Many health professions have different requirements and expectations based on state jurisdiction, and social work is no different. Understanding educational requirements, licensure, duties and expectations is essential for future social workers. To learn more about obtaining social work credentials and other info related to social work in the state of Michigan, read below.
What are the educational requirements necessary to be credentialed as a social worker in Michigan?
There are two types of recognition for social workers in the state of Michigan: registration and licensure. To be registered as a "social work technician," a social work degree is not necessarily required. According to the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs commission, social work technicians must comply with one of the following:
- "Have completed an associate’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program."
- "Be currently employed in social or human services and have either completed 2,000 hours of supervised social work experience over at least a one year period."
- "Have completed at least two years of college in a regionally accredited institution with a least four courses relevant to human service needs."
To be licensed a social worker, graduation with a bachelor's or master's degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program is required.
What's the difference between the types of credentials available in the State of Michigan?
There are differences in the scope of practice for each social work credential. Social work technicians have the most limited scope of practice, which includes: conducting assessments, conducting initial client interviews and providing resources to individuals and communities. Having a bachelor of social work degree increases the scope of practice, participating in case management, engaging in data collection for research and providing basic education related to resources referrals. Master's level social workers have the broadest scope of practice, engaging in diagnosis, treatment planning, evaluation of client progress and psychosocial assessment and treatment.
What's the process for obtaining credentials?
In addition to the educational requirements mentioned above, an application process, supervision hours, background checks and fees are required to get credentials:
- Social work technician applicants need to meet the education or experience requirements mentioned above, complete and submit an application, pay the licensure fee and complete a criminal background check.
- Bachelor's level licensed social workers must complete the educational requirements mentioned above, complete 4000 hours of practice while being supervised by a licensed master's level social worker, take bachelor's the exam, submit an application with proof of supervised hours, pay the licensure fee and complete a criminal background check. While they are obtaining their hours, bachelor's level social workers receive a limited license that is renewable up to six times.
- Master's level licensed social worker must complete the educational requirements mentioned above, complete 4000 hours of practice while being supervised by a licensed master's level social worker in their designation (either clinical, macro, or clinical and macro practice), take the appropriate master's level exam (either clinical or macro, whichever is the primary designation), submit the application, pay the licensure fee and complete a criminal background check. While obtaining their supervised hours, master's level social workers receive a limited license that is renewable up to six times.
What do I need to do to maintain my credentials?
Social work technicians are required to renew the license once it expires. Once a social worker has their full license, bachelor's level and master's level social workers must complete continuing education credits on pay the renewal fee every three years.
What do social workers get paid in the State of Michigan?
Salaries for social workers in the state of Michigan vary significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for social workers is approximately $60,000 across all credential levels. The lowest earners average about $33,000 per year, while the highest earners average about $ 80,000. Salaries increase with the degree of education and credentialing.
What are the most popular places for social work positions?
All type of environments need social workers, from city centers to rural areas. The Detroit-Metro area employs the largest number of social workers followed the Grand Rapids-Metro area.
How Do I Enter the Field?
An online BSW from Spring Arbor University can provide the educational experience you need to get started. To learn more about social work credentials, visit the State of Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Commission’s website.