Become a Social Worker in Minnesota

Table of Contents

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

Minnesota law recognizes four classes of social workers: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) 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

Minnesota LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker)

Minnesota LICSW Education Requirement: A graduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, or a similar accreditation body designated by the board; or a doctorate in social work from an accredited university

Minnesota LICSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: 200 hours of clinical supervision must be obtained in no less than 4,000 hours, and no more than 8,000 hours of post-graduate clinical social work practice authorized by law (of the 4,000 hours of clinical practice, 1,800 hours must be direct clinical client contact)

Fee: $45 application fee, $238.50 license fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: 360 clock hours in clinical knowledge areas. Criminal background check required. (background check fee: $32)

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including 2 hours in ethics and payment of a $238.50 renewal fee. LICSW licensees must document at least 24 of the 40 continuing education hours in clinical content.

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Minnesota LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker)

Minnesota LISW Education Requirement: A graduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, or a similar accreditation body designated by the board; or a doctorate in social work from an accredited university

Minnesota LISW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $45 application fee, $216 license fee, $260 ASWB examination fee ($32 criminal background check)

Additional Information: 100 hours of supervision for 4,000 hours of non-clinical practice; for LISWs engaged in clinical practice, the post-licensure practice requirement is the same as the field requirement for LICSWs. Criminal background check required.

Endorsement: Available through board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including 2 hours in ethics and payment of a $216 renewal fee.

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Minnesota LGSW (Licensed Graduate Social Worker)

Minnesota LGSW Education Requirement: A graduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work or a similar accreditation body designated by the board, or a doctorate in social work from an accredited university

Minnesota LGSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $45 application fee, $144 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee ($32 criminal background check)

Additional Information: After licensure, 100 hours of supervision for 4,000 hours of supervised practice; for LGSWs engaged in clinical practice, the post-licensure practice requirement is the same as the field requirement for LICSWs. Criminal background check required.

Endorsement: Available through board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including 2 hours in ethics and payment of a $144 renewal fee.

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Minnesota LSW (Licensed Social Worker)

Minnesota LSW Education Requirement: A baccalaureate degree in social work from a program accredited by CSWE, the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work or a similar accreditation body designated by the board; or a doctorate in social work from an accredited university

Minnesota LSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $45 application fee, $81 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee ($32 criminal background check)

Additional Information: 100 hours of post-licensure supervision and 4,000 supervised practice hours are required once licensure is awarded. Criminal background check required.

Endorsement: Available through board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including 2 hours in ethics and payment of an $81 renewal fee.

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

Minnesota Social Work Salary

Minnesota Social Work Salary
Minnesota Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $54,310
Healthcare Social Workers $58,530
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $51,860
All Other Social Workers $56,280
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 Minnesota is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 8/22/2018.

Minnesota Social Work Scholarships

Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program

Type: Loan Repayment

Amount: Up to $20,000 annually

Description: The purpose of Minnesota’s State Loan Repayment Program is to improve access to primary care by assisting underserved communities with recruitment and retention of primary care providers. The program provides funds for repayment of qualifying education loans in exchange for practicing full time in a nonprofit private or public site in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Primary care providers may receive up to $20,000 annually per year of practice.

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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.