Become a Social Worker in Montana

Montana has one of the country’s highest concentration of jobs for social workers (excluding those working in healthcare, mental health and substance abuse, and child, family and school specializations), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  

To become a social worker in Montana, you must first complete an approved Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program. Upon completion of an MSW program and meeting other licensure criteria established by the Montana Board of Behavioral Health, you may work in child, family, and school social work, healthcare social work, mental health and substance abuse social work, or other fields of social work. 

Learn more about how to become a social worker in Montana, Master of Social Work degree programs available in Montana, Montana social work licenses, and more below.

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

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.

  •  Minimum completion time: 16 months
  • Online classes taught by USC faculty 
  • Virtual field training to build skills and confidence

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.

  • Complete the Online Advanced-Standing MSW in as few as 12 months if you have a BSW; if you do not have a BSW, the Online MSW Program may be completed in as few as 27 months.
  • No GRE Required
  • Mental Health and Trauma or Health, Equity and Wellness concentrations

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.

  •  Traditional and advanced standing online MSW options are available.
  • There are four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy.
  • Pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time track.

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.

  • Prepares students to pursue licensure, including LCSW 
  • Full-time, part-time, and accelerated tracks 
  • Minimum completion time: 12 months

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. 

  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks
  • No GRE required
  • Concentrate your degree in integrated practice or clinical practice

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.

  • Address injustice from a strengths-based perspective
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Serve as a trusted resource for clients, no matter their personal background
  • Complete the MSW online program in as few as 12 months

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.

  • Concentrations: Direct Practice and Community, Administration, and Policy Practice
  • Complete at least 777-1,000 hours of agency-based field education
  • Earn your degree in as few as 12 months

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.

  • CSWE-accredited
  • No GRE requirement
  • Complete in as few as one and a half years

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Common Steps to Become a Montana Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in Montana, you must obtain a master’s degree in social work and a social work license. Montana offers one type of social work license. There may be additional requirements based on your goals, such as a background check and clinical supervision. Below are the steps to obtain licensure in Montana, summarized by the Montana Board of Behavioral Health

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

To become a licensed social worker in Montana, you will have to complete a master’s degree program in social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). You can pursue these degrees in Montana through full-time, part-time and online formats.

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

Montana has one level of social worker, according to the state’s licensing board:

licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). To be licensed, you must  have an accredited master’s in social work degree, pass the Association of Social Work Boards’ (ASWB) clinical exam, complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience and collect three letters of recommendation.

3. Get Licensed

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

Learn more about how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Montana

Social work degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) throughout the United States. In Montana, there are three 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 around one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions. There are two universities offering accredited BSW programs in Montana:

To obtain licensure in Montana, however, a minimum of a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is required. Some individuals advance their education and experience in social work by pursuing Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degrees.

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Montana

MSW programs in Montana 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 is one fully accredited MSW program in Montana.

Online MSW Programs in Montana

While there is one online  MSW program in Montana that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, students in Montana can still pursue online MSW programs offered by schools in other states.

Learn more about advanced standing online Master of Social Work programs, online MSW programs for aspiring clinical social workers, and online master’s in social work programs

Social Work Licenses in Montana

In Montana, social work licenses are issued by the Montana Board of Behavioral Health. The board issues only one type of license.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Montana

  • Education Requirement: Master of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience
  • Exams: ASWB clinical exam
  • License Renewal: Every year, with 20 hours of continuing education

Learn more about online clinical MSW programs.

Social Work Salaries for Montana

Montana Social Work CareersNumber of Social Workers in MontanaAnnual Mean Social Work Salary
Child, Family, and School Social Workers
1,010
$41,980
Healthcare Social Workers
550
$55,830
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
310
$40,910
Social Workers, All Other
620
$50,190

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

Learn more about social work salaries.

Montana 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 LCSW in Montana: 

Learn more about social work scholarships.

Montana Social Work Organizations

There are countless local and national associations and organizations that promote, develop and protect the practice of social work and social workers. Better social work means better solutions for welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, health care reform, and other issues affecting disadvantaged people in Montana and beyond.

Montana Social Work FAQs

Does Montana have social work reciprocity?

No, Montana does not have social work reciprocity, which would allow social workers to apply for a license in Montana based on their active license in another state. As per the Montana Board of Behavioral Health, social workers with licenses from other states must apply for licensure the same as all other social workers.

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

Social work continuing education requirements in Montana are 20 hours for licensed clinical social workers, according to the Montana Board of Behavioral Health.

Learn more about continuing education for social workers.

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

The best way to look up your social work license in Montana is via the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Users must enter their licensing board, license type, license number, first name, last name, business name, city, state, zip code and country.

Last updated May 2022.