Become a Social Worker in Nebraska

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social workers in Nebraska can expect to earn an average of $62,480 each year, but their work also has the priceless reward of helping people cope with challenges like poverty, substance abuse and domestic violence. Social workers in Nebraska can work in child, family and school social work, healthcare social work, mental health and substance abuse social work, or other fields of social work.

This guide for how to become a social worker in Nebraska explains educational requirements, certification and requirements to practice social work in the state, social work organizations to join and more. Once you complete the steps to become a social worker in Nebraska, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others in the Cornhusker State.

Information below was retrieved July 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 Nebraska Social Worker

Practicing social work in Nebraska and identifying as a licensed social worker requires becoming licensed as a mental health practitioner first then pursing certification as a social worker. There are two titles that can then be used: licensed clinical social worker and licensed independent clinical social worker. To pursue licensure as a mental health practitioner (LMHP) or independent mental health practitioner (LIMHP), a master’s degree is required as well as some supervised experience in the field of mental health practice. 

According to Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, anyone may provide social work services without certification or licensure, but to be able to represent yourself as a social worker in Nebraska, you must pursue licensure and certification.

1. Earn a CSWE-accredited social work degree

To identify as a licensed social worker in Nebraska, you will have to complete a master’s or doctoral degree program in social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in order to apply for licensure as a mental health practitioner You can pursue these degrees in Nebraska through various formats, including full time, part time and online.

2. Complete social work supervised experience and pass a national exam

Nebraska has two levels of social worker identification, according to the state’s licensing board::

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker: Complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience under a qualified physician, a licensed clinical psychologist, or a certified master social worker, certified professional counselor, or marriage and family therapist qualified for certification, with at least 1,500 in direct contact with clients where mental health services are provided to obtain your mental health practitioner (LMHP) license and pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) clinical examination.
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker: Complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience as a LMHP under a licensed physician, a licensed psychologist, or a licensed independent mental health practitioner with 1,500 hours working with clients diagnosed with a major mental illness to obtain your licensed independent mental health practitioner (LIMHP) and pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) clinical examination.

After obtaining either the LMHP or LIMHP license, you can pursue a certification as a master social worker to then be recognized as a LCSW or LICSW.

3. Get licensed

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

Learn more about how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Nebraska

Across the United States, social work degree programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). In Nebraska, there are seven 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 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 six universities offering accredited BSW programs in Nebraska:

In order to obtain higher level licenses in Nebraska, however, a minimum of a Master of Social Work (MSW) 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 Nebraska

MSW programs in Nebraska 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 Nebraska.

Online MSW Programs in Nebraska

There is at least one online MSW program in Nebraska at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The program offers full time, part time, and advanced standing options.

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 Salaries for Nebraska

Nebraska Social Work CareersNumber of Social Workers in NebraskaAnnual Mean Social Work Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
2,940
$43,730
Healthcare Social Workers
850
$53,840
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
1,040
$36,150
Social Workers, All Other
230
$62,480
Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
150
$76,280

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

Learn more about social work salaries.

Nebraska Social Work Scholarships

Nebraska social work scholarships are offered both state-wide and locally. They include: 

Learn more about social work scholarships.

Nebraska Social Work Organizations

There are a variety of local social work organizations in Nebraska, including:

FAQs

Does Nebraska have social work reciprocity?

Yes, Nebraska does have licensure by reciprocity, which allows social workers to apply for a license in Nebraska based on their active license in another state, as per the Nebraska Office of Behavioral Health and Consumer Services.

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

The social work continuing education (CE) requirements in Nebraska are 32 hours of CE per two-year renewal period, according to the Nebraska Office of Behavioral Health and Consumer Services.

Learn more about continuing education for social workers.

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

Look up your social work license in Nebraska via the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Users must enter their first name, last name, license number, license status, profession, license type, city, county and zip code.

Last updated July 2022.