This guide is all about social work programs in Kansas. The guide also contains information on how to get a master’s in social work (MSW) in the state, as well as the social work license requirements in Kansas.
CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE
- MSW programs
- Online MSW programs
- How to become a social worker
- License requirements
- Social work jobs and salaries
- Expert advice
Social work in Kansas
With the population of Kansas reaching 2,911,505 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that 4,970 of these residents are currently employed as social workers.
The rising urban growth in Kansas cities has resulted in a greater need for mental health social workers. Because of the fast-paced and growing population, there has been an increase of social issues along with added stress to social services under the mental health category. If this kind of work interests you, there is plenty of room for you as a mental health social worker in Kansas.
Keep in mind that in order to become a part of the Kansas social work community, you must first receive your license through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (KBSRB).
MSW programs in Kansas
In Kansas, it is possible to start practicing as a social worker without getting your master’s in social work degree (MSW). However, earning an MSW is a vital component to practice social work independently and in most clinical settings.
In Kansas, there are currently five on-campus universities that have a CSWE-accredited MSW program. These schools are as follows: Fort Hays State University, Newman University, University of Kansas, Washburn University and Wichita State University.
That said, any of the schools above are viable options for earning your degree. Keep in mind that most schools will also require you to complete supervised fieldwork as well as determine a concentration of study.
Online MSW programs in Kansas
If earning your degree on-campus or in-state is not the best option for you, you will still be able to complete your MSW through an online program as long as it is CSWE-accredited.
For some students, earning a degree online is often a cheaper option than on-campus training. Along with this, it can also give students better schedule flexibility.
If getting your degree online sounds like the right choice for you, you can also check out our guide for more detailed information regarding online programs.
How to become a social worker in Kansas
To become a social worker in Kansas, remember the following:
- Before applying for a social work license in Kansas, students must earn one or more of the following: a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), MSW, doctor of social work degree (DSW) or PhD degrees can be earned online or on-campus as long as the program is CSWE-accredited
- Apply for your license and get approved by the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (KBSRB). Complete all necessary requirements and field work before applying to become an independent clinical social worker
- Start your career as a licensed social worker in Kansas
To learn about the specific requirements for becoming a licensed social worker in Kansas, see the section below.
Social work license requirements in Kansas
If you are planning to begin your social work career in Kansas, there are three different kinds of licenses you can choose to pursue. These include: Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW).
For more information on how to receive one of these licenses, keep reading.
Licensed Bachelor Social Worker
- A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program is required
- Apply for licensure and get approved by the Kansas Board. Include the following with your application: three reputable references/supervisors and a copy of your school transcripts. The cost to apply is $100
- Take and pass a 170-question exam provided by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) at the Bachelor’s level. There is a $230 testing fee
- As a LBSW, you can begin to practice non-clinical, entry-level social work under supervision by a LSCSW
Licensed Master Social Worker
- For this license, you must have a MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program in order to apply
- Send your application to the Kansas Board. Be sure to include three references and school transcripts. The cost to apply is $100
- Pass the 170-question ASWB exam at the Master’s level. The testing fee is $230
- Begin practicing both clinical and non-clinical social work under appropriate supervision
Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker
- To apply for this license, you must have a MSW or DSW from a CSWE-accredited program. Along with this, you must first be holding a LMSW license before receiving your LSCSW license
- Before applying, you need to have completed 4,000 hours of supervised social work under your LMSW license. However, before earning these hours, you will need to fill out a training plan and get approved by the Kansas Board. Hours must then be completed over the course of two to six years.
- Apply and include three references (must include current and former supervisors), school transcripts and work experience. The application cost is $100
- Pass the ASWB exam at the Clinical level. The cost is $260
- Start working independently doing advanced clinical social work
Social work jobs and social worker salary in Kansas
In Kansas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average salary for social workers is $48,343. However, salaries range from $43,420 to $64,950 depending on job type, experience and what kind of license you hold.
Below, you can see the numbers of people employed in each social work group as well as the specific annual mean wages for social workers within the state, according to the BLS:
Child, family, and school social workers — There are 3,030 child, family, and school social workers making an average of $47,850 a year.
Healthcare social workers — Kansas is home for 1,500 healthcare social workers who make an average salary of $59,940 a year.
Mental health and substance abuse social workers — This group numbers 1,290 in Kansas and they make an average salary of $47,120.
Social workers, all other — This group includes social workers in private practice, administration, and other kinds of roles that do not neatly fit into the other categories. The average salary for this group is $71,820.
If you are interested in becoming a social worker in Kansas, our job guide can help you learn more about social work jobs and which career path will be the best fit for you.
Find the latest social work career advice from people working directly in the field in Kansas. Learn more about all the different pathways and opportunities available in social work today.
- What are the most important factors for students deciding on an MSW program in Kansas?
- What are the challenges or opportunities for becoming a social worker in Kansas?
- What does the future of social work look like in Kansas?
- What types of jobs are MSW graduates finding in Kansas?
- Do you have advice or guidance for MSW graduates pursuing a license in Kansas?