Social Work Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Wyoming
The social work landscape in Wyoming is simple. The University of Wyoming is the only school in the state that offers accredited social work degree programs according to the Council on Social Work Education. The school offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree (BSW) and a Masters of Social Work degree (MSW). The BSW program was accredited in 1974, but it wasn't until 1999, when the MSW program earned accreditation that Wyoming even offered an education pathway to clinical licensure.
As one might imagine, the professional social work community is Wyoming is likely the smallest in the country. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2014, Wyoming was home to less than 1,000 professional social workers. The vast majority of these social workers are child, family, and school social workers (670) but there are also 150 healthcare social workers and 180 substance abuse social workers across the state. Wyoming social workers are paid relatively well when compared to the rest of the states. The annual average salary of social workers in Wyoming ranges between $46,760 for child and family social workers and $50,230 for healthcare social workers.
The Wyoming Mental Health Professional Licensing Board is obviously the organization in Wyoming responsible for approving licensure for social work licensure in the state. It approves three levels of licensure. The licenses are:
Certified Social Worker (CSW)
An applicant for this license must be at least 18 years old, he/she must be a person of good moral character, they must have a BSW in the subject and they must pass the Bachelor's level examination prepared by the Association of State Social Work Boards (ASWB). A certified social worker may not engage in the practice of clinical social work.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
The applicant for this license must have a MSW or PhD from a CSWE-accredited program.They also must complete 3,000 hours of full-time post-master’s experience consisting of at least 1,200 hours of direct client contact. They must also provide three professional references and pass the Clinical level exam provided by the ASWB. A licensed clinical social worker is fully licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional conditions as well as physical issues.
Wyoming Social Work Degrees, Schools, and Careers
The University of Wyoming's School Social Work is ranked No. 130 in the country schools according to U.S. World News & Report. It is a relatively MSW program considering it has only been accredited since 1999, but it is already attracting attention thanks to its somewhat funky program schedule. The program requires students take summer classes but also allows them to earn the degree in two full-time years. The younger students take foundation courses during the summer while students on the verge of the start of their career are doing research.
The school also has a longer standing BSW program where coursework includes core social work requirements and general university studies courses as well. The curriculum is designed to help students get the knowledge and skills in everything from social and economic justice to populations at-risk and human behavior. The program requires students complete a 450-hour supervised field practicum during the student's senior year and allows students the opportunity to learn under the supervision of professional social workers. The program is available on the Laramie and UW/CC campuses and coursework is offered face-to-face and online.
Online Social Work Schools in Wyoming
The University doesn't offer online social work degree programs that are accredited. But there are also programs around the country that offer accredited online degrees to students in any state including Wyoming. In many cases, because many of Wyoming's students are in rural locations, online education can provide a big benefit. For example, Humboldt State University offers a full-time online BSW option with very few in-person and on-campus requirements. Western New Mexico University is the other online BSW degree provider that is accredited while Briar Cliff University in nearby Iowa offers an online BSW completion program to students who have already started the process. Students looking for online MSW programs have more options because schools like Arizona State, Fordham University and Columbia University all offer online MSW programs that do not have stringent on-campus requirements for any part of the program.
Career Opportunities for Social Workers in Wyoming
The Department of Veterans Affairs is the number one provider of social work jobs around the country and in Wyoming that is especially true, because it is far and away the top social work employer in the state. It is currently advertising for everything from marriage/family social workers to substance abuse social workers. And the branches in Cheyenne and Sheridan are constantly looking for people with social work experience. The other big employers of social workers in the state are the University of Wyoming and some of the medical centers, such as St. John's Medical Center in Jackson Hole and Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Cheyenne.
For more information about the process of becoming a social worker in Wyoming, visit our page on Wyoming social worker license requirements.
Child, Family, and School Social Workers Salary in Wyoming
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211021.htm)
Healthcare Social Workers Salary in Wyoming
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211022.htm)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers Salary in Wyoming
Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211023.htm)