Become a Social Worker in North Dakota

The decision to become a social worker in North Dakota can be financially rewarding and personally gratifying. Social workers in North Dakota have the pleasure of making their living by making a difference, connecting their clients with the resources to help them overcome challenges like poverty. With such an important role to play in society, it’s no wonder there are already more than 1,400 social workers in North Dakota, according to May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Below, we review the steps to become a North Dakota social worker, Master of Social Work degree programs in North Dakota, social work licenses in North Dakota and more.

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 North Dakota Social Worker

Before becoming a social worker in North Dakota, you must obtain a master’s degree in social work and a social work license, depending on what career path you choose. There may be additional requirements such as a background check and clinical supervision, based on your goals. Below are the steps on how to become a licensed social worker in North Dakota, according to the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners.

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

To become a licensed social worker in North Dakota, you will have to complete at least  a bachelor’s degree program in social work accredited by the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE). (LMSW and LCSW applicants must complete a CSWE-accredited master’s degree program in social work.) You can pursue these degrees in North Dakota full time, part time and online.

2. Fulfill Social Work Supervised Experience Requirement and Pass National/State Exams

North Dakota has three levels of licensed social workers, according to the state’s licensing board, with increasing exam requirements:

Licensed baccalaureate social worker (LBSW): 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): person with an accredited master’s degree in social work who has passed the ASWB master’s exam.

Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW): person with an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in social work who has passed the ASWB clinical exam. Those pursuing this license must also complete at least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work practice, including a minimum of 150 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision with a supervisor approved by the board. Not more than 50 hours of supervision may be group supervision.

3. Get Licensed

Once you’ve passed the corresponding exam and completed any required hours and experience, you may apply to become a licensed social worker in North Dakota, a process that also requires a background check.

Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in North Dakota

Social work degree programs are accredited by the CSWE accredits social work degree programs throughout the United States. In North Dakota, there are three Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs and one Master of Social Work (MSW) program

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Programs in North Dakota

A bachelor’s degree in social work can enable a student to enter an advanced standing MSW program you may be able to complete in about one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions. There are four available BSW programs in North Dakota. 

A BSW will enable you to apply for licensure as an LBSW. However, to obtain licensure as an LMSW or LCSW in North Dakota, a minimum of an MSW 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 North Dakota

MSW programs in North Dakota 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 North Dakota.

Online MSW Programs in North Dakota

CSWE-accredited online MSW programs in North Dakota are limited to the University of North Dakota, which also offers an online BSW program.

*for applicants with advanced standing

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 North Dakota

In North Dakota, social work licenses are issued by the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners. The board offers three types of social work licenses: licensed baccalaureate social worker, licensed master social worker and licensed clinical social worker.

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) in North Dakota

In North Dakota, an LBSW is able to practice social work but not privately.

  • Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB bachelor’s exam
  • License Renewal: Every two years, with 30 hours of continuing education, including at least two in ethics

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in North Dakota

In North Dakota, an LMSW is able to practice social work but not privately. They may also practice clinical social work under the supervision of an LCSW. 

  • Education Requirement: Master of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exams: ASWB master’s exam
  • License Renewal: Every two years, with 30 hours of continuing education, including at least two in ethics

Learn more about online MSW programs.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in North Dakota

In North Dakota, an LCSW is able to practice social work and clinical social work independently and privately.

  • Education Requirement: Master or Doctor of Social Work degree
  • Field Requirements: 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work practice
  • Exams: ASWB clinical exam
  • License Renewal: Every two years, with 30 hours of continuing education, including at least two in ethics

Learn more about online clinical MSW programs.

Social Work Salaries in North Dakota

North Dakota Social Work CareerNumber of Social Workers in North DakotaAverage Mean Social Worker Salary (May 2021)
Child, Family and School Social Workers
790
$59,390
Healthcare Social Workers
340
$55,580
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
200
$53,500
Social Workers, All Other
12
$70,320
Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
30
$77,580

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

Learn more about different social work salaries.

North Dakota Social Work Scholarships

For those just starting on their path to social work, there are statewide scholarships and programs in place to assist you. While each state has different offerings, below are some grants and loans to help you become a social worker in North Dakota: 

Learn more about social work scholarships.

North Dakota Social Work Organizations

There are numerous local and national associations and organizations that promote, develop and protect social workers and the practice of social work. Better social work means better solutions for welfare, child welfare, elderly welfare, health care reform and other issues affecting disadvantaged people in North Dakota and beyond. The National Association of Social Workers, North Dakota Chapter, is the local section of the NASW, which supports social workers.

North Dakota Social Work FAQs

Does North Dakota have social work reciprocity?

Yes, North Dakota has social work license reciprocity, which allows social workers to apply for licenses in North Dakota based on their active license in other states.

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

The social work continuing education (CE) requirements in North Dakota are 30 contact hours of CE during each two-year renewal. At least two hours must relate to social work ethics.

Learn more about continuing education for social workers.

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

The best way to look up your social work license in North Dakota is via the North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners website. Users must enter their license number, license level, discipline, last name, first name and city.

Last updated in May 2022.