Become a Social Worker in Oregon

Between scenic regions like Crater Lake National Park and Mount Hood National Forest, and the diverse and growing city of Portland, Oregon is a state that has a lot to offer its residents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is also one of the highest paying states for healthcare social workers as of May 2020, with the average salary at $75,730 a year. All social workers across the state, including child, family and school social workers, healthcare social workers, mental health and substance abuse social workers, and all others make a total average of $58,742 a year, 4% higher than the national average. 

This career guide for how to become a social worker in Oregon explains educational requirements, how to get licensed, Oregon social work organizations to join and more. Once you complete the steps to become a Oregon social worker, you can embark on a meaningful, fulfilling career helping others.

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 an Oregon Social Worker

Wondering how to become a social worker in Oregon? Education, field experience and licensure can help you achieve your social worker career goals. For how to become a licensed social worker in Oregon and advance your career, follow these steps, summarized from the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers.

1. Earn a CSWE-Accredited Social Work Degree

To become a licensed social worker in Oregon, you will have to complete a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or Master of Social Work (MSW) program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The minimum educational requirements vary depending on license. The licenses offered in Oregon are for baccalaureate social worker, master social worker, clinical social work associate and clinical social worker.

2. Complete Post-Graduate Field Hours 

BSW and MSW programs will include social work field experience, but you’ll need to meet certain field experience requirements for social work licensure in Oregon. In order to become fully licensed as a clinical social worker, for example, you need to complete at least 3,500 hours of clinical practice.

3. Get Licensed

By completing all the educational and experience requirements, you may pursue a career as a licensed social worker in Oregon. 
Learn more on how to become a social worker.

Social Work Degree Programs in Oregon

In Oregon, as across the United States, social work degree programs are accredited by the CSWE. There are five accredited BSW degree programs and three MSW programs in Oregon

A bachelor’s degree in social work can enable a student to enter an advanced standing program in a master’s degree program, where you may be able to complete a MSW in around one year. A BSW also prepares students for entry-level social work positions, such as caseworkers or mental health assistants. The following are some of the colleges and universities in Oregon offering accredited BSW programs:

Master of Social Work (MSW) Programs in Oregon

In Oregon, Master of Social Work programs offer various concentration options, such as clinical or direct practice, community development and management or administration.

Online MSW Programs in Oregon

In Oregon, only one online MSW program is accredited by CSWE. However, there are many other online MSW programs based outside of Oregon that are accredited by the CSWE, and have a multitude of concentrations including school social work and mental health. 

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

You must apply through the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers to become a registered baccalaureate social worker (RBSW). The board requires:

  1. Completion of an approved Bachelor of Social Work degree program.
  2. Passing score on the Bachelor’s Social Work Licensing Examination from the Association of Social Work Boards.
  3. Application to the board

To become a licensed master social worker (LMSW), the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers requires:

  1. Completion of an approved Master of Social Work degree program.
  2. Passing score on the Master’s Social Work Licensing Examination from the Association of Social Work Boards.
  3. Application to the board

To become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers requires:

  1. Completion of an approved Master of Social Work degree program.
  2. Completion of 3,500 hours of clinical practice, with at least 2,000 in direct client contact. Additionally, 100 hours must be supervised, with at least 50 under individual supervision.
  3. Passing score on the Clinical Social Work Licensing Examination from the Association of Social Work Boards.
  4. Application to the board

Social Work Licenses in Oregon

In Oregon, social work licenses are issued by the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers. The board issues several types of social work licenses: registered baccalaureate social worker, licensed master social worker, clinical social work associate and licensed clinical social worker. For most licensing options across the United States, you must pass the relevant exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The requirements for each license are summarized below. 

Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW)

To be eligible for certification as an RBSW, an individual must have completed at least a BSW from an accredited institution. Those with an RBSW may pursue basic, generalist practices in social work.

  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exam: Bachelor’s ASWB examination

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

The LMSW requires a minimum of graduate-level education, such as an MSW or Doctor of Social Work (DSW). This license represents a more specialized knowledge of social work practices. 

  • Field Requirements: None
  • Exam: Master’s ASWB examination

Clinical Social Work Associate (CSWA)

Becoming a CSWA is the first step in obtaining a clinical license in Oregon. It is intended for those who graduated from an approved MSW program.

  • Field Requirements: 3,500 hours of clinical practice, with at least 2,000 in direct client contact. 100 hours must be supervised, with at least 50 under individual supervision.
  • Exam: Clinical ASWB exam

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

In order to be an LCSW in Oregon, you need to complete either an MSW or DSW program. This license is intended for those with graduate-level social work experience to apply specialized clinical knowledge and advanced skills.

  • Field Requirements: 3,500 hours of clinical practice, with at least 2,000 in direct client contact. 100 hours must be supervised, with at least 50 under individual supervision.
  • Exam: Clinical ASWB exam
  • Fees: $460 application, $260
  • License Endorsement: Available

Social Work Salaries in Oregon

The average salary earned by social workers in Oregon will depend on your role, work environment and location. However, the BLS reports that generally, the higher the educational attainment, the higher the earning potential. 

Oregon Social Work CareersNumber of Social Workers in OregonAnnual Mean Social Work Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers
5,000
$54,790
Healthcare Social Workers
1,830
$79,870
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
1,950
$52,660
Social Workers, All Other
2,600
$56,790
Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
260
$80,520

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

Learn more about social work salaries

Oregon Social Work Scholarships

There are a variety of state-level and local social work scholarships available in Oregon, including: 

Learn more about social work scholarships.

Oregon Social Work Organizations

There are a variety of state-level and local social work organizations in Oregon, including:

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Oregon Chapter: The NASW, founded in 1955, is the world’s largest membership organization of professional social workers. The Oregon chapter of this organization was founded in 1971, and provides opportunities for development, growth and involvement for social workers within the state.
  • Oregon School Social Work Association (OSSWA): The OSSWA was established in 2011. Its goal is to establish a group of social workers in Oregon that promotes networking, advocacy and social work education amongst its community. 

FAQs

Does Oregon have social work reciprocity?

The Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers offers reciprocity for licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), but not registered baccalaureate social workers (RBSWs) or licensed master social workers (LMSWs).

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

The social work continuing education requirements in Oregon are 20 units of CE for registered baccalaureate social workers (RBSWs), 30 units for licensed master social workers (LMSWs), and 40 units of CE for licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs), according to the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers. At least six units must be in ethics.

Learn more about continuing education for social workers.

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

In Oregon, social work license verification can be obtained through the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers. Users can search for licensees via first and last name, license number or city.

Last updated May 2022.