A social work degree teaches students about empathy, teamwork, time management, problem solving, and communication, which are all valuable and necessary skills for a career in social work. There are a wide variety of job opportunities for social workers that allow them to make a positive impact on the lives of others. With a demand for social workers in a variety of settings, job stability and security is strong in the field.
With a demand for social workers in a variety of settings, job stability and security is strong in the field.
Individuals who have earned their social work degree in Wisconsin are not limited to becoming a social worker. They are qualified to work as probation officers, case managers, and family therapists. Depending on your interests and career goals, you could work as a school, family and childcare, healthcare, or mental health and substance abuse social worker. The field is extremely flexible and affords a variety of opportunities across the board.
How to Become a Social Worker in Wisconsin
Social workers in Wisconsin have the option of becoming a certified social worker (CSW), independent social worker (CISW), or an advanced practice social worker (CAPSW). Each licensure has different requirements that candidates must fulfill.
There are many different pathways in the social work industry that students can choose to take. Some students start their social work career by earning an associate in social work degree while they work as a social or human services assistant to get exposure in the field. Practical experience can provide an idea of what a future career as a social worker would look like.
ocial workers in Wisconsin have the option of becoming a certified social worker (CSW), independent social worker (CISW), or an advanced practice social worker (CAPSW).
Some types of social work licensure require at least a bachelor's degree, while others require a master's. Students who pursue a master's or doctoral program in social work have the largest pool of career options open to them.
Bachelor's and master's programs require capstones and internships. Internships expose students to common social work responsibilities. Licensure programs not only require candidates to have a degree, but they also require supervised field experience. Choosing the right program for your career goals may require research into the different types of social work degrees and their requirements.
Types of Social Work Degrees in Wisconsin
Several social work schools in Wisconsin offer students the opportunity to pursue a degree that will open a lot of different doors for them. Social work degrees are offered at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Some jobs, including clinical social worker, require at minimum a master's in social work degree.
Time is an important thing to consider when looking into an online social work degree. An associate degree typically takes students two years to complete, a bachelor's takes about four years, a master's takes one and a half to two years, and a doctoral program usually takes two to three years to complete.
- Associate Degree
- An associate degree in social work typically takes two years to complete and is a great foundation for students who wish to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree. Graduates of an associate program can work as a social work assistant, residential counselor, or a case manager assistant.
- Bachelor's Degree
- A bachelor's degree in social work takes students about four years to complete and prepares them for several career opportunities, including rehabilitation case worker, probation officer, community outreach worker, or human services specialist.
- Master's Degree
- A master's degree in social work takes students about two years to complete and opens up many more career opportunities to them than a bachelor's program. Master's programs focus on defining students' career goals and areas of interest. They teach learners the skills they need to excel in careers such as a healthcare social worker, child welfare caseworker, and clinical mental health social worker.
- Doctoral Degree
- A doctoral degree in social work usually takes students between two and three years to complete. Typically, they complete two years of coursework and then spend about a year working on their dissertation. Doctoral programs prepare students for careers as clinicians, professors, researchers, and administrators in social work.
Finding a Social Work Program in Wisconsin
There are many different factors that students should consider before beginning a social work program. First, they should research the different careers in the field to get an idea of what they might like to do professionally. From there, they can look into how much education they will need and what the tuition will cost. They should also research what licensure they will need to earn in order to practice their desired type of social work.
Another important thing to consider when choosing a program is the time to completion. Different colleges offer different program lengths, which can impact students' career goals. Some programs also offer specializations, which may help tailor a degree to personal interests and career goals, but they are not usually required to earn a degree in social work. Some students may also require more flexibility than others and may want to look into enrolling into an online program.
Can You Earn a Social Work Degree Online in Wisconsin?
There are several online social work programs in Wisconsin. When choosing an online program, it is important to pay attention to the accrediting agency for that particular program and institution. Licensure programs require students complete their degree program from an accredited college or university. Before choosing an online program, look into what licensing is required for your future career and what licensing requirements can be fulfilled through the program. Knowing as much beforehand as possible will help you choose a program best suited to your goals.
Earning a social work degree online does not affect a students' ability to become a social worker or to complete licensing requirements as long as they attend an accredited online program. It is important for students to understand that while coursework may be online, most programs do require in-person requirements, such as internships, student teaching, or clinical hours. Online programs offer convenience for students, but field experience in their chosen area is required for licensure.See The Best Online MSW Programs
How Long Does It Take to Become a Social Worker in Wisconsin?
An associate degree in social work takes about two years to complete, a bachelor's takes around four years, a master's requires about two years, and a doctoral program takes between two and three years.
Different types of social work programs have different time requirements. An associate degree in social work takes about two years to complete, a bachelor's takes around four years, a master's requires about two years, and a doctoral program takes between two and three years.
In addition to the education requirements, students have to complete licensure programs in order to become social workers. The licensing board requires candidates to complete a certain amount of supervised field experience. Some licensing requirements go by hours, while others require a certain amount of years of experience. Social workers may also continue their education after licensure through certification and specialization programs.
How Much Does a Social Work Program Cost in Wisconsin?
Tuition for a bachelor's in social work is about $60,000. For a master's program, students pay around $25,000 for tuition, while doctoral students pay close to $75,000 in tuition and fees. It is also important for students to remember that there are different tuition costs for residents and nonresidents. Some universities give online students the same tuition as resident students even if they are out of state, while others charge the nonresident tuition cost. Additionally, some universities offer an online tuition rate separate from resident and nonresident rates.
In addition to tuition, there are living expenses; required class materials; and certificate, licensure, and exam costs after graduation. The type of licensure that a graduate must earn is dependent on their desired career.
Directory of Social Work Programs in Wisconsin
Types of Social Work Licenses in Wisconsin
Licensure is required for professionals to practice social work, whereas certifications are seen as continuing education for social workers.
The preliminary requirement to become a licensed social worker in Wisconsin is to earn a bachelor's degree in social work or complete a social worker training certificate. To earn a social worker training certificate, individuals must have a bachelor's degree in a related field such as criminal justice, sociology, or psychology. Transcripts must show that students have completed an introductory course providing a foundation of the field, a course about professional values and ethics, a qualitative and quantitative social research methods and statistics course, and a senior seminar or capstone.
For all types of social work, individuals must complete the Wisconsin exam and finish a substance abuse specialty authorization program. To become a certified social worker in Wisconsin, candidates must have a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in social work; pass the ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards) bachelors exam; and pay a $165 application fee.
Advanced practice social worker candidates are required to have a master's in social work, submit an application, and pass the ASWB masters exam. CISWs must have a master's in social work, two years of supervised social work experience, and a passing score on the ASWB advanced generalist exam.
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker (APSW)
Licensed Independent Social Worker (ISW)
Advanced Practice Specialty Credentials
Certified Social Work Case Manager (C-SWCM)
Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker (C-ACYFSW)
Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco, & Other Drugs Social Worker (C-CATODSW)
Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology (CSW-G)
Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS)
Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker (ACHP-SW)
Career and Salary Outlook for Social Work Degree Graduates
Students pursuing a social work degree in Wisconsin have many career opportunities. More advanced degree usually open up more career opportunities. Careers in social work usually involve helping clients better their situations and lives. The field is very challenging and rewarding in that respect, and attracts hardworking and dedicated professionals.
Social and Community Service ManagersSocial and community service managers supervise and coordinate community organizations and social service programs. They work for nonprofit organizations, private companies, and government agencies and are required to have at least a bachelor's in social work.
Social and Human Service AssistantsSocial and human service assistants help provide client services in psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, and this career requires at least an associate of social work degree. They support and help families identify and obtain available benefits and different social and community services. They may work with social workers and human service specialists in private practices or hospitals.
Social WorkersSocial workers help people from all walks of life solve and cope with everyday problems. Clinical social workers diagnose and treat emotional, mental, and behavioral issues. Social workers work in an array of settings, including mental health facilities, schools, child welfare agencies, settlement houses, and hospitals. They have to have a social work license as well as a master's in social work.
Marriage and Family TherapistsMarriage and family therapists help married couples and their family members manage and overcome issues within their relationships. They work at private practices and mental health centers. They must have a master's degree as well as a current social work license.
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment SpecialistsProbation officers and correctional treatment specialists provide various social services to help rehabilitate law offenders who are on probation, parole, or in custody. They work with probationers and parolees and can be assigned fieldwork in areas or institutions with high crime rates. They are required to have at least a bachelor's degree and pass a psychological exam.
Median Salaries and Employment For Social Work Specialties in Wisconsin
|Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||3,730||$48,950|
|Healthcare Social Workers||3,150||$51,210|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||1,680||$47,470|
|Social Workers, All Other||1,080||$57,370|
Scholarships for Social Work Majors in Wisconsin
There are many different scholarship opportunities available to students enrolled in social work programs in Wisconsin. Available scholarships each have their own set of requirements that applicants must meet in order to be considered. Generally, students have to maintain a minimum GPA, be social work majors, and write essays detailing why they should be chosen to receive the scholarship.
Social Work Scholarships
Zastrow Scholarship $500
Navarre Memorial Scholarship for Service $500
Casey Garbers Knutson Scholarship $425
Dorothy Brown Memorial Social Work Scholarship Varies
Resources for Social Work Students in Wisconsin
- National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin Chapter The National Association of Social Workers promotes high-quality practice, competence in practitioners, and unity and integrity within the social work field. The Wisconsin chapter unites social workers within the state to share ideas and serve as a support system.
- Wisconsin Council on Social Work Education The Council on Social Work Education represents social work students in the United States. The council has many centers, hosts events and activities, and has created several initiatives, offering a high level of involvement in the community.
- Wisconsin School Social Workers Association The Wisconsin School Social Workers Association connects practitioners who provide and care for individuals, families, children, and schools. Through events, activities, and meetings, the association regularly shares ideas for professional development and ways to improve practices.
- Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy The Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy was founded with the intention of creating a platform to represent the professional interests and goals of social workers in the United States. The institute recognizes practitioners for their contribution to the lives of families, children, the elderly, and other individuals who have dealt with crisis.
- School Social Work Association of America The School Social Work Association of America supports school social workers throughout their efforts with students. The association promotes the profession and works to improve the emotional and social growth of students. The association also emphasizes students' academic success as a result of working with school social workers.