Become a Social Worker in Nevada

Start your social work career with the glitz of Las Vegas, the trails and wildlife of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and a statewide network of over 5,900 social workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nevada is also one of the top paying states for all other social workers (excluding those in healthcare, mental health and substance abuse and in child, family and school specializations). 

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

Before becoming a social worker in Nevada, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and a social work license depending on what career path you choose. Nevada offers four types of social work licenses, and there may be additional requirements such as a background check and clinical supervision based on your goals. Below are the steps on how to obtain each type of license in Nevada, which was summarized from the Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers.

1. Earn a CSWE-accredited social work degree

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

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

Nevada has three levels of social workers, according to the state’s licensing board, with increasing requirements:

Licensed social worker (LSW): A person with an accredited bachelor’s degree in social work who has passed the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) bachelor’s exam. Generally, LSWs in Nevada can provide basic non-clinical social work services.

Licensed independent social worker (LISW): A person with an accredited master’s degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s and advanced generalist exams. Those looking to attain this license must have also earned 3,000 hours of supervised social work experience.

Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW): A person with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s and clinical exams. Those looking to attain this license must have also earned 3,000 hours of supervised social work experience

3. Get licensed

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

Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Nevada

There are four accredited BSW and MSW degree programs in Nevada. A bachelor’s degree in social work online or on-campus will allow you to enter an advanced standing MSW program, which can be completed in about one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions. There are two universities offering CSWE-accredited BSW programs in Nevada:

In order to obtain higher level licenses in Nevada, 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 Nevada

MSW programs in Nevada 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 two fully accredited MSW programs in Nevada.

Online MSW Programs in Nevada

There is one online MSW program in Nevada that is fully accredited. The online MSW program offers the same curriculum and coursework that traditional on-campus Nevada programs do. Students are taught by the same professors and complete fieldwork as part of the program.

Social Work Licenses in Nevada

Nevada has four types of licenses for social workers: Licensed Social Worker (LSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). While you may practice entry-level social work under the title of “social worker” with a bachelor’s degree, the Nevada Board requires an MSW or DSW to practice more specialized social work. All information below on LSW, LMSW, LISW and LCSW credentials was retrieved from the Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers.

Licensed Social Worker (LSW) in Nevada

Becoming an LSW allows you to practice general, non-clinical social work as part of an agency or organization.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB bachelor’s exam
  • License Renewal: 30 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in Nevada

Becoming an LISW allows you to practice more advanced non-clinical social work and practice independently.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 of supervised non-clinical social work
  • Exams: ASWB master’s exam and advanced generalist exam
  • License Renewal: 30 hours of professional development in continuing education

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Nevada

Becoming an LCSW allows you to practice clinical and non-clinical social work services independently after licensure.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 of supervised clinical social work
  • Exams: ASWB master’s exam and clinical exam
  • License Renewal: 30 hours of professional development in continuing education

Social Work Salaries in Nevada

Nevada Social Work CareerNumber of Social Workers in NevadaAverage Mean Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
3,480
$57,670
Healthcare Social Workers
1,390
$65,530
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
700
$59,990
Social Workers, All Other
340
$78,120

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

Nevada Social Work Scholarships

There are statewide scholarships and programs in place to assist those just starting on their path to social work. While each state has different offerings, below are some grants and loans to help you become an LSW, LMSW, LISW or LCSW in the state of Nevada.

Nevada 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 welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, healthcare reform and other issues affecting the disadvantaged populations in Nevada and beyond.

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Nevada Chapter: The NASW Nevada Chapter keeps members on top of up-to-the-minute news and information regarding their professional development, from changes in government regulations and breakthrough treatments to innovative resources.
  • Social Work Associated Graduates: Headquartered at the University of Nevada, Reno, SWAG is a student-led club that partners with agencies in the community to help those in need.
  • The Nevada Counseling Association: The goal of this association is to enhance quality of life by promoting the development of professional mental health providers and to use the practice of counseling to provide effective interventions that meet the needs of the community that it serves. It also seeks to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.

FAQs

Does Nevada offer social work license reciprocity?

Nevada allows licensure by endorsement. Out-of-state applicants must have an equivalent social work license in another state, meet the educational prerequisites for the equivalent Nevada Social Work license, provide their official ASWB exam scores and pay an application fee on the Nevada Board of Social Work of Examiners for Social Workers site.

What are the social work continuing education requirements in Nevada?

Social workers must renew their license every year. Additionally, LSW and LMSW licensees must earn 30 hours of continuing education including 10 hours specific to their field of practice. LISWs and LCSWs must earn 36 hours of continuing education including 12 hours specific to their field of practice. All must include two hours in suicide prevention and four hours in social work ethics. To renew, complete the online renewal form and pay the associated fee.

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

Search for your social work license at the Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers 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.