Careers, Licensures, and Salaries in Washington

Numerous social work opportunities are available in the state of Washington as it is one of the top states in terms of employment and salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers specializing in youth, family, and school services represent over 7,800 workers in the state. Thousands of other social workers are in health care, mental health, and substance abuse.

Average Salary of a Washington Social Worker

Similar to other West Coast states, annual salaries for social workers are higher than the national average. In the health care specialty, salaries are estimated at $62,990 statewide on a yearly basis. This figure can jump to over $91,000 for workers that are in the top 10 percent of employment.

Washington Social Work Licensure Requirements

Applicants must have at least a Master’s degree in social work before becoming one of the following licensed practitioners: Licensed Advanced Social Worker and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). Gaining the latter requires further clinical practice and the passing of the clinical exam through the Association of Social Work Boards.

Hours of Experience Requirements

The LICSW requires an associate license to gain the 4,000 supervised hours needed after graduation. A quarter of these hours must be direct client contact, and at least 130 hours are needed with direct supervision by another LICSW-licensed supervisor.

Endorsement and Renewal Requirements

There are no endorsement opportunities in the state of Washington and professionals must reapply for licensure. Annual renewal is needed prior to the license holder’s date of birth, and 36 credit hours of continuing education is needed every two years. Six of these hours must include topics in legal and ethical issues.