This guide is all about social work in New Hampshire. It focuses on getting a master’s of social work (MSW) degree and the state requirements to become licensed as a social workers.
CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE
- MSW programs in New Hampshire
- Online MSW programs in New Hampshire
- How to become a social worker in New Hampshire
- Social work license requirements in New Hampshire
- Social worker jobs and social worker salary in New Hampshire
Social work in New Hampshire
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are 1,760 social workers in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, one of the societal problems that these social workers must contend with is the high rate of opioid addiction in the state. In 2018, New Hampshire had the most fentanyl overdose deaths, per capita than any other state in America.
Not a lot has improved in the last two years. A recent Washington Post article gave an in depth explanation of how opioids continue to have a negative effect on the residents of New Hampshire. Despite the problem being common knowledge it’s not being dealt with on a political level. That leaves it up to social workers to help addicts get into treatment, administer to families affected by drug addiction and fight for reform policy to keep drugs off the street.
Although most people associate social work with dealing one-on-one with a client, in fact some social workers also work with government officials to craft public policy that can lead to meaningful reform. Social workers fill a variety of roles which is one of the reasons that a career in social work can be so interesting and rewarding.
MSW programs in New Hampshire
As a small state with only about 1.4 million residents, New Hampshire currently only has one university teaching a MSW program. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) offers a CSWE-accredited MSW program. The MSW is taught in an advanced generalist curriculum, so that students are prepared for a wide range of roles in the field of social work. Students can choose to either study full time or part time. The Durham campus offers both the full time and part time program, while the Manchester campus only offers a weekend, part time program.
One of UNH’s most unique offerings is their dual degree, a master’s of social work in combination with a master of science in kinesiology. Only a select few universities across the United States have such a program. Students may also choose to specialize in a field like substance abuse, youth and family social work or disability social work.
Completing a degree requires 62 credit hours of study. There is also an internship requirement and students must accrue at least 1,240 hours of experience. New Hampshire residents can expect to pay $785 per credit hour while out of state tuition is $865 per credit hour. UNH offers several scholarships to students who qualify.
Online MSW programs in New Hampshire
In addition to their campus-based program the University of New Hampshire also offers an online MSW program. Similar to the campus program, the online program consists of 62 credit hours of study and takes 28 months to complete. There is also an advanced standing program which requires just 16 months to complete. Both programs take place 100 percent online so that students never have to visit campus.
According to UNH’s website, one of the reasons that students choose to take their program is that they can learn “from full-time faculty who are passionate about social justice and are experts in their fields of practice.” The program is designed to prepare students for a lifelong and rewarding career in the field of social work.
To learn more about the University of New Hampshire’s MSW program, as well as other MSW programs throughout the United States, please consult our online MSW degree page.
How to become a social worker in New Hampshire
Starting a career as a social worker in New Hampshire is easier than almost any other state in America. Anyone with a degree in social work can become a social worker in New Hampshire, it’s not necessary to apply for a license.
However, the one exception is clinical social work. Anyone who wants to engage in clinical social work must apply for a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) license. The following steps outline the path to becoming a clinical social worker in New Hampshire.
- Graduate with a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE accredited university
- Engage in supervised, clinical social work long enough to accumulate 3,000 hours of experience. In order for this supervised experience to be counted the social worker must first submit a “Supervision Agreement” to the Board of Mental Health
- Take and pass the clinical ASWB exam. There is a $260 fee to take the exam
- Fill out the LICSW license application and then submit it to the Board of Mental Health. The application fee for the license is $150
- As long as everything is in order the Board will grant the social worker their LICSW license. At this point a social worker may practice unsupervised, clinical social work
A majority of people who become social workers do so with a master’s degree. Across the United States a master’s degree is the gold standard in education and it allows the degree holder to get even the most advanced social work license. However, for those who want to work at the very highest levels a PhD in social work may be necessary.
With a PhD a social worker can manage a large community center or perform complex statistical analysis. Anyone interested in learning more about a PhD in social work can visit our doctorate degree page. The page also contains a list of the best PhD social work programs in the United States.
Social work license requirements in New Hampshire
Presented below is information on the single type of social work license that’s available in New Hampshire. For more information about social work licensing in the state, please visit the website for the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice.
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
New Hampshire is quite unique in that the state does not require that a social worker is licensed, so long as they only practice non-clinical social work. Most other states have three to four license types and require that all social workers be licensed.
The LICSW is only required if a social worker wishes to engage in clinical social work. In order to qualify for a LICSW the social worker must have graduated from a MSW or PhD program at a CSWE accredited university.
Furthermore, before a social worker can apply for a LICSW they must accrue 3,000 hours of supervised experience. They’ll also need to pass the clinical level ASWB exam and pay a $150 license processing fee.
The LICSW license must be renewed once every 24 months in New Hampshire. Before the license can be renewed the social worker must complete 40 hours of continuing education. There is a $270 fee to renew the license.
Social worker jobs and social worker salary in New Hampshire
According to BLS data the average salary for a social worker in New Hampshire is $58,866 per year. There are currently 1,760 social workers employed throughout the state.
Healthcare social workers have the highest salary, at $64,680 per year. Child, family and school social workers have the lowest average salary at $54,340 per year. Presented below is a complete overview of social work salaries and employment numbers in New Hampshire.
Child, family, and school social workers are the most numerous in the state. There are 720 social workers in this group earning an average salary of $54,340 per year.
Mental health and substance abuse social workers in New Hampshire number 470 and earn an average salary of $58,750 per year.
Healthcare social workers are the second-largest group of social workers in the state and earn an average salary of $64,680 per year.