Become a Social Worker in Kansas

Start your social work career with the world’s best barbeque, pristine acres at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and a state-wide network of over 6,000 social workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In fact, all areas of social work in Kansas are expected to grow by 10.6% by 2026. 

This guide for how to become a social worker in Kansas 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 Kansas, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Sunflower 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 Kansas Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Kansas, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and a social work license, depending on what career path you choose. Kansas 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 social work licenses in Kansas, summarized from the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.

1. Earn a CSWE-accredited social work degree

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

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

Kansas has three levels of social worker, 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 specialist clinical social worker (LSCSW): A person with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in social work who has passed the ASWB clinical exam. Those looking to pursue this license must also complete at least 4,000 hours of supervised social work over two years.

3. Get licensed

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

Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Kansas

Social work degree programs in the United States are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In Kansas, CSWE has 12 accredited bachelor’s and master’s social work degree programs. 

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 eight universities offering accredited BSW programs in Kansas:

In order to obtain higher-level licenses in Kansas, 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 Kansas

MSW programs in Kansas 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 four fully accredited MSW programs in Kansas.

Online MSW Programs in Kansas

There are two online MSW programs in Kansas that are fully accredited. Online MSW programs offer the same curriculum and coursework traditional on-campus programs do. Students are taught by the same professors and also complete fieldwork as part of the program. You can explore online MSW programs outside of Kansas that are CSWE accredited if you would prefer distance learning.

Social Work Licenses in Kansas

Kansas has three types of licenses for social workers: licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW), licensed master social worker (LMSW) and licensed specialist clinical social worker (LSCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work with a bachelor’s degree, the Kansas Board requires an MSW or DSW to practice more specialized social work. All information on LBSW, LMSW and LSCSW below was retrieved from the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board.

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) in Kansas

Becoming an LBSW allows you to practice general, non-clinical social work in Kansas under the supervision of an LSCSW.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work Degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB Bachelor’s Exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Kansas

Becoming an LMSW allows you to practice clinical and non-clinical social work under supervision.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctor of Social Work Degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB Master’s Exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW) in Kansas

Becoming an LSCSW allows you to provide clients clinical services independently after licensure in Kansas.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctor of Social Work Degree
  • Field Requirements: 4,000 hours of supervised clinical social work
  • Exams: ASWB Clinical Exam
  • License Renewal: 40 hours of professional development in continuing education

Social Work Salaries in Kansas

Kansas Social Work CareerNumber of Social Workers in KansasAverage Mean Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
3,030
$47,850
Healthcare Social Workers
1,500
$59,940
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
1,290
$47,120
Social Workers, All Other
260
$71,820

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

Kansas 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 LBSW, LMSW or LSCSW in the state of Kansas.

Kansas 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 Kansas and beyond.

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Kansas Chapter: This chapter works to advance the quality of social work practice, improve the knowledge required for such practice and promote professional development to improve practice. The chapter advocates on behalf of the profession but also strives to ensure ethical practice in Iowa. 
  • Kansas School Social Worker Association (KSSWA): KSSWA is the state association supporting Kansas school social workers by advocating at the local, state and national levels. KSSWA brings a positive impact to the youth and families they serve. 
  • Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare, MO-KAN Chapter: The MO-KAN Chapter has a proud history of social work leadership in the Kansas City area. Membership consists of social workers across the healthcare spectrum who represent both formal and informal leadership roles.

FAQs

Does Kansas offer social work license reciprocity?

Kansas allows out-of-state licensure. Applicants must have an equivalent social work license in another state, meet the educational prerequisites for the equivalent Kansas Social Work license, provide their official ASWB exam scores and pay a fee on the State’s Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board site (PDF, 433 KB).

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

Social workers must renew their license every two years. Additionally, social workers must complete 40 hours of continuing education with six hours of training in safety awareness. LMSWs and LSCSWs must complete no less than six hours of training on mental disorders and one hour on cultural topics. To renew, complete the online renewal form (PDF, 375 KB) and pay the required fee.

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

Search for your social work license at the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board 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.