This guide is all about social work programs in South Dakota. In it, you will find information to help you obtain a master’s in social work degree and become a social worker in South Dakota.
CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE
- Social work in South Dakota
- MSW programs
- Online MSW programs
- How to become a social worker
- License requirements
- Social worker job and salary
- School listings
Social work in South Dakota
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Dakota’s current population is around 882,235 people. Of this number, 2,720 are employed as social workers.
Here are some common social work careers in South Dakota:
- Child, family and school social workers
- Healthcare social workers
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers
In fact, more than half of South Dakota’s social workers are employed in the child, family and school job category. Within the state, there are multiple Child Advocacy Centers of South Dakota (CACSD) that help serve children and their families who are suffering from abuse. If this kind of social work interests you, becoming a social worker in South Dakota may be for you.
MSW programs in South Dakota
To practice more advanced or clinical social work in South Dakota, earning a master’s in social work (MSW) degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is required.
At this time, the University of South Dakota is the state’s primary school that has an on-campus CSWE-accredited MSW program. This program focuses on preparing its students for advanced generalist social work specifically targeting diverse groups.
Here, you can find the University of South Dakota’s basic degree requirements/curriculum for earning a MSW:
- For those without a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), they must complete two-years or 60 credit hours of both foundational and advanced coursework. Specific course details can be found here.
- For those already holding a BSW degree from a CSWE-accredited program, they may skip the foundational year of classes and move on to the advanced-standing curriculum. Instead of two-years, students enrolled with advanced-standing only need to complete 36 credit hours. Details for these courses can be found here.
- Supervised field experience is also required. For each semester, at least 250 hours of field work must be completed.
After receiving your MSW degree, you will then be eligible to pursue a license to begin working independently as a clinical social worker in South Dakota.
Online MSW programs in South Dakota
For the students living in South Dakota who wish to fulfill their MSW degree requirements online, they may do so as long as the program is CSWE-accredited.
Getting a degree online also comes with its own benefits. One of the greatest of these benefits is that online programs can provide students with greater schedule flexibility.
To help assist you in your search for one of these programs, the CSWE provides a list of acceptable online programs to choose from. However, before choosing one of these programs, make sure you have done plenty of research in order to determine which program best fits your educational needs.
Additionally, to learn more about earning your MSW online, check out our guide for more detailed information regarding online programs.
How to become a social worker in South Dakota
To become a social worker in South Dakota, here are some things to remember:
- Students must earn one or more of the following degrees to start working toward becoming a social worker in South Dakota: an associate’s degree related to human services, bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), MSW, or doctor of social work degree (either a doctoral in social work, DSW, or a PhD.
- To become a licensed social worker within the state, you must have earned an associate’s degree or higher.
- Choose to pursue one of the four social work licenses offered in South Dakota. Next, complete an application and fulfill all necessary requirements.
- Upon approval by the South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners, start working as a licensed social worker.
Social work license requirements in South Dakota
In South Dakota, there are four different types of social work licenses. These include: Social Worker (SW), Social Work Associate (SWA), Certified Social Worker (CSW) and Certified Social Worker in Private, Independent Practice (CSW-PIP). In this state, practicing as an independent clinical social worker requires no less than a CSW-PIP license.
Getting Your Social Work Associate (SWA) license:
- First, you must hold a valid associate’s degree in a field related to human services
- Along with an application to the Board of Social Work Examiners (BSWE), you must include a cover letter, your transcripts and three reputable references. The application fee is $90.
- Pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam at the associate level. The testing fee is $230.
- Receive your license and begin practicing as a social worker. With this license, four or more of your hours must be supervised every month.
Getting Your Social Worker (SW) license:
- To apply, you must have at least a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school or program
- Send your application to the BSWE. Include the following: a cover letter, three references and your school transcript. The overall cost to apply is $130.
- Pass the ASWB exam at the bachelor’s level. The testing cost is $230.
- Receive your license and start working as an entry-level social worker.
Getting Your Certified Social Worker (CSW) license:
- You must first have a MSW or DSW from a CSWE-accredited school to apply for this license.
- Along with your application, send the following to the BSWE: cover letter, school transcripts and three references. A $170 fee is also attached.
- Pass the ASWB Master’s exam. To take the test, there is a $230 fee.
- After receiving licensure approval from the Board, you may begin working as a non-clinical social worker.
Getting Your Certified Social Worker in Private, Independent Practice (CSW-PIP) license:
- This license may only be acquired once you have become a licensed CSW.
- The equivalent of two full years of supervised field experience as a CSW is required. As hours are completed, supervisors must submit periodic evaluations to the BSWE.
- Send your application to the BSWE. The fee to apply is set at $210.
- Pass the relevant ASWB exam for advanced social work placement. The testing cost is $260.
- Start practicing privately as a clinical social worker in South Dakota.
Social worker jobs and social worker salary in South Dakota
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average salary for social workers in South Dakota is $42,213. Depending on the job category, salaries range from $39,900 to $67,700.
The projected outlook for the growth of social work jobs in South Dakota by 2028 can be found using data from Projections Central.
To see the annual mean wages for each specific job category in South Dakota, view the following:
Child, family, and school social workers: There are 1,720 child, family, and school social workers employed in the state and they make an average annual salary of $40,660. Jobs in this category are expected to increase by 5.4 percent in the coming years.
Healthcare social workers: In South Dakota, 530 social workers are employed in the healthcare sector. They make an average of $44,060 a year. This category is expected to grow by 10.3 percent.
Mental health and substance abuse social workers: Number 370 in South Dakota, with an average annual salary of $39,900. This category is expected to grow by 9.4 percent.
Social workers, all other: There are 670 social workers working in the “all other” category. This includes social workers in private practice. The average annual salary for this group is $67,700 a year.
The employment data outlined above is according to the BLS, which shows the number of social workers under employment in South Dakota based on each job category.
To work as a higher paid social worker, having a MSW or above is typically required. Those with higher degrees are more likely to receive licenses that will allow them to practice privately as a certified clinical social worker.
More information about social work careers can be found in our social work job guide.
Social work job outlook in South Dakota
The projected outlook for the growth of social work jobs in South Dakota by 2028 can be found using data from Projections Central:
- Child, family, and school social workers are expected increase in jobs by 5.4 percent
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers are expected increase in jobs by 9.4 percent
- Healthcare Social Workers: expected increase of jobs by 10.3 percent
- Social Workers, All Other: no data for expected increase of jobs
Based on this information, healthcare social workers are expected to experience the most job growth in South Dakota. However, for those interested in becoming a different kind of social worker apart from working in healthcare, there are still plenty of opportunities and room for growth in the remaining categories.
Social work school listings in South Dakota
Here, you can find examples of social work programs available in South Dakota.