Become a Social Worker in Connecticut

Start your social work career in the state known for the picturesque Long Island Sound, the origin of the lobster roll and a state-wide network of over 10,200 social workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, all areas of social work in Connecticut are expected to grow between 4.1% and 14.4% by 2030, depending on social work title. 

This guide for how to become a social worker in Connecticut explains educational requirements, how to get licensed, social work organizations to join and more. Once you complete the steps to become a social worker in Connecticut, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Constitution State.

Information below was retrieved May 2022 and is only meant to be a high-level overview. Requirements may change, always check with the state licensing board for complete and up to date information.

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Howard University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The online Master of Social Work program from Howard University School of Social Work prepares students for advanced direct or macro practice in culturally diverse communities. Two concentrations available: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice. No GRE. Complete in as few as 12 months.

University of Denver

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Denver’s Online MSW Program is delivered by its top-ranked school of social work and offers two programs. Students can earn their degree in as few as 12 months for the Online Advanced-Standing MSW or 27 months for the Online MSW.

Fordham University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Fordham’s skills-based, online MSW program integrates advanced relevant social work competencies, preparing students to serve individuals and communities while moving the profession forward. This program includes advanced standing and traditional MSW options.

Simmons University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Aspiring direct practitioners can earn their MSW online from Simmons University in as few as 12 months. GRE scores are not required, and the program offers full-time, part-time, accelerated, and advanced standing tracks.

University of Southern California

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

The MSW@USC is the online Master of Social Work from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. USC offers virtual and in-person field education, and students focus on adults, youth or social change.

Syracuse University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Syracuse University’s online Master of Social Work program does not require GRE scores to apply and is focused on preparing social workers who embrace technology as an important part of the future of the profession. Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks are available. 

Baylor University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Complete the Master of Social Work online program at Baylor University in as few as 12 months. Serve populations in Texas and around the world while ethically integrating faith and social work practice. No GRE required.

Case Western Reserve University

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Master of Social Work (MSW)

In as few as a year and a half, you can prepare for social work leadership by earning your Master of Social Work online from Case Western Reserve University’s school of social work.

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Common Steps to Become a Connecticut Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Connecticut, you must obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in social work to become a generalist. More advanced social work requires a license, depending on what career path you choose. Connecticut offers two types of social work licenses. There may also be additional requirements such as a background check and clinical supervision based on your goals. Below are the steps on how to obtain both licenses in Connecticut, which are summarized from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

1. Earn a CSWE-accredited social work degree

To become a licensed social worker in Connecticut, you will have to complete a BSW or Master of Social Work (MSW) program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). You can pursue these degrees in Connecticut through various formats, including full time, part time and online.

2. Fulfill your social work supervised experience requirement and pass your national/state exams

Connecticut has two levels of social workers, according to the state’s licensing board, with increasing requirements:

Licensed master social worker (LMSW): A person with an accredited master’s degree in social work that has passed the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) master’s exam. 

Licensed independent clinical social worker (LCSW): A person with an accredited master’s or doctorate degree in social work that has passed the ASWB clinical exam. Those looking to attain this license must have also earned 3,000 hours of supervised social work experience.

3. Get licensed

Once you’ve completed your hours and experience, you may apply to become a licensed social worker in Connecticut.

Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Connecticut

There are 14 accredited BSW and MSW degree programs in Connecticut. A bachelor’s degree in social work online or on campus can enable a student to enter an advanced standing program in an MSW program, where you may be able to complete an MSW in about one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions. There are seven universities offering accredited BSW programs in Connecticut:

In order to obtain higher-level licenses in Connecticut, however, a minimum of an MSW is required. Some individuals further their education and experience in social work by pursuing a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Connecticut

MSW programs in Connecticut teach students advanced social work theories and practical knowledge. MSW programs may include coursework on topics such as human development, social work policy and intervention. There are five fully accredited MSW programs in Connecticut.

Online MSW Programs in Connecticut

There is one online MSW program in Connecticut that is fully accredited. The online MSW programs offer the same curriculum and coursework traditional on-campus Connecticut programs do. Students are taught by the same professors and also complete fieldwork as part of the program.

Social Work Licenses in Connecticut

Connecticut has two types of licenses for social workers: Licensed master social worker (LMSW) and Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work with an associate or bachelor’s degree in social work, the Connecticut State Office requires an MSW or a DSW to practice more specialized social work. All information on LMSW and LCSW below was retrieved from the Connecticut State Department of Public Health.

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Connecticut

Becoming an LMSW allows you to practice master-level social work as an advanced generalist social worker.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctor of Social Work Degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB Master’s Exam in continuing education

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Connecticut

Becoming an LCSW allows you to practice clinical social work including psychotherapy and more without supervision after licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctor of Social Work Degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work
  • Exams: ASWB Clinical Exam
  • License Renewal: 15 hours of professional development in continuing education

Social Work Salaries in Connecticut

Connecticut Social Work CareerNumber of Social Workers in ConnecticutAverage Mean Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
5,420
$70,690
Healthcare Social Workers
1,800
$72,010
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
1,400
$71,650
Social Workers, All Other
470
$64,350

Information on the above social work salaries in Connecticut was retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Connecticut in May 2022.

Connecticut Social Work Scholarships

For those just starting on their path to social work, there are state-wide scholarships and programs in place to assist you. While each state has different offerings, below are some grants and loans to help you become an LMSW or LCSW in the state of Connecticut.

Connecticut Social Work Organizations

There are countless local and national associations and organizations with goals to promote, develop and protect the practice of social work and social workers. Better social work means better solutions for issues such as welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, health care reform and other issues affecting the disadvantaged populations in Connecticut and beyond.

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Connecticut Chapter: The mission of the NASW-CT Chapter is to advance, at the local and state level, the group’s priorities: advancing the quality of social work practice, promoting the strength, unity and recognition of the social work profession, advancing sound public policy and improving the effective functioning of NASW as a national organization.
  • Greater Hartford Alliance of Black Social Workers (GHABSW), Connecticut Chapter: The GHABSW is a locally-based, non-profit organization designed to carry out the mission of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW). The NABSW provides a structure and forum through which Black social workers can exchange ideas, offer services and develop programs geared toward the interests and needs of the Black community. . 
  • CT Alliance of School Social Workers: The goal of this chapter is to connect, empower and equip school social workers to provide evidence-informed services. Their vision is to place a school social worker in every school in Connecticut.

FAQs

Does Connecticut offer social work license reciprocity?

Connecticut allows out-of-state licensure. Applicants must have an equivalent social work license in another state, meet the educational prerequisites for the equivalent Connecticut social work license, provide their official ASWB exam scores and pay a fee on the State’s Department of Public Health site.

What are the social work continuing education (CE) requirements in Connecticut?

Social workers must renew their license every year. Additionally, social workers must complete 15 hours of continuing education with two hours in the mental health treatment of veterans and one hour must be in cultural topics. To renew, complete the online renewal form and pay fees.

What is the best way to look up my social work license in Connecticut?

Search for your social work license at the Connecticut Department of Public Health site search. The site’s options will allow you to search your name and find your license number, license status and details surrounding your professional information.

Last updated in May 2022.