Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Contributing Editor
Learn how to become a licensed Social Worker In Minnesota. License, education, and employment information for anyone interested in Social Work in Minnesota.
Minnesota is a culturally rich state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” it is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty, with numerous lakes, forests, and rivers dotting its landscape. It shares its borders with Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario.
The state’s economy is diverse, with key industries including agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and technology. Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, is a major economic hub and home to many Fortune 500 companies. St. Paul, the state capital, is known for its government institutions and vibrant arts scene.
Minnesota is celebrated for its educational opportunities, with a strong emphasis on public education and high literacy rates. It is home to several renowned universities, including the University of Minnesota.
The state offers a wide array of recreational activities, both in urban and rural areas. From exploring the iconic Mall of America to enjoying outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, skiing, and hiking, Minnesota is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
- What Are The Clinical Social Work Education Requirements In Minnesota?
- What Are the Social Work Licensing Requirements in Minnesota?
- What Are the Clinical Practice Requirements in Minnesota?
- Can You Get A Social Work License by Endorsement Minnesota?
- How Long Does It Take To Become A Social Worker In Minnesota?
- How Much Do Social Workers Make In Minnesota?
- What type of Careers Can Social Workers Get In Minnesota?
- What Is It Like Working As a Social Worker In Minnesota?
What Are The Clinical Social Work Education Requirements In Minnesota?
To become a social worker in Minnesota, you typically need to meet the following education requirements:
1. Bachelor’s Degree
The first step for initial licensure is to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or a related field. A BSW program typically takes four years to complete and covers foundational knowledge in social work practice, human behavior, research methods, and social policy.
2. Master’s Degree
While a bachelor’s degree may qualify you for entry-level positions in social work, obtaining a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is required for most advanced positions and licensure. An MSW program generally takes two years to complete and offers coursework focused on clinical practice, research, policy, and specialized areas of social work. With a MSW students can become a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW), Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) , and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).
3. Accredited Program
Ensure that the social work program you choose is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Accreditation ensures that the program meets rigorous standards of quality and prepares students for professional practice. Minnesota also accepts degrees with a program accredited by the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work or a similar accreditation body.
4. Field Experience
Completing supervised fieldwork or practicum placements is a crucial part of social work education. These practical experiences allow you to apply your knowledge and skills in real-world settings, working under the guidance of experienced social workers.
In Minnesota, social workers must be licensed to practice clinical social work. After earning your MSW degree, you will need to pursue licensure through the Minnesota Board of Social Work. To be eligible for licensure, you must complete a minimum of 4,000 hours (about two years) of supervised clinical social work experience post-MSW and pass an examination.
This may include supervised practice, direct supervision, 360 clinical clock hours, continuing education, clinical knowledge areas, cultural context, evaluation methodologies.
You will need to complete continuing education courses throughout your career. Continuing education may include supervised practice. You may need this for a license renewal, which can be obtained thru an application process after you have completed continuing education courses.
It is important to note that specific requirements for licensure may vary based on the level of licensure you are seeking and any additional certifications you may want to obtain. It is recommended to contact the Minnesota Board of Social Work or visit their website for the most up-to-date and detailed information on the specific requirements for licensure in the state.
What Are the Social Work Licensing Requirements in Minnesota?
To become a licensed independent social worker (LISW) in Minnesota, individuals must meet the following requirements:
1. Education: Complete a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
2. Examination: Earn a passing score on the ASWB clinical exam or the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam.
3. Supervised Practice: Complete 2,000 hours of supervised social work practice within a two to four-year period. The supervision must be provided by a licensed independent social worker LISW or another qualified professional. A supervisor must complete this Clinical Supervision Verification form after you log the required hours.
4. Ethics Course: Complete a course on professional ethics with direct supervision. Once these requirements are met, individuals can apply for licensure as a licensed independent social worker LISW with the Minnesota Board of Social Work. The LSW license allows individuals to practice non-clinical social work in various settings.
What Are the Clinical Practice Requirements in Minnesota?
For a Minnesota social worker interested in advanced clinical practice, additional requirements must be fulfilled to become a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) or a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker LICSW:
- Complete a graduate degree program and obtain a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from a CSWE-accredited master’s degree program.
- Complete 4,000 hours of supervised social work practice within a two to four-year period. This includes a minimum of 2,000 hours of direct client contact and must be supervised by a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) or another qualified mental health professional.
- Pass the ASWB Master’s Level Exam for the licensed graduate social worker license, and for clinical social work practice the ASWB Clinical Level Exam for the LICSW license.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete a course on professional ethics.
Once these additional requirements are met, individuals can apply for licensure as an graduate social worker LGSW or LICSW with the Minnesota Board of Social Work. The licensed graduate social worker license allows for the independent practice of social work under supervision, while the LICSW license allows for independent clinical practice.
It is essential to note that licensure requirements are subject to change, and it is crucial to verify the specific requirements with the Minnesota Board of Social Work.
Can You Get A Social Work License by Endorsement Minnesota?
To become a licensed social worker LSW in Minnesota through endorsement, you must meet the following requirements:
1. Hold a current, active social work license in another jurisdiction: You must hold a current social work license in good standing from another state, territory, or jurisdiction.
2. Verification of licensure: You need to request official verification of your social work license from the state where you are currently licensed. This verification should be sent directly to the Minnesota Board of Social Work.
3. Education: You must demonstrate that you have completed a social work education program equivalent to those required for licensure in Minnesota. The Minnesota Board of Social Work will evaluate your education to determine if it meets the required standards.
4. Examination: Depending on the type of license you hold in the other jurisdiction, you may need to pass an examination. If you are already licensed at the highest level in your current jurisdiction, you may not need to take an additional exam.
5. Application and fees: Submit an application for licensure by endorsement to the Minnesota Board of Social Work. There will be associated application fees with the application process.
It’s important to note that the specific license requirements requirements for endorsement can vary, and it is recommended to contact the Minnesota Board of Social Work or visit their website for more detailed and up-to-date information on the endorsement process for social work licensure in Minnesota. You may get a temporary license while waiting.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Social Worker In Minnesota?
To become a social worker in Minnesota, you typically need to meet the following education and licensing requirements:
Many entry-level social work positions require a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree from an accredited school. It generally takes about four years to complete a BSW program.
To become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Minnesota, you will need to obtain a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from an accredited school. Master’s degree programs typically take two years to complete.
During your social work education, you will be required to complete supervised fieldwork or practicum placements. This hands-on experience allows you to apply your knowledge and develop practical skills in a professional setting.
After completing your education, you will need to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker in Minnesota. The licensure process includes passing the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB exam) licensure examination, which includes both a clinical and a generalist exam. Additional requirements may include completing supervised post-master’s clinical hours and meeting specific supervised experience requirements.
The exact time it takes to become a social worker in Minnesota can vary depending on factors such as the level of education pursued, the time taken to complete degree programs, and the time required to fulfill licensure requirements. It typically takes between 4-6 years to complete the educational and licensure requirements necessary to become a social worker in Minnesota.
How Much Do Social Workers Make In Minnesota?
The average salary for social workers in Minnesota can vary depending on factors such as education, experience, and specialization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from, the average annual wage for child, family, and school social workers in Minnesota was $55,390. The average annual wage for healthcare social workers was $62,750, and for mental health and substance abuse social workers, it was $56,620.
It’s important to note that these figures are averages and individual salaries can vary. Social workers who have advanced degrees, additional certifications, or many years of experience may earn higher salaries. Additionally, salaries can vary depending on the specific region or city within Minnesota. Those with doctoral degree are top earners.
What type of Careers Can Social Workers Get In Minnesota?
Social workers in Minnesota can pursue various career paths in different settings and specializations. Some common career options for social workers in Minnesota include:
1. Child and Family Social Worker
These social workers work with children and families, providing support, assessment, and intervention services. They may work in child welfare agencies, foster care organizations, or community centers.
2. School Social Worker
School social workers assist students, families, and educators in addressing academic, social, and emotional challenges. They help develop individualized plans, provide counseling services, and connect families with community resources.
3. Healthcare Social Worker
Healthcare social workers work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings, providing emotional support, connecting patients with resources, and assisting with discharge planning and care coordination.
4. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
These social workers provide counseling, support, and treatment for individuals struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse. They may work in outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, or community mental health agencies.
5. Geriatric Social Worker:
Geriatric social workers specialize in working with older adults, providing support and assistance in areas such as healthcare, housing, and end-of-life care. They may work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or senior centers.
6. Policy and Advocacy Social Worker
Social workers in policy and advocacy roles work to shape and influence social welfare policies and advocate for the rights and well-being of vulnerable populations. They may work for government agencies, non-profit organizations, or advocacy groups.
7. Clinical Social Worker
Clinical social workers focus on providing therapy and counseling services to individuals, couples, families, and groups. They may diagnose and treat mental health conditions and work in private practice, hospitals, or mental health centers.
8. Community Social Workers
A Community social worker may work at the grassroots level, engaging with communities to identify needs, develop programs, and connect individuals with resources. They may work in community centers, non-profit organizations, or also government agencies.
What Is It Like Working As a Social Worker In Minnesota?
Working as a social worker in Minnesota offers a variety of opportunities to make a difference in individuals’ lives and contribute to the well-being of communities. Minnesota is known for its strong social service infrastructure and emphasis on social welfare. As a result, social workers in Minnesota often find a supportive work environment with ample resources and opportunities for professional growth and development.
Minnesota has a history of commitment to social justice and equality. Social workers in the state often have the opportunity to engage in advocacy work, address systemic issues, and promote social change. Minnesota is home to diverse communities, including indigenous populations, immigrants, and refugees. Social workers in the state have the opportunity to work with individuals from various cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, gaining valuable experience in cross-cultural and multilingual settings.
Minnesota is home to several reputable universities offering social work programs, providing aspiring social workers with high-quality education and training opportunities. These programs often emphasize practical skills development, research, and a strong foundation in social justice.
Social workers in Minnesota typically enjoy competitive salaries and benefit packages. While social work salaries may vary depending on the specific position, level of experience, and location, overall, social workers in Minnesota can expect to earn a livable wage.