Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Oregon

Health care social workers are the highest paid in this field by a significant margin. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, average salaries across the state are at $74,050 annually, which is on par with the neighboring states of California and Nevada, but higher than Washington. By comparison, those specializing in youth and school services receive an average of $53,360 annually.

Only California and the District of Columbia beat out Oregon as top-paying states in this specialization. Most of the concentration is in the northwestern portion of the state, and includes the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area that stretches into Washington. Eugene and Corvallis alone also have salary averages above the $70,000 mark.

Oregon Social Work Licensure Requirements

Two state licensures are available after completing an accredited Master’s program in social work. The Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) allows more advanced non-clinical practice, such as developing treatment and direct counseling. The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is able to perform clinical work, and either licensure requires a minimum of 3,500 postgraduate work hours over a two-year time span with 2,000 direct client hours.

Clinical Examination and Renewal Requirements

Additional needs for the licensures include passing a criminal background check and passing both the Association of Social Work Boards exam and Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules exam. Licensed professionals must apply for specific licensure in the state of Oregon as they do not recognize other state licenses. LMSWs must complete 30 hours of continuous education while LCSWs complete 40 hours for licensure renewal every two years.