanic or Latino 70.4% $28,300
Source: NCES

Online vs. On-Campus

Pros and Cons: Online Degrees


  • Cheaper tuition
  • Flexible, asynchronous classwork
  • No on-campus fees for parking, tech, etc.


  • Less structure
  • Minimal peer-to-peer interaction
  • Less facetime with professor
  • No access to on-campus amenities

Pros and Cons: On-Campus Degrees


  • Gym, library, etc. access
  • Smaller class options
  • Face time with peers and professors


  • More expensive
  • Transportation or housing costs
  • Rigid scheduling
The main difference between an online program and a program completed on campus is the amount of money you pay and the class size. An online program is advantageous because it is flexible, affordable, and convenient. There are typically higher fees associated with on-campus programs. There are, however, advantages to attending classes.

Top Social Work Degree Options Available by State
State Degree Level
California Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Florida Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Georgia Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Illinois Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
New York Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
North Carolina Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Pennsylvania Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Texas Associate, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Virginia Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate
Washington Bachelors, Masters

Private vs. Public

Private and public colleges differ in several ways. There are many factors that determine how much it will cost for you to attend either a public or private school. The government determines the costs for public institutions, so grants and scholarships are funded by the government to cover those costs. It is common for private institutions to charge tuition to their students, but merit scholarships are often available to students who demonstrate superior academic performance.

Students attending private colleges also benefit from smaller classes, which allows them to interact more closely with their professors and explore the possibilities of their chosen field of study. In this article, we will look at some of the pros and cons of attending a private institution versus a public institution.

Pros and Cons


  • Unique program offerings
  • Cultural or religious options
  • Local prestige
  • Higher costs
  • Less regulatory oversight


  • Government-issued tuition costs
  • Government funding, benefits, and regulation
  • Oftentimes large classrooms

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the wage for social workers in Washington?

The mean salary for social workers in Washington is $79,210.

Are occupations for social work graduates in high demand?

The total number of social workers is projected to change by 5.8% from 2020 to 2030.

Are there any advantages to studying for a doctorate in social work online?

An online doctorate in social work is possible. As a matter of fact, most schools provide at least some of their courses online in today's climate.

How long does it take for you to complete a doctorate?

Full-time students typically take 4-6 years to complete a doctorate. It will take longer for part-time students, and the completion time will vary by student.

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