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Wyoming Social Work Licensing Requirements

Wyoming has a population of just over 577,000 people and 1,290 of its citizens are employed as social workers.1,2 To use the title “Social Worker” and practice clinical social work in the state, you must hold a certificate or license from the Mental Health Professions Licensing Board. On this page, you will find information about the educational requirements and licensing process for a social work career in Wyoming.

How to Become a Social Worker in Wyoming

Educational Paths

In Wyoming, you may be able to provide case management services without a social work license and may be eligible for certain social work support positions with a minimum of an associate’s degree. However, to use the title “Social Worker,” you must hold one of Wyoming’s social work credentials. For this, you will need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW); to practice clinical social work independently, you must earn at least a master’s degree in social work (MSW). Below is more information about each of these degree options.

Associate of Social Work (ASW)

Many community colleges offer associate degrees in human services or a related field. These programs typically take two years of full-time study and include a variety of courses in human behavior and social science. Some programs also include a practicum placement as part of their curriculum. Depending on the program you attend, you may earn an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate of Social Work (ASW) degree. Associate’s degree coursework can sometimes be applied as transfer credits in BSW or MSW programs. An associate’s degree may qualify you for certain social work-related jobs in Wyoming, but you will need at least a bachelor’s degree to become licensed and use the title “Social Worker.”

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) prepares students to provide general social work services to individuals, groups, families, and communities. The degree takes four years to complete through full-time study, or longer if you study part-time. At the beginning of the program, courses may include social science and liberal arts topics such as psychology, English, politics, and economics. In the final years, courses may focus on human behavior, cultural studies, communication, and social work theory. Many BSW programs also include a field experience component. A BSW will qualify you for more jobs than an associate degree, and earning a BSW from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE) will allow you to apply for the Certified Social Worker (CSW) credential in Wyoming and use the title “Social Worker.” As of March 2019, there is one CSWE-accredited BSW program in Wyoming, but you can earn your degree from any CSWE-accredited program to become a CSW.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Completing a master’s degree in social work (MSW) prepares you to work in advanced generalist or clinical practice with individuals, families, and groups. Typically, the degree takes two years to complete if you do not already have a BSW from a CSWE-accredited school. If you do have a BSW, you may qualify for “advanced standing” and be able to complete the MSW in one year instead. Courses may cover advanced practice, policy, research methods, and human behavior. MSW programs generally also include at least one field placement. To become licensed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Wyoming, you must have at least an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program. Although there is just one CSWE-accredited MSW program in Wyoming as of March 2019, you can earn your degree from any CSWE-accredited program in the United States.

Steps for Becoming a Licensed Social Worker in Wyoming

You must be either certified or licensed by the Board to provide clinical social work services in the state and use the title “Social Worker.” The Board offers two credentialing options for social workers: Certified Social Worker (CSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The sections below provide more information about these credentials and how to earn them.

Certified Social Worker (CSW)

The Certified Social Worker (CSW) certificate allows social workers in Wyoming to practice clinical social work under supervision and use the title “Social Worker.” To earn this credential, you must first earn a BSW from a CSWE-accredited program. After this, you can complete the process below to earn a CSW certificate.

1. Submit a CSW application to the Board.

After graduating with your BSW, you can submit a CSW application form to the Board with the $300 application fee (as of March 2019). With your application, you must include a Professional Disclosure Statement, documentation of your eligibility to work in the US (such as a copy of your birth certificate or passport), and three professional reference forms. You will also need to request that your BSW program mail an official copy of your transcript to the Board.

If you have already secured employment, you should also include the Supervision Agreement form from the application identifying your intended clinical supervisor. You can submit this form at a later date if you do not yet know who will be supervising you, but know that you cannot provide any clinical services until the Board has approved your supervision agreement, even if you have already been issued a CSW certificate. If the Board approves your supervision agreement, they may grant you a grace period of up to six months that will allow you to practice until your CSW certificate is issued.

2. Pass the required exam.

Once the Board has received all your application materials, you will be given permission to sit for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam. For the CSW certificate, you may take either the Bachelor’s or Master’s level exam; both exams have a fee of $230 as of March 2019. There are 170 multiple-choice questions on the test and 150 of these are used to calculate your final score. After you have taken the exam, the ASWB will send your scores to the Board.

3. Receive your CSW certificate.

After you have passed the ASWB exam, the Board will issue your CSW certificate. This will allow you to practice clinical social work under an LCSW or another qualified supervisor such as a licensed professional counselor, addictions therapist, or psychologist. If you change supervisors at any point, you must submit a new supervision plan for Board approval.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) license will allow you to practice social work in Wyoming without supervision. To obtain this license, you must first earn an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program or a doctoral degree in social work. Because this license allows for independent clinical practice, you are also required to accrue a certain amount of supervised experience under a provisional license. Once you have completed your graduate degree, follow the steps below for LCSW licensure.

1. Submit an application for a provisional license to the Board.

To begin accruing supervised hours for licensure (see Step 2), you must first obtain a Provisional Clinical Social Worker (PCSW) license. To apply for this, submit the PCSW application form to the Board. With this application form, include three professional reference forms, documentation of your eligibility for US employment (such as a copy of your passport or birth certificate), the Professional Disclosure Statement, and the Supervision Agreement form. You will also need to have your school send your official transcript to the Board. As of March 2019, the fee for a PCSW application is $150. The Board will notify you when they have issued your PCSW license and approved your supervision agreement. Your PCSW license will be valid for 36 months.

2. Gain the necessary experience.

After you receive your PCSW license and the Board has approved your supervision plan, you can begin accruing the 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience required for LCSW licensure. At least 1,200 of these hours must be in direct contact with clients. While you are completing this experience, you must be supervised by a licensed independent clinical provider such as an LCSW, professional counselor, addictions therapist, or psychologist. Your supervisor must have at least four years of post-graduate work experience and have been licensed for at least two years. You must receive a minimum of 100 hours of in-person supervision while completing your supervised hours; this supervision may be individual or in groups of no more than three, including yourself and your supervisor. If you change supervisors at any point during this time, you must submit a new supervision plan to the Board.

3. Pass the required exam.

Once the Board approves your provisional license, you will also be given permission to sit for the ASWB exam required for full licensure. You may choose to take either the Advanced Generalist or Clinical exam. As of March 2019, the fee for each of these exams is $260. Both exams contain 170 multiple-choice questions. The Advanced Generalist exam covers advanced non-clinical social work practice, while the Clinical exam covers topics related to clinical applications of social work knowledge. The ASWB will send your exam scores to the Board within two weeks of your test date.

4. Submit the LCSW application to the Board.

After you have accumulated the required supervised experience and passed the ASWB exam, you will be ready to submit an LCSW application to the Board with the required $200 application fee (as of March 2019). Every supervisor you earned hours under must complete the Verification and Evaluation of Supervised Experience form that is included with the application. You must continue working under supervision while you are waiting for the Board to review your LCSW application.

5. Receive your LCSW license.

The Board will notify you when they have reviewed your application and granted your LCSW license. After this, you can begin practicing clinical social work independently in Wyoming. After two years of licensure, you may also supervise trainees working towards clinical licenses.

Social Work License Reciprocity in Wyoming

If you hold a social work license in another state but would like to practice in Wyoming, the Board offers licensure by reciprocity for CSWs and LCSWs. To be eligible, you must hold an out-of-state social work license in good standing. This license must have issued under requirements equivalent to or more stringent than Wyoming’s. To obtain a license by reciprocity, you must submit a complete reciprocity application to the Board with the application fee (as of March 2019, $300 for CSWs and $350 for LCSWs). You will also be required to provide verification of your current license and ASWB exam scores. The Board will notify you when they have reviewed your application and determined whether you are eligible for licensure by reciprocity.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

Wyoming social work certifications and licenses expire every other year on the licensee’s birthday. To renew, you must submit the renewal application to the Board prior to your license’s expiration date. As of March 2019, renewal fees are $100 for CSWs and $125 for LCSWs. CSWs and LCSWs are required to complete at least 45 hours of continuing education (CE) during each two-year renewal period. CE activities must contribute to your professional knowledge and be presented by someone with a graduate degree. You can also earn up to six CE credits giving presentations on mental health topics.

Wyoming Social Work Jobs and Salary Information

May 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 1,290 people were employed as social workers in Wyoming.2 The average annual social work salary in Wyoming was $53,015, with mental health and substance abuse social workers earning the highest average salary ($56,140).2 Projections suggest that the total number of social work jobs in Wyoming will increase by 10.2% between 2016 and 2026.3 Mental health and substance abuse social work is expected to experience the greatest growth during this time period (23.1%); healthcare social work is projected to have similar growth (22.2%).3

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 790 $47,890
Healthcare Social Workers 160 $52,030
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 170 $56,140
Social Workers, All Other 170 $56,000

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.2

Social Work Associations in Wyoming

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How long do I have to complete the LCSW requirements with my provisional license?

Answer: Provisional licenses are valid for three years. If you need more time to complete your supervised hours or the ASWB exam, you can request an extension from the Board; however, it is not guaranteed to be approved.

Question: Does my supervisor need to be a licensed clinical social worker?

Answer: No. You can be supervised by a clinical social worker, professional counselor, addictions therapist, marriage and family therapist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, or physician specializing in addictions. Your supervisor(s) must have been independently licensed for at least two years and have four years of clinical experience.

Question: Do I need to complete my studies at the University of Wyoming to apply to social work jobs in Wyoming?

Answer: No. Although the University of Wyoming currently offers the only CSWE-accredited BSW and MSW programs in the state, you may complete your studies at any other CSWE-accredited program and still be eligible for certification or licensure in Wyoming.

References:
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Wyoming: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/wy
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Wyoming: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wy.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm