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Social workers provide needy families with financial and medical resources, assist struggling students, and develop treatment plans for individuals affected by substance use disorders. Social workers are employed in schools, hospitals, and private practices, as well as nonprofit organizations and government social service agencies. If you’re driven to help others, improve lives, and enrich communities, earning a social work degree in Nevada is the first step on a rewarding career path.

graduates of social work schools in Nevada enjoy higher-than-average wages, with healthcare and clinical social workers bringing in more than $70,000 every year

Social work positions in Nevada are often as lucrative as they are gratifying. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduates of social work schools in Nevada enjoy higher-than-average wages, with healthcare and clinical social workers bringing in more than $70,000 every year. Earning a social work degree in Nevada opens up a world of exciting employment opportunities, including healthcare-related jobs, social service management roles, and advanced positions in clinical social work. Clinical social workers are qualified to diagnose and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. Under state regulations, all clinical social workers are required to hold a master’s degree and at least 3,000 hours of professional experience.

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The process of becoming a social worker often takes several years, and requires a great deal of dedication to meet an array of educational, experiential, and licensing requirements. However, many professionals find that playing a vital role in helping individuals, families, and communities is worth the hard work.

How to Become a Social Worker in Nevada

Social work careers are rewarding, but require a substantial commitment to education. In addition to earning a degree, prospective social workers in Nevada must complete a series of exams and meet continuing education requirements to receive and retain state licensure.

For most candidates, education is the first step toward a job in social work. In Nevada, a bachelor’s degree is required to earn the state’s licensed social worker designation. To enroll in a four-year bachelor of social work (BSW) program, applicants must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent, and may be asked to provide SAT or ACT scores with their application.

Professionals with a master of social work (MSW) also qualify for advanced credentials, which may enhance job opportunities

After earning a bachelor’s degree, graduates pursue careers in a variety of settings, including schools, nonprofit organizations, government associations, and healthcare systems. Some specialized roles, including clinical social work and advanced social work positions, require a master’s degree. Professionals with a master of social work (MSW) also qualify for advanced credentials, which may enhance job opportunities. Prior to enrolling in an MSW program, candidates may need to provide GRE scores and proof of sufficient work experience. MSW programs typically take around two years to complete.

A BSW or MSW fulfills Nevada’s educational requirements for licensure. However, individuals who have earned an online social work degree in Nevada must also pass an Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam and undergo a background check. Some credentials require additional work experience. All licenses must be renewed annually, and professionals must complete between 30 and 36 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain licensure.

Types of Social Work Degrees in Nevada

Social work degrees are offered at different levels, from associate degrees to doctorates. As a whole, social workers with advanced degrees benefit from greater job opportunities and higher salaries. While most jobs in the field require at least a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is usually necessary to pursue certain careers, such as clinical social worker positions.

For some candidates, earning a two-year associate degree is a fast and affordable way to acquire general education and major credits before transferring to a BSW program. Typically requiring four years of study, a BSW qualifies graduates for entry-level social service jobs at many nonprofit organizations and government agencies. At the master’s level, graduate students usually spend two years performing in-depth study and fieldwork. After earning an MSW, individuals interested in academic or research positions may pursue a doctoral degree, which takes around five years to complete.

Associate Degree

An associate degree in social work provides a broad survey of the field. A typical curriculum introduces basic social service concepts and skills while presenting various occupational specialties. While graduates may pursue entry-level human services positions, many transfer to an undergraduate program and complete a BSW in as little as two years.

Bachelor’s Degree

BSW coursework offers a solid foundation in sociological and psychological theory, best practices, and research methodologies. Candidates also gain crucial field experience through internships and work-study programs. A BSW is the minimum educational requirement for numerous careers, and graduates are eligible to pursue the LSW designation in Nevada.

Master’s Degree

Many professionals earn an MSW to become a clinical social worker, or to pursue advanced opportunities in the field. The degree, which typically requires two years of intensive study and fieldwork, qualifies graduates for any Nevada social worker license and most certifications.

Doctoral Degree

Doctoral candidates may pursue either a Ph.D. in social work or a doctorate in social work (DSW). While the DSW curriculum centers on practice and skill enhancement, the Ph.D. is a research-based degree. Both require three to five years of study.

Finding a Social Work Program in Nevada

With so many available social work programs in Nevada and beyond, some prospective students struggle to narrow down their options. As you research online social work degrees, it’s important to examine factors such as cost, location, program duration, and any specializations a school may offer. Weighing these considerations makes it easier to find a program that best fits your interests and career goals.

The cost of a social work degree in Nevada varies greatly. Nevada residents may benefit from in-state tuition at some schools, and many colleges and universities offer tuition discounts for online students. Often, students find that an expensive program is affordable after applying scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Location is another important aspect to consider. In addition to tuition rates, a school’s location influences field experience placements and access to support and resources.

Many prospective social workers wish to work with specific demographics or in certain settings, such as family services or healthcare. Some programs feature concentrations and specialized academic tracks that allow students to develop a specialty. Finally, some working professionals may prefer a flexible online social work program in Nevada or another state over a time-consuming on-campus program.

Can You Earn a Social Work Degree Online in Nevada?

Degrees earned through an online social work program in Nevada meet the same state licensing requirements as on-campus programs, provided that they hold accreditation from the CSWE. As the most important accrediting agency in the field, CSWE evaluates social work programs according to the highest industry standards. In addition, the Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers exclusively recognizes online social work degrees from CSWE-accredited programs and programs that hold candidacy status from the CSWE.

For many students, choosing an online social work program is an affordable, flexible alternative to traditional programs. Rather than being limited to local institutions, online students have their choice of top schools from across the country. In addition, learners with family or work obligations benefit from being able to complete coursework at any time and place.

Field experience is an important aspect of any social work degree, and students enrolled in an online social work program in Nevada are usually required complete an internship or practicum course. Typically, field experiences are arranged at facilities in the student’s area of residence, allowing learners to gain hands-on experience while building a local professional network.

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How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Worker in Nevada?

Prospective Nevada social workers must meet educational requirements established by the state, which usually entails earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree. A BSW typically consists of 120 credit hours, including general education requirements, and may be completed in around four years of full-time study. Most MSW programs are two years long and consist of 60 credits of specialized coursework. Both degrees usually include a hands-on practicum or internship component.

Some students choose to earn a two-year associate degree in social work before transferring to a BSW program. Many institutions accept 60 or more transfer credits from accredited two-year colleges. Graduates interested in working as professors, researchers, or the heads of social work organizations often pursue a Ph.D. in social work or a DSW. These doctoral degrees requires five years of study after earning an MSW.

Program structure also influences degree length. Some online social work programs in Nevada operate on a cohort system, which holds learners to stricter schedules. In contrast, self-paced and accelerated programs may be completed quickly, at the student’s convenience. Practicums, internships, and other field requirements may also lengthen a degree.

How Much Does a Social Work Program Cost in Nevada?

The cost of a social work degree depends on the individual program, degree length and level, and any available tuition discounts for residency or distance education. Some institutions charge in-state students lower tuition rates, while other schools offer online programs at a reduced price. In addition, graduate degrees typically cost more per credit than bachelor’s or associate programs. Due to the many factors influencing cost, it’s important to define your budget ahead of time and carefully research the price of any programs you may be considering.

After graduation, prospective social workers must also account for fees, exam expenses, and licensing costs. The ASWB exams cost between $230 and $260, depending on the test, and an initial social work license in Nevada costs around $200. Social workers must pay $150 to renew this license every year. After gaining licensure, professionals need to complete between 30 and 36 hours of continuing education every two years, depending on their designation. While professional organizations such as the NASW often provide free or discounted CE materials, these programs vary in cost and content.

Types of Social Work Licenses in Nevada

Every state has its own processes and requirements for licensing social workers. In Nevada, the Board of Examiners for Social Workers issues three kinds of licenses: licensed social worker (LSW), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), and licensed independent social worker (LISW). Candidates for each credential must meet the defined educational requirements and pass the appropriate ASWB exam.

Clinical social workers must earn a master’s degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education

Candidates who hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work are eligible to apply for the LSW designation. Applicants take either the bachelor’s or master’s ASWB exam, which costs $230. The licensing process itself costs $140. Social workers in the process of fulfilling educational or examination requirements may receive a provisional license.

Clinical social workers must earn a master’s degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), complete 3,000 hours of professional experience, and pass the clinical-level ASWB exam. Applicants with a clinical social work license issued in another state can apply for a Nevada license through the endorsement process. To receive endorsement, candidates must request a verification of social work licensure form from the state in which they are licensed. Independent social workers are held to similar requirements, and all Nevada social workers undergo a fingerprint check upon receiving licensure.

While a license qualifies social workers to practice in the state of Nevada, social workers may also demonstrate their professional achievements by earning additional credentials. The NASW offers several different certifications in specialized areas, including healthcare, palliative care, and gerontology. To earn a credential, applicants must hold either a BSW or an MSW, depending on the designation. Some certificates may also require a certain degree of professional experience, and an examination. While numerous organizations confer social work certifications, the examples below are offered through the NASW.


Nevada issues licenses to clinical social workers who hold a master’s degree from an CSWE-accredited program and pass the ASWB clinical examination. The board may also approve alternative exams. Candidates may receive a provisional clinical social worker license while meeting the educational or testing requirements.


Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials


To earn the C-SWCM certification, candidates must hold a BSW and complete at least three years of professional experience after graduation. These requirements may also be fulfilled by passing the ASWB bachelor’s exam.


Career and Salary Outlook for Social Work Degree Graduates

Social work degree graduates take on a variety of roles in many different sectors. Although many high-level careers require an MSW, there are plenty of employment opportunities available to professionals with a BSW. Some specialize in working with certain groups, such as children, families, or students, while others practice in healthcare settings or work with government agencies. Some social work programs in Nevada feature degree concentrations, which may jumpstart specialized careers like the ones below.

Social Workers

Social workers with a BSW or MSW help people cope with the challenges of everyday life. They practice in a variety of settings, including schools, nonprofit organizations, government social services agencies, and healthcare systems.

Clinical Social Worker

To receive this advanced designation, clinical social workers need an MSW, clinical work experience, and a state license. These professionals are qualified to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers

Social workers who specialize in child, family, and school services help students improve academically, support parents during the adoption process, and protect vulnerable children from abuse or neglect.

Social Service Managers

Social service managers coordinate and supervise programs, manage staff, and oversee resource allocation. Jobs in this high-demand field are projected to increase 18% by 2026.

Healthcare Social Workers

Working alongside medical professionals, healthcare social workers support individuals, families, and communities coping with acute and chronic illnesses. They promote healthy behavior and help patients access healthcare services.


 EmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
Child, Family, and School Social Workers3,040$51,840
Healthcare Social Workers730$78,940
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers730$60,320
Social Workers, All Other300$71,230

Source: BLS

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Scholarships for Social Work Majors in Nevada

Social work students in Nevada have a wide selection of scholarship opportunities to choose from. While some awards are state-specific, others are intended for learners enrolled in online social work programs in Nevada and beyond. Unlike student loans, scholarships don’t need to be paid back, and there’s no limit to the number you can apply for. You may be interested in one or more of the following awards.

Social Work Scholarships


Who Can Apply: This scholarship is awarded to women living in northern Nevada who are enrolled in at least six credits per semester and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Candidates must be pursuing a degree in a field that strengthens communities by empowering women, such as online social work degrees. View Scholarship


Resources for Social Work Students in Nevada

  • National Association of Social Workers–Nevada Chapter NASW’s Nevada chapter presents social workers with local networking opportunities, as well as access to the national NASW professional resources, annual conference, and job board. The organization also provides resources for earning a social work license in Nevada. Students qualify for discounted membership.
  • Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers The Board of Examiners for Social Workers issues licenses to qualified Nevada professionals. Their website offers assistance with updating license information, the application process, and renewal. The site also features a license verification search.
  • UNR Social Work Job Board The School of Social Work at the University of Nevada-Reno maintains a public job board for open social work positions in the area. The page includes frequent updates and resources on applying for social work positions in Nevada.
  • Association of Social Work Boards The ASWB administers the exams required to earn state licensure. In addition, the organization helps establish state licensing standards and maintains model practices for use in state regulation development. The ASWB defines competence standards, methods of addressing consumer concerns, and the process of removing unqualified professionals.
  • National Association of Social Workers With over 130,000 members, NASW is the largest social work professional organization in the country. Along with providing comprehensive continuing education programs, the organization offers members legal and academic resources, and maintains its own charity organization.