Online Social Work Programs in Wyoming
The job distribution for Wyoming social work professionals also aligns with national data. The U.S. employs 662,550 social workers, accounting for roughly 30% of community and social service jobs. Similarly, Wyoming employs 1,290 social workers, which represents about 32% of all community and social service jobs in the state.
When it comes to salary, social work jobs in Wyoming match those around the nation, with child, family, and school social workers and mental health/substance abuse social workers earning slightly more than the national average for these positions. Healthcare social workers in Wyoming, on the other hand, earn about $1,200 less per year than the typical healthcare social worker in the U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for social workers to grow by 16% between 2016 and 2026. Wyoming can expect to see similar growth over that same period.
Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Wyoming
In Wyoming, to earn the title "social worker," individuals must hold a Wyoming social work license. The Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board issues two types of social work credentials: certified social worker (CSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).
The CSW license allows holders to practice social work under supervision. The LCSW license, meanwhile, allows social work professionals to practice clinical social work independently.
The board also issues CSW and LCSW licenses by reciprocity for social workers who hold out-of-state social work licenses. The reciprocal state must require license holders to meet standards equivalent to or higher than Wyoming's.
Social work jobs in Wyoming require each candidate to hold a state license. To qualify for the CSW license, an individual must possess at least a bachelor of social work. To practice clinical social work in Wyoming, an individual must obtain an LCSW license, which requires applicants to hold at least a master of social work.
Each license candidate must earn their degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Exam Application Process and Requirements
Candidates must take a national exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) as the final step to obtaining Wyoming social work licensure.
Wyoming social work candidates pursuing a CSW license take the master's-level exam, while LCSWs take the clinical test. Both exams last four hours and include 170 multiple-choice questions, 150 of which will count toward the tester's final score.
Social work candidates must first gain approval from the Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board to register for the test. They can do so by submitting an application detailing their education and experience. The application fee is $300.
Note that CSW candidates do not need experience hours, but LCSW candidates must accrue 3,000 postgraduate, supervised hours of work experience. Additionally, at least 1,200 of these hours must be direct client contact hours.
ASWB administers exams through Pearson Professional Centers. Wyoming maintains one testing center in Casper. The master's-level exam costs $230, while the clinical exam is $260.
Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal
Social work licenses and certifications in Wyoming expire every two years on the holder's birthday. Each renewal costs $100. To qualify for license renewal, a social worker must earn a minimum of 45 contact hours of continuing education during the two-year renewal period. Continuing education activities must provide the social work professional with "significant intellectual or practical content."
All acceptable continuing education content should increase the participant's competence in the profession. Additionally, the individual delivering continuing education must hold an advanced degree. The board also allows social workers to earn up to six continuing education hours by giving mental health presentations — one continuing education hour for every hour spent presenting.
Why Choose an Online Social Work Program?
Currently, schools in Wyoming do not offer any online social work programs. However, students can still pursue degrees locally by taking online classes at out-of-state schools. These learners may be eligible for discounts on tuition. For example, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education operates tuition programs for undergraduate and graduate students in the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) and the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP).
Sixteen states participate in these programs, including Wyoming. These programs ensure that out-of-state students who enroll at participating schools pay no more than 150% of resident tuition. This deal can help students save up to $15,000 a year. WUE currently features over 160 schools in its network, and WRGP includes more than 800 graduate programs.
In addition to increased affordability, online learning offers students other benefits, like greater convenience, ample schedule flexibility, and more program options. While online programs vary, most require clinical training or a practicum. However, online learners can often complete these experiences at an approved site near their home.