This guide is all about social work programs in Vermont. In it, you will find information about how to get a master’s in social work degree and become a social worker in Vermont.
CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE
Social work in Vermont
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Vermont’s population currently stands at 626,299 people. Of this number, 2,570 people are employed as social workers.
If you are interested in starting your own career as a social worker in Vermont, it is possible to begin practicing entry-level social work without a license as long as you have a bachelor’s or associate degree in social work. However, if you want to become a clinical social worker or provide more professional services, you must become licensed through the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR).
Some common social work career options available in Vermont include:
- Child, Family and School Social Workers
- Healthcare Social Workers
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
- Social Workers, All Other
To learn more about becoming a social worker in Vermont, the guide below provides useful information and resources to help prepare you for a career in social work.
MSW programs in Vermont
Earning your master’s in social work degree (MSW) sets you apart from entry-level social work. With the specialized degree under your belt, it opens the door for more professional opportunities such as advanced generalist practice or clinical work.
Currently, the University of Vermont is the only on-campus school that offers a MSW program in the state. The school’s mission underlines a focus on teaching students how to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups in Vermont and to promote human rights and social justice.
To get your degree, it typically takes about two years. However, if you already have a BSW in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), you may be eligible to finish your degree a year sooner. To benefit from this opportunity, you must apply to receive “advanced standing” in order to dive into more advanced classes and skip the first year of foundational classes.
Here, you can find some of the primary requirements for receiving a MSW degree from the university:
- Foundational students must take 30 credits and one elective based on: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy, Social Work Practice, Field Practice and Research
- For advanced courses, 30 credits of concentration courses must be taken. This includes required courses related to the university’s focus on transformative social work such as: Transformative Social Work I and II, Advanced Social Work Research, Understandings and Applications of Critical Social Construction, Human Rights and The Strengths Perspective
- Both full-time and part-time students must also complete at least 900 hours of field work. This means that 15-20 hours a week will be spent in field practice for those enrolled in the university’s Field Education course.
Online MSW programs in Vermont
Completing an online program to earn a social work degree may prove to be a good option for some Vermont residents.
While the University of Vermont only offers on-campus courses, there are still many out-of-state online programs you can take in order to receive your MSW. One of the main benefits of taking online courses has to do with increased schedule flexibility.
While there are many colleges and universities with online MSW degree programs, make sure you do plenty of research before applying or until you find a program that fits all your needs. Another thing to remember is to only look for CSWE-accredited programs.
If you are seriously considering pursuing your degree online or want to learn more about how the process works, check out the most current list of online MSW programs here.
How to become a social worker in Vermont
To become a social worker in Vermont, keep these things in mind:
- In Vermont, there are many entry-level social work opportunities available for those without a license. This said, those who are unlicensed but still have an associate’s degree or BSW from a CSWE-accredited program are eligible to start working as an entry-level social worker in Vermont.
- To practice advanced or clinical social work in Vermont, you must obtain a MSW or doctoral degree in social work (DSW). Upon completion of either of these degrees, you can then apply to become a licensed social worker of the state.
- To receive your license, you must follow the in-state requirements for earning this title
Becoming a social worker in Vermont typically takes four to six years depending on which career path you take. It can take even longer for students pursuing a Ph.D. in social work to become licensed, expect longer schooling.
Social work license requirements in Vermont
In Vermont, you can choose from two different types of social work licenses. This means you can become a Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW) or a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).
To receive one of these licenses, you must have at least a MSW or DSW from a CSWE-accredited program.
Specifics for earning a LMSW in Vermont:
- Apply for a LMSW license through the OPR, which is the state licensing board. The cost to apply is $100.
- Pass a 170 multiple-choice question ASWB exam. The testing cost is $230.
- Receive a passing score of 70 percent or above on the Vermont jurisprudence exam.
Specifics for earning a LICSW in Vermont:
- You must first register as a non-licensed psychotherapist through the OPR. To apply, a $75 fee must be paid.
- Complete 3,000 hours of clinical work. Of these hours, 2,000 hours must be spent doing psychotherapy work. For every 30 hours of work, supervision is required. To get credit, all hours must be completed between 2 and 5 years.
- Apply for a LICSW license through the OPR. The cost to apply is $100.
- Pass the 170 question exam presented by the Association of Social Workers Board (ASWB). The testing cost is $260.
- Receive a passing score of 70 percent or above on the Vermont jurisprudence exam.
Remember, both licenses must be issued by the OPR.
Social worker salary in Vermont
For social workers in Vermont, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average annual salary is $51,28.
Within the state, salaries range from $45,260 to $67,470. Below, you can find the annual mean wages for social workers in Vermont according to each job type:
- Child, family, and school social workers: There are 1,180 child, family and school social workers employed in Vermont. The average salary is: $51,750.
- Healthcare social workers: Number 460 in the state and make an average of $56,570.
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers: Make an average of $45,260 in the state and there are 830 currently working in this field.
- All other social workers: This term applies to all of the other kinds of social workers not captured in the other groups. State data reports 100 social workers in this category making an average salary of $67,470.
On average, licensed social workers with a MSW or DSW degree earn more than those who are unlicensed or only hold a BSW. According to Salary.com, other contributing factors when it comes to differences in salary has to do with which city you choose to work for in Vermont as well as how many years of experience you have in the field.
Social work job outlook in Vermont
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are just under 3,000 people employed as social workers in Vermont. However, this number is expected to grow in upcoming years. In fact, by 2026 it is projected that the number of social workers employed in Vermont will rise up by 12.3 percent. Within this percentage, healthcare social workers are expected to experience the most employment growth.
Looking even further, information from Projections Central shows the projected outlook for social work jobs in Vermont by 2028 in the following job categories:
- Child, Family, and School Social Workers: expected increase in jobs by 4.5 percent
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: expected increase in jobs by 12.7 percent
- Healthcare Social Workers: expected increase of jobs by 13.2 percent
- Social Workers, All Other: expected increase of jobs by 11.1 percent
If you are interested in becoming a social worker in Vermont, you can learn more about social work jobs with our job guide to help find which area of work to specialize in.
Social work school listings in Vermont
Here you can find some examples of social work programs available in Vermont.