Become a Social Worker in Iowa

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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 Iowa, contact the Iowa Social Work Licensing Board. External link 

Iowa law recognizes three classes of social workers: Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW). 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

Iowa LISW

Iowa LISW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from a CSWE-accredited or approved college or university

Iowa LISW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: Two years (full-time equivalent) or 4,000 hours of post-master’s social work experience at the master’s level performing psychosocial assessment, diagnosis and treatment over a minimum two-year and maximum six-year period; at least 110 hours of supervision over a two-year period; no more than 60 Hours of group supervision with groups of no more than six supervisees.

Fee: $120 license fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. No continuing education is required for first renewal. Requirements for second and subsequent renewals are the successful completion of 27 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $144 renewal fee. 

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Iowa LMSW

Iowa LMSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW) from a CSWE-accredited or approved college or university

Iowa LMSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $120 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. No continuing education is required for first renewal. Requirements for second and subsequent renewals are the successful completion of 27 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $120 renewal fee. 

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Iowa LBSW

Iowa LBSW Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited or approved college or university

Iowa LBSW Exam Requirement: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $120 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. No continuing education is required for first renewal. Requirements for second and subsequent renewals are the successful completion of 27 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $72 renewal fee. 

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

Iowa Social Work Salary

Iowa Social Work Salary
Iowa Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $43,060
Healthcare Social Workers $47,490
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $45,750
All Other Social Workers $61,340
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 Iowa is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/27/2018.

Iowa Social Work Scholarships

Iowa PRIMECARRE Loan Repayment Program

Type:
 Loan Repayment

Amount: Provides up to $50,000 per year for full-time and $25,000 per year for part-time

Description:  The PRIMECARRE supports local efforts to recruit and retain qualified health care practitioners to provide primary care services in Iowa. Awardees are provided up to $50,000 during a required two-year practice commitment in a public or non-profit clinic located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

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.