Wisconsin Social Worker License Guide - 2022

Social Worker Licensing Guide for the state of Wisconsin

Last Reviewed: May 20th, 2022

Social work is not an easy profession. It is a demanding job that requires you to be strong emotionally. You will tackle real human issues and interactions every day. It can become taxing as time goes on.

The work conditions can be daunting and physically demanding. You will need to drive from one place to another constantly. Social work is not a job where you stay behind a desk for long.

And it can get stressful, like any job. But the stress comes with an emotional component wherein you want to accomplish something because it can improve another life. If you fail, there can be dire consequences.

On the other side of things, social work is also fulfilling. Imagine being able to make a difference in another person’s life. You help improve the quality of living and make a positive contribution to the community as a whole. Each task you do helps someone in a vulnerable position get better.

Social work presents several opportunities for personal and professional growth. The job outlook is positive as well. Social work employment is projected to grow 5.5% from 2018 to 2028.

To become a social worker, you need proper training and education. You then need to apply for a license to practice. In Wisconsin, the Department of Safety and Professional Services oversees the licensing process.

Licensure Process in Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin DSPS offers four different social work credentials:

  1. Certified Social Worker or CSW
  2. Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker or CAPSW
  3. Certified Independent Social Worker or CISW
  4. Licensed Clinical Social Worker or LCSW.

Educational Requirement for Licenses

Having a bachelor’s degree in social work or BSW is the primary educational requirement to become a certified social worker in Wisconsin. The degree should be from an accredited program by the Council on Social Work Education or CSWE.

It takes four years to complete the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). The program covers coursework focused on human behavior, social policies, and related concepts. It also includes courses in psychology and biology. The course also includes fieldwork so the students can get real-world experience as they immerse themselves in actual scenarios.

The BSW is required when applying for CSW. However, if you want to apply for the other social work licenses in Wisconsin, you need a Master of Social Work or MSW.

There are three CSWE accredited programs for MSW in Wisconsin. While you can take the program even with a degree in other subjects, a BSW makes your life easier. You are eligible for advanced standing. This means you can finish the master’s program in just one year.

You need an MSW from an accredited institution to apply for Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker, Certified Independent Social Worker, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Wisconsin Social Work License Options