Last Updated on November 25, 2023 by Contributing Editor
Learn how to become a licensed Social Worker in Montana with information about education, state licensing, and also career and employment information for anyone interested in Social Work in Montana.
Montana, the fourth largest state in the United States, is known for its stunning natural beauty and vast wilderness. With picturesque landscapes ranging from the snow-capped Rocky Mountains to the sprawling plains of the Great Plains, Montana offers breathtaking scenery that attracts outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers from around the world. The state is home to iconic landmarks like Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, providing ample opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting. Montana’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, mining, and tourism, with a rich cultural heritage rooted in cowboy and Native American traditions. Known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana offers a tranquil escape with its wide open spaces and a strong sense of adventure.
Montana is sparsely populated, with a population density that is one of the lowest in the country. Its small towns and close-knit communities foster a sense of camaraderie and a welcoming atmosphere. The state values independence and self-sufficiency, with residents embracing a laid-back and rugged lifestyle.
Overall, Montana’s charm lies in its untouched landscapes, vibrant culture, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities. It is a state that truly embraces its natural beauty and offers a sanctuary for those seeking a slower-paced, wilderness-filled lifestyle.
- What are the Education Requirements for a Montana Social Work License?
- Can You Get A Social Work License by Endorsement In Montana?
- How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Social Worker In Montana?
- How Much Do Social Workers Make In Montana?
- What Types of Careers Can Social Workers Get In Montana?
- What is it Like Working as a Social Worker in Montana?
- Your Career as a Social Worker in Montana
What are the Education Requirements for a Montana Social Work License?
To become a licensed social worker in Montana, individuals must meet certain education requirements. These requirements set by the the Montana Board of Behavioral Health vary depending on the specific level of social work license one seeks.
1. Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
2. Licensed Master’s Social Worker, non-clinical (LMSW)
Master’s degree in social work (MSW) from a program accredited by the CSWE, with a background check.
3. Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Master’s degree in social work (MSW) from a program accredited by the CSWE for a clinical social worker LCSW.
Two years (3,000 hours) of supervised clinical practice, including at least 100 hours of supervision. And also pass a fingerprint background check.
Successful completion of the Association of Social Work Boards ASWB Clinical Exam.
It’s important to note that these requirements may be subject to change, and it’s advisable to verify the current requirements with the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors.
Can You Get A Social Work License by Endorsement In Montana?
Montana does not have a specific endorsement process for social work licenses. The Montana Board of Social Work Examiners does not offer licensure through endorsement at this time.
If you hold a social work license from another state and wish to practice in Montana, you will need to apply for licensure by examination. This involves meeting Montana’s specific education and experience requirements, as outlined earlier. You will need to submit an application, transcripts, supervision verification forms, and other required documents to the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners. Additionally, you may be required to pass the appropriate level of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Examination.
It is recommended to contact the Montana Board of Behavioral Health directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information on licensure requirements and procedures.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Social Worker In Montana?
The specific timeline for becoming a licensed social worker in Montana can vary depending on factors such as the level of education pursued, field experience requirements, and the time taken to pass the licensing exam. It is recommended to contact the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the timeline and requirements.
To become a licensed clinical social worker in most states, including Montana, the general steps usually involve:
- Education: Obtain a Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited program or a Master’s degree in social work (MSW program) from a CSWE accredited program.
- Field Experience: Complete a set number of supervised field experience or practicum hours as required by the licensing board of behavioral health.
- Exam: Pass the appropriate clinical exam, such as the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam. The clinical exam will consist of different levels based on the desired license (e.g., Bachelors, master’s degree, Clinical).
- Application: Submit an application to the Montana Board of Social Work Examiners, including transcripts, proof of supervised hours, exam results, and any other required documentation.
- Licensing Fee: Pay the required licensing fee to the board of behavioral health
Continuing education is required from a advanced standing program as well as clinical supervision. Additionally, a criminal background check is typically preformed.
How Much Do Social Workers Make In Montana?
According to the latest labor statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for licensed Social Workers in Montana is $51,230. However, it’s important to note that this figure can vary depending on factors such as education, experience, specialization, and also geographic location within the state.
Social workers in specialized fields such as healthcare or mental health may earn higher salaries compared to those in generalist social work positions. Additionally, social workers with advanced degrees and more experience may earn higher salaries as well. Those with a doctoral degree are top earners in their field.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the below Social Work career categories in Montana average salaries.
|Montana Social Worker Careers||Average Salary|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||$43,360 (BLS)|
|Healthcare Social Workers||$57,320 (BLS)|
|Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers||$41,790 (BLS)|
|Social Workers, All Other||$51,230 (BLS)|
What Types of Careers Can Social Workers Get In Montana?
In Montana, social workers can pursue various career paths across different settings. Some of the potential career options include:
Child and Family Social Workers
These professionals work in child protective services, child welfare, adoption agencies, or family service agencies. In these roles, they advocate for the welfare of children and families, assess the home environment, provide support services, and also coordinate resources.
School Social Workers
Within schools, School social workers collaborate with students, teachers, and families to address social and emotional challenges. They may provide counseling, develop intervention plans, and also connect students with community resources.
Healthcare Social Workers
A Healthcare Social Worker may work in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings, helping patients navigate the healthcare system, behavioral health, providing emotional support, coordinating care plans, and connecting individuals and families with needed resources. These work closely with substance abuse social worker.
Mental Health Social Workers
Social workers can work in mental health clinics, counseling centers, or private practices, providing therapy, behavioral health, providing a background check, conducting assessments, and developing treatment plans for individuals with mental health challenges.
Substance Abuse Social Workers
As human behavior specialists, substance abuse social workers can work in substance abuse treatment centers. They also work in rehabilitation facilities with direct supervision, or community organizations, providing counseling thru direct client contact, support, and advocacy for individuals struggling with substance abuse issues.
Geriatric Social Workers
Social workers can specialize in working with older adults, providing support, counseling, and advocacy services to help them navigate the challenges of aging, access resources, and maintain their quality of life.
Community Social Workers
Social workers can work in community organizations, non-profits, or government agencies, behavioral health, focusing on community development, providing a background check, advocacy, and organizing resources to address social issues and promote social justice.
Policy and Program Development
Social workers can engage in policy-related work, analyzing social issues, and also advocating for policy changes. These advocacy specialists develop and implement programs to address community needs.
These are just a few examples of the various career paths available to clinical social workers in Montana. The specific opportunities may vary based on factors such as education, experience, and specialization. It’s recommended to explore job listings, network with professionals in the field, and consult the Montana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for additional information and resources.
What is it Like Working as a Social Worker in Montana?
Working as a social worker in Montana can provide unique challenges and opportunities. It is known for its vast rural areas, and clinical social workers in this state often serve rural communities. This can involve traveling long distances to reach clients and having a caseload that covers a wide geographic area. Working in rural communities may also mean dealing with limited resources and services.
Additionally, Montana is home to a diverse population, including Native American communities on Indian reservations. Social workers may have the opportunity to work closely with these communities, addressing unique cultural and historical factors that impact the social work practice.
Montana is renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. Social workers in Montana can have the benefit of working in a scenic environment and may incorporate outdoor activities into their therapeutic interventions or community programs. Practice in Montana often involves collaboration with other professionals and organizations due to the scarcity of resources. And Social Workers may work closely with schools, healthcare facilities, law enforcement agencies, and also community organizations to provide comprehensive and coordinated care to clients.
Your Career as a Social Worker in Montana
Montana faces various social issues, including poverty, substance abuse, mental health challenges, and domestic violence. Social workers play a crucial role in addressing these issues and advocating for positive change in the community.
Overall, working as a social worker in Montana requires adaptability, strong collaboration skills, and a commitment to serving diverse populations in both rural and urban settings. The challenges and rewards can vary depending on the specific role and location within the state.