Become a Social Worker in Idaho

Start your social work career alongside the King Mountain Natural Arch that features an uphill path showcasing stunning rock formations and a statewide network of over 2,600 social workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, all areas of social work in Idaho are expected to grow by 10% by 2030. 

This guide for how to become a social worker in Idaho covers educational requirements, how to get licensed, social work organizations to join and more. Once you complete the steps to become a social worker in Idaho, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Gem 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 an Idaho Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Idaho, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and a social work license depending on what career path you choose. Idaho offers three 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 each type of license in Idaho; this information was summarized from the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners.

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

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

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

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

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

Licensed master social worker (LMSW): A person with an accredited master’s degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s exam.

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

3. Get Licensed

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

Learn more about how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Idaho

There are eight accredited BSW and MSW degree programs in Idaho. A bachelor’s degree in social work online or on-campus can allow you to enter an advanced standing MSW program that you can often complete in about one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions. There are five universities offering accredited BSW programs in Idaho:

In order to obtain higher level licenses in Idaho, 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 Idaho

MSW programs in Idaho 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 three fully accredited MSW programs in Idaho.

Online MSW Programs in Idaho

There are three online MSW programs in Idaho that are fully accredited. This online MSW program offers the same curriculum and coursework that traditional on-campus Idaho programs do. Students are taught by the same professors who teach on campus, and they complete fieldwork as part of the program.

Social Work Licenses in Idaho 

Idaho has three types of licenses for social workers: licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work with a bachelor’s degree in social work, the Idaho Board requires an MSW or DSW to practice more specialized social work. All information below on LBSW, LMSW and LCSW credentials was retrieved from the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners.

Licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW) in Idaho

Becoming an LBSW allows you to practice general, non-clinical services including assessment, advocacy, counseling, case management and more after licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB bachelor’s exam
  • License Renewal: 20 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed master social worker (LMSW) in Idaho

Becoming an LMSW allows you to practice advanced, non-clinical social work independently after licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB master’s exam
  • License Renewal: 20 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Idaho

Becoming an LCSW allows you to practice advanced, non-clinical social work independently after full licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 hours of supervised social work
  • Exams: ASWB clinical exam
  • License Renewal: 20 hours of professional development in continuing education

Social Work Salaries in Idaho

Idaho Social Work CareersNumber of Social Workers in IdahoAnnual Mean Social Work Salary
Child, family and school social workers
960
$47,560
Healthcare social workers
660
$63,990
Mental health and substance abuse social workers
990
$44,470

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

Idaho Social Work Scholarships 

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

Idaho Social Worker 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 welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, healthcare reform and other issues affecting the disadvantaged populations in Idaho and beyond.

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Idaho Chapter: The Idaho Chapter provides leadership to promote the social work profession, exemplify and support ethical and knowledgeable practice, and positively affect social justice for all. It exists as a powerful and dynamic force for social change by supporting and developing the profession of social work in all Idaho communities.
  • Idaho Society for Clinical Social Work (ISCSW): ISCSW is a broad-based, active, statewide group that comes together to offer networking, mutual support and learning opportunities that are encouraging, fun, inspirational and rewarding. It works to enhance the well-being of vulnerable populations and the professional social workers who serve them.
  • School Social Work Association of Idaho (SSWAI): The SSWAI promotes the profession of school social work in Idaho. They strive to provide the best possible professional development, advocacy and resources to help school social workers do their jobs. 

Idaho Social Work FAQ

Does Idaho offer social work license reciprocity?

Idaho allows out-of-state licensure by credentials. Applicants must have an equivalent social work license in another state, meet the educational prerequisites for the equivalent Idaho social work license, provide their official ASWB exam scores and pay a fee on the state’s Board of Social Work Examiners site.

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

Social workers must renew their license every year. Additionally, social workers must complete 20 hours of continuing education, including one hour in professional ethics. To renew, complete the online renewal form and pay fees.

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

Search for your social work license through Idaho’s Board of Social Work Examiners 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 May 2022.