Become a Social Worker in Indiana

Known for its Lake Michigan coastline and Dunes National Park, Indiana is a state with beautiful scenery. It is also home to around 14,000 social workers making an average salary of $53,240 a year. Jobs in social work in Indiana are also expected to grow by 16.6% by 2026. 

This guide for how to become a social worker in Indiana 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 Indiana, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Hoosier 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 16 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. The Advanced Standing track can be completed in as little as 1 year. 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 Indiana Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Indiana, you must obtain a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree and a social work license, depending on what career path you choose. Education, field experience and licensure can help you achieve your social worker career goals. There may be additional requirements such as a background check and clinical supervision. Below are the steps on how to become a licensed social worker in Indiana, outlined from Indiana State Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

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

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

Indiana 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. LBSWs can provide basic non-clinical social-work services.

Licensed social worker (LSW): A person with an accredited master’s degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s exam. LSWs can provide social-work services under supervision.

Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW): Someone with an accredited master’s or doctorate in social work who has passed the ASWB clinical exam. Those pursuing this licensure are also required to complete 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work. LCSWs in Indiana may provide clinical social services independent of supervision.

3. Get Licensed

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

Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Indiana

There are 20 CSWE-accredited BSW and MSW programs in Indiana. A bachelor’s degree in social work 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, and is the minimum requirement for licensure as a LBSW in Indiana. 

To become an LSW or LCSW, however, a minimum of an MSW degree is required. Some individuals further their education and experience in social work by pursuing Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degrees.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Indiana

MSW programs in Indiana 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. The following are some of the CSWE-accredited MSW programs in Indiana:

Online MSW Programs in Indiana

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

Learn more about MSW Programs:

Social Work Licenses in Indiana

Indiana has three types of licenses for social workers: licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW), licensed social worker (LSW), and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work with a BSW, the Indiana Board requires an MSW or DSW to practice more specialized social work. All information on LBSW, LSW, and LCSW below was retrieved from the Indiana State Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) in Indiana

Becoming an LBSW means that you’ll be able to practice bachelor’s-level, non-clinical social work under supervision.

  • 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 Social Worker (LSW) in Indiana

Becoming an LSW allows you to practice more advanced social work and in a non-clinical environment.

  • Education Requirement: Master 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 Indiana

Becoming an LCSW allows you to provide clinical and non-clinical services independently after licensure.

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

Social Work Salaries in Indiana

Indiana Social Work CareerNumber of Social Workers in IndianaAverage Mean Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
7,660
$45,520
Healthcare Social Workers
5,070
$56,460
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
4,030
$49,460
Social Workers, All Other
1,150
$70,000

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

Indiana Social Work Scholarships

For those just starting on their path to social work, there are statewide scholarships and programs to assist you. While each state has different offerings, below are some grants and loans to help you become an LSW, LCSW or SWP in Indiana.

Indiana 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 Indiana and beyond.

FAQs

Does Indiana offer social work license reciprocity?

Indiana offers license reciprocity with other states. To apply for reciprocity, you must hold an equivalent social work license in another state and verify your license is in good standing. You’ll need to provide proof of your ASWB exam scores and submit an application to the State’s Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board.

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

Social workers must renew their license every two years. Renewal means completing 20 hours of continuing education per year, with 10 hours in Category I activities (courses, workshops, seminars) and 10 hours of Category II (conferences, journals, etc.) Find Category I and II events at the NASW Indiana chapter website.

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

Search for your social work license at the Indiana Licensing Enterprise Portal. The site’s options will allow you to search your name and find your license number, license status, and details of your professional information.

Last updated in May 2022.