Become a Social Worker in Illinois

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Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of social work regulations, for the most up-to-date information on becoming a social worker in Illinois, contact the Illinois Social Work Licensing Board.

Illinois law recognizes two classes of social workers: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Social Worker (LSW). The requirements are as follows:

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Illinois LCSW

Illinois LCSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-approved program or doctorate in social work from an accredited program approved by the US Department of Education

Illinois LCSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: 3,000 hours (for those holding the MSW) or 2,000 hours (for those holding a doctorate) of satisfactory supervised clinical professional experience must be verified. All hours must have been obtained subsequent to securing the MSW or. Hours can be obtained either by full-time experience with a minimum of 30 hours per week but not more than 40 hours per week and for part-time experience with a minimum of 15 hours per week but not more than 29 hours per week. Group supervision can be administered to groups of no more than five supervisees.

Fee: $50 application fee ($200 for licensure by endorsement), $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available through board approval; applicant must verify work history, past examinations, education and current licensure in another jurisdiction and pay a $200 application fee.

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years in each odd-numbered year. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education, verification by a sponsor and payment of a $500 renewal fee. 

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Illinois LSW

Illinois LSW Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-approved program

Illinois LSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: Applicants with a BSW must complete 3 years of supervised professional experience subsequent to obtaining the BSW.

Fee: $50 application fee ($200 for licensure by endorsement), $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available through board approval; applicant must verify work history, past examinations, education and current licensure in another jurisdiction and pay a $200 application fee

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years in each odd-numbered year. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education, verification by a sponsor and payment of a $500 renewal fee. 

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In order to become a licensed social work practitioner in Illinois, you will need to complete prerequisite coursework, examination requirements, and, in some cases, supervised work requirements. Also, certain levels of social work in Illinois can only be reached after earning a Master of Social Work. We are committed to keeping updated information on Illinois social work licensure policies available to you.

Disclaimer: There may be additional methods of certification that have not been covered here. Please contact your state social work licensing department for more information. Last updated: 08/28/2018.

Illinois Social Work Salary

Illinois Social Work Salary
Illinois Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $58,140
Healthcare Social Workers $53,600
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $51,290
All Other Social Workers $65,890
Salary Increase from BSW to MSW +$9,000

Disclaimer: Social Worker Salary information is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information about social worker salaries in Illinois is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/27/2018.

Illinois Social Work Scholarships

Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Type:
 Loan Forgiveness

Amount: Up to $8,000 for graduate loans

Description: The Child Welfare Student Loan Forgiveness Program was created to attract capable and promising students to the child welfare profession, increase employment and retention of qualified individuals who are working toward receiving a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of social work or human services, and to provide opportunities to someone making a career change to enter the child welfare profession.

Additional scholarship information is available on the national page of social work scholarships.

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Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Licensure information including requirements, renewals, and fees were retrieved as of August 2018. Information may have changed since, check with the state’s board of licensing for more information.