There are a few opportunities to gain accredited higher education in social work in the state of Montana: the University of Montana and Salish Kootenai College. Decisions for licensure by the state are done through the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and Board of Behavioral Health.
Montana CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
The University of Montana holds the exclusive Master's degree in social work that has received accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Students can consider specializing as an advanced generalist, in direct clinical practice, or developing social policy. An undergraduate degree is also available to meet state licensure requirements.
Finding a Campus Based Montana MSW Program
Missoula is home to the university that offers the Master of Social Work accredited by the CSWE. This metropolitan area also has many opportunities available for those looking to enter various social work specializations. Billings is another location to consider social work opportunities, and the only other accredited institution in the state is Salish Kootenai College in Pablo offering a Bachelor of Social Work.
University of Montana's Hybrid Master of Social Work
The School of Social Work offers an MSW program that blends the on-campus experience with online education. Full-time enrollment is required for this program and students will need to meet on campus regularly on Thursdays and Fridays. Goals set by the MSW program include providing historical and cultural context in practice, build strong relationships with other team members and clients, and being able to succeed in a leadership position.
A total of 900 clock hours in internships are needed over the two-year Master's degree program. A minimum of 400 hours is needed in the first year, and a limit is set at 450 total hours. If the 400 hours are not met, students may receive approval to complete this requirement during the summer, and the remainder of the total hours needed is earned in the second year of the program.
Licensed Addiction Counselor
While the university does not offer licensure to become an addictions counselor, they do provide the education necessary to gain this credential in the state of Montana. This education aids in the skills gained when analyzing substance abuse with clients and determining successful treatment plans.
By taking this path, students will gain familiarity with guidelines set by the Board of Behavioral Health. Students will also gain numerous contact hours in ethics for addictions counselors, pharmacology, counseling, and treatment planning and documentation.
For prospective students looking to get into the program, they should submit transcripts that designate a completed Bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. An additional requirement for the Graduate School is three letters of recommendation. Other requirements specific to the School of Social Work include the submission of two essay questions and demonstrating proficiency in various liberal arts courses.
Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in Montana
Over 1,000 social workers are employed in youth and school services according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment is generally lower than the national average in the various fields of social work. Much of the opportunities in social work can be found in the Billings and Missoula metropolitan area.
Average Salary of a Montana Social Worker
The western portion of the state sees the highest salary figures for youth and school social workers with a mean wage estimate of $51,660. This is significantly larger than the statewide average of just over $40,000. Average salaries are higher for health care social workers at approximately $50,740.
Montana Social Work Licensure Requirements
Only one licensure is needed for social work in the state of Montana, and that is for clinical work. Receiving the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) certification requires the submission of an application that shows accomplishment of a Master’s degree and the passage of a background check. At least 3,000 hours of work experience is needed after graduation, and this must be supervised by a licensed professional.
Endorsement and Renewal Requirements
Montana does endorse professionals with licensures in other states that have been practicing for at least two years and have equivalent qualifications. Renewals must happen on an annual basis for professionals holding an LCSW and this requires 20 credit hours worth of continuing education. Half of these hours may count toward preparing presentations or educational content.
Online MSW Programs in Montana That Are CSWE Accredited
Campus-Based Montana MSW Programs
The University of Montana
- Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)
- Campus: Missoula
- Improves critical thinking skills and advancing social justice within the community. Direct practice with individuals, groups, and families. Offers practice and policy development in rural settings. Nine credit hours needed for electives, including topics like public administration and statistics. Students meet Thursdays and Fridays, but there are online components to some courses. There is no opportunity for full online pursual of this program.
Top MSW Programs
- CSWE Accredited MSW Programs
- 100% Online MSW
- Online Clinical MSW
- Advanced Standing Online MSW
- Online MSW with No GRE
- 1 Year MSW Programs
- CSWE Accreditation
MSW Concentration Areas
- MSW: Hispanic Children & Families
- MSW: Human Rights
- MSW: Individuals & Families
- MSW: Mental Health & Trauma
- MSW: Substance Abuse
- MSW: Urban Family Studies