This guide is all about social work programs in Wyoming. In it, you will find information pertaining to how you can achieve a master’s in social work degree and obtain a license as a social worker in Wyoming.
CONTENTS OF THIS GUIDE
- Social Work in Wyoming
- MSW programs
- How to become a social worker
- License requirements
- Job and salary
- Job outlook
- School listings
Social work in Wyoming
Despite being among the top 10 largest territories in the United States for its size, Wyoming holds the title for least inhabited state with a population reaching just over 577,000 people. But even with such a low population, social workers continue to stay in high demand as suicide and mental illnesses remain prevalent within the state.
Currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 1,280 social workers are employed in Wyoming. This said, there are many opportunities for social workers in Wyoming.
Some examples of popular career options within the state can be found below:
- Child, family and school social workers provide support for both children and their guardians. They deal with the well-being of children and their families with a background of abuse or mental instability. Along with this, there is a focus on educational support.
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers are also needed in Wyoming to assist with rehabilitation programs and therapy for those suffering from addictions and mental illnesses.
- Healthcare social workers have the important job of helping people manage the stress of navigating through health issues while providing the support and resources needed in order to get them through the process.
- General social workers often provide support for many different groups to help them cope with difficult life situations and to improve their lives and well-being.
In order to become employed as a social worker, you must obtain a license or certificate from the Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. Throughout this guide, you will find relevant information and the requirements you will need to have before starting your career and becoming a licensed social worker in Wyoming.
MSW programs in Wyoming
To work independently or as a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a master’s degree in social work (MSW) is needed. A MSW is a specialized degree that is more professional in nature. Within the field, there are also more lucrative opportunities available for those holding this title.
To get an MSW requires a program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Currently, the University of Wyoming is the only school in Wyoming that has such a program. Its goal is to prepare students for advanced social work practices, with a focus on work in rural human service organizations. It is on-campus and is only available as a full-time program.
In the first year of the MSW program in Wyoming, it is known as the foundation year. This prepares students without a BSW for more advanced courses in the next year. For those already holding a BSW, they may apply early for Advanced Standing and shorten their program. Typically, it takes one to two years to earn an MSW.
Other basic requirements for receiving a MSW from University of Wyoming are as listed:
- Complete introductory courses for specialized program of choice
- Must participate in a social work field practicum. This means that “foundation students” will spend 900 hours in the practicum (for two years of schooling) while advanced standing students will complete 500 hours during their yearlong study.
- Complete a social work thesis or practice evaluation with a written and oral defense
A complete list of all social work courses from the University of Wyoming is available here.
Online MSW programs in Wyoming
Choosing to get an online degree is also a very viable option when trying to earn a MSW in Wyoming. With the University of Wyoming being the only CSWE-accredited in-state university, those living in Wyoming may be glad to hear that it is possible to earn their degree online through other schools in outside states.
Many students may also find that online classes can give them the freedom for a more flexible schedule and typically cost less than on campus programs.
To find the right fit for you, please refer to the school listings section below for both on campus and online degree programs.
How to become a social worker in Wyoming
For information on how to officially become a social worker in Wyoming, keep reading.
- Earning a bachelor’s in social work (BSW) is one of the first steps toward receiving the baseline title of “social worker.” Achieving this can be done on campus or online.
- To practice working independently as a LCSW, you must obtain a MSW which typically follows the completion of a BSW. With this, completing 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience is required in Wyoming.
- With a doctoral degree in social work, you can choose to either pursue a doctor of social work (DSW) or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). Someone with a DSW is more likely to go on to a management position while those with a PhD are more research concentrated.
- For each of the above, these titles must come from a CSWE-accredited university such as the University of Wyoming or other online programs. The equivalent to a field study is also needed along with all relevant social work courses related to practice and theory.
After receiving one of these titles, social workers in Wyoming need to start the licensing process with the state board.
Social work license requirements in Wyoming
In Wyoming, there are two types of social work licenses that are granted by the Mental Health Professionals Licensing Board including the certified social worker (CSW) and LCSW license. In order to apply, you must first be over the age of 18 and be a resident of the United States.
To receive a CSW license in Wyoming:
- Must have at least a BSW in social work from a CSWE-recognized program or university
- No felony convictions
- Submit three professional recommendations
- Pass a four-hour test given by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). In this state, the test may only be taken three times in order to pass.
To become an LCSW in Wyoming:
- No felony convictions
- Submit three professional recommendations
- Must have a MSW, DSW or PhD from a CSWE-recognized program or university
- Must have completed 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience with 1,200 of these hours being in direct contact with a client
- Must pass an advanced ASWB exam at a clinical level
Typically, receiving a license takes more than four years. For an CSW, after completing a BSW and passing the ASWB exam, it would typically take just under five years assuming four years of undergraduate studies. For a LCSW, an additional one to two years is added after earning a MSW. Once 3,000 hours of clinical work is finished and all requirements are fulfilled, a license will be mailed to you within a few weeks.
Social worker jobs and social worker salary in Wyoming
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the average salary for social workers in Wyoming is $52,273.
However, the BLS also shows that salaries range from $49,530 to $60,170 for in-state social workers. To break this down, here are the annual mean wages in Wyoming based on reports from the BLS:
- Child, family, and school social workers: There are 680 child, family, and school social workers in Wyoming. This group makes an average annual reported salary of $49,530.
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers: This group of social workers number 250 in the state of Wyoming. They make an average salary of $50,160 a year.
- Healthcare social workers: There are 210 healthcare social workers making an average salary of $60,170 a year.
- Social workers, all other: Approximately 140 social workers fall into the “all other” category in Wyoming. This can include researchers, administrators, and private practice social workers. The average annual salary for this group is $57,520.
One of the biggest factors that contributes to salary differences has to do with the degree held by a social worker. Someone with a MSW as opposed to a BSW will have more opportunities for higher earnings as they are typically able to work independently as a clinical social worker.
If you are interested in becoming a social worker in Wyoming, there is a growing need for more employment in this field. Learn more about social work jobs with our job guide to see if this career path could be the right fit for you.
Social work job outlook
Looking ahead, here is the projected outlook for the growth of social work jobs in Wyoming between 2018 and 2028 based on information reflected by the BLS:
- Child, Family, and School Social Workers: expected increase in jobs by 7.3 percent
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: expected increase in jobs by 17.8 percent
- Healthcare Social Workers: expected increase of jobs by 17 percent
- Social Workers, All Other: expected increase of jobs by 5.5 percent
For social workers with a MSW, the BLS projects an 11 percent increase in job opportunities between 2018-2028. That said, there is room for you if you want to pursue a career in social work in Wyoming.