Social workers in Australia make about $20,000 a year, according to the Social Services Commission of Australia.
But for people on low incomes, the median salary is $30,000.
So what are they paid?
The salary depends on the social service and the location of the job.
For instance, a social worker in Brisbane, where the population is just under 7,000, makes about $38,000 per year.
But that’s about one-third of the salary of a nurse or midwife in Melbourne, which is about $40,000 or so.
The median salary for a nurse is $36,500.
And the median for a midwife is about half of that in Sydney, about $42,000 in Melbourne.
In other words, for a social service worker in Sydney the median wage for the first three years of their employment is about 50 per cent of what a nurse makes.
The difference in salary is the average salary for the different locations of the country, said Michelle Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Commission of Social Services.
The salaries vary across the country but are generally higher in Sydney than Brisbane.
For example, a nurse in Sydney earns about $50,000 after a four-year stint working in the Northern Territory.
But a nurse from the South Australian capital Adelaide, where population is about 3,000 people, makes $43,000 for three years, while a nurse at Canberra, the capital, earns about the same amount, according a 2015 report by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).
It’s not just salaries that vary, though.
There are other benefits, too.
Social workers are eligible for paid parental leave.
For example, some social workers in NSW receive $30 per week for three months, while some in Victoria receive $45.
But they’re not entitled to paid parental and parental leave together, and social workers may have to travel between their offices to meet with patients.
So while social workers are paid the same as nurses, they may have different duties and responsibilities depending on the location they work, Wilson said.
“They might be in a particular community where they have a particular kind of role, whereas a nurse might be performing services in another community where that’s not the case,” she said.
Social workers also have to provide support to other social workers, including the elderly, children and the vulnerable.
The Commission of Sociology of Social Welfare has a paper called The Social Security Act of 1967 which covers this area.
In the document, the social worker is supposed to be responsible for the welfare of the person who is being assisted, but Wilson said there are many different roles and responsibilities within the workplace.
Social workers are also required to report to the Commission on their performance.
But the social services commission only tracks the number of hours worked, not the number the employee is on call for.
As a result, Wilson says, the amount a social services worker is paid for each hour they work could be different for each location.
She also said social workers often have to take on new clients who are not their regular clients, and that sometimes this can be stressful.
Wilson said the commission was trying to ensure the social workers’ rights were protected.
“[We] are trying to do everything we can to protect the rights of the workers to do their job,” she told news.com,au.
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