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New Hampshire Social Work Licensing Requirements

With a population of 1.3 million, New Hampshire was home to 1,550 social workers in May 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 The licensing board that regulates social workers and licensure in New Hampshire is the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice (the “Board”). To find out more about being a social worker in New Hampshire, continue reading the guide below.

How to Become a Social Worker in New Hampshire

Educational Paths

The minimum degree required for those wishing to become licensed social workers in New Hampshire is a master’s degree of social work (MSW). While the bachelor’s degree can be in any field, the master’s degree must be in the field of social work and must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). However, with a bachelor’s of social work (BSW), you may be able to work as a social worker in a non-clinical, entry-level position. Those candidates with a doctoral degree can also apply to become licensed in New Hampshire, but these programs are not currently accredited by the CSWE.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

While an MSW is required to become licensed as a social worker in New Hampshire, a bachelor’s in social work can be a good first step to practicing in the state. With a BSW, you can apply for entry-level jobs in social work that do not require clinical knowledge. Most BSW degrees take four years to complete full-time and coursework focuses on an overview of the field, social welfare policy, and program development. There are currently two programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in New Hampshire: Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

The minimum degree required for licensure in New Hampshire is the MSW. MSW degrees usually take two years to complete. Entrance into an MSW program typically requires a bachelor’s degree in any field, though if you received your bachelor’s of social work (BSW), you may be eligible for “advanced standing” status, reducing the duration of the MSW to one year. There is currently one college in the state of New Hampshire that has been accredited by the CSWE for its master’s program: the University of New Hampshire. MSW coursework usually focuses on more specialized areas of study, including mental health issues and some supervised field experience.

Steps for Becoming a Licensed Social Worker in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire does allow social workers to work in the field without licensing, but only for those who are not interested in clinical social work. To work in clinical social work, you will have to go through some steps to become licensed prior to practicing.

Clinical Social Workers (CSW)

Becoming licensed as a clinical social worker in New Hampshire first requires candidates to have a minimum of a master’s in social work. The program must have been approved by the CSWE. Once this educational requirement has been met, candidates must:

1. Accumulate the required experience.

The first step in becoming a clinical social worker in New Hampshire is to obtain a minimum of two years, or 3,000 hours, of post-graduate supervised, clinical experience by a licensed independent clinical social worker. First, you should submit a supervision agreement form to the Board. The supervision agreement will require a section to be completed by your supervisor and by you, and will require a fee of $25 as of January 2015. The two years of experience you obtain should include a minimum of one hour per week of face-to-face supervision for a total of 100 hours.

2. Take and pass the ASWB clinical exam.

The next step in the process will be to take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) clinical level exam. You will need to submit a request to sit for the exam from the Board’s website. Then, you must sign up for and take the clinical level exam, which costs $260 as of January 2015.

3. Submit your application to the Board.

Once you have completed the required experience and passed the ASWB exam, you will need to submit an independent clinical social worker application for licensure to the Board. Along with your application, you will need to submit:

  • Photograph
  • Resume
  • Summary of supervised clinical experience grid sheet (found in the application document)
  • Supervisor’s confirmation of clinical experience form (found in the application document)
  • Three professional reference forms (found in the application document)
  • Official transcripts for both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, sent directly from the schools in a sealed envelope
  • Proof of passing the ASWB clinical exam (if taken prior to two years ago or not in the state of New Hampshire)
  • Criminal offender record report from each state of residence in the past five years
  • A check or money order for $150, payable to the State of New Hampshire

4. Receive your CSW license from the Board.

Finally, after all the above steps have been successfully completed, you will receive your CSW license from the Board. An additional “approved license application fee” of $135 will be required at this time.

Social Work License Reciprocity in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire does not offer reciprocity with any other state. Those who have been licensed in another state will need to go through the above application process and submit a completed licensure verification form from another jurisdiction that has been signed and sealed by the state of licensure, which can be found in the application for licensure packet.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Social work licenses must be renewed every two years in New Hampshire. The fee for renewal, as of January 2016, is $270. During each two-year renewal period, candidates must complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE), six of which must be in the area of ethics. A maximum of 20 hours can be at home and 10 can be in seminars or workshops.

New Hampshire Social Worker Jobs and Salary Information

New Hampshire employs only 1,550 social workers, with the majority of those being in the child, family, and school social worker category.1 The average social worker in the state earns an average annual salary of $53,360, but those in the “all other” category earn the most, at $57,990.1 Projections Central predicts an average growth of 18.5% between 2012 and 2022 for all social workers in New Hampshire.2 The highest growth is expected in the sub-category of healthcare social workers (at 24.5%), followed closely by mental health and substance abuse social workers (at 21.8%).2

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 580 $41,800
Healthcare Social Workers 540 $57,630
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 300 $56,020
Social Workers, All Other 130 $57,990

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.1

Social Work Associations in New Hampshire

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What degree do I need to be a social worker in New Hampshire?

Answer: In New Hampshire, you may become an entry-level, non-clinical social worker with a BSW. If you are interested in becoming a licensed clinical social worker, however, you will need a minimum of a graduate degree (MSW or DSW).

Question: How often do I need to renew my social work license?

Answer: Licensed CSWs in New Hampshire must renew their licenses each two years. During that two year period, CSWs will need to complete certain CE requirements to be eligible for renewal.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.htm
2. Projections Centra, Long Term Projectionsl: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm