How To Become a Social Worker in Hawaii
You can take more than one path to become a social worker in Hawaii. Some careers may only call for a BSW, but others might require an MSW. All social worker positions require licensure through the state's Professional & Vocational Licensing Division (PVLD). You must renew each license every three years, which requires proof that you've completed continuing education credits.
We list several types of social work below, along with how to get started on each career path in Hawaii.
Becoming a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker in Hawaii
With a bachelor's degree, you can earn your licensed bachelor social worker (LBSW) designation. This lets you work in any of the first four areas of social work practice codified in Hawaii Statute 467E-1. These areas are as follows:
You're eligible to be a school social worker in Hawaii once you have an LBSW credential. However, some schools may choose to advertise for MSW-qualified candidates. To earn this license, you need a CSWE-accredited BSW degree. You also need to pass the bachelor's-level exam from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) and pay a $281 application fee.
If you're licensed in another state, you may be able to get a reciprocal license in Hawaii . In most cases, all you need is proof that you've passed the ASWB basic exam and a testament from your state's licensing board that you're in good standing.
Becoming a Licensed Social Worker in Hawaii
In Hawaii, a licensed social worker (LSW) credential qualifies you for three duties in addition to those that LBSWs perform:
This license requires you to have a CSWE-accredited master's or doctorate in social work, and you must pass an intermediate or advanced ASWB exam. Holding a similar license in another state may qualify you for reciprocal licensure in Hawaii as long as you're in good standing and provide the necessary documentation.
Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Hawaii
Becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) requires the most stringent guidelines in Hawaii. As for the LSW, you need an accredited MSW or doctorate, but you also need to pass the clinical ASWB exam and demonstrate 3,000 completed hours of clinical social work under the direction of an LCSW in good standing.
With your LCSW credential, you can perform psychotherapy on clients to help diagnose and treat mental illness and behavioral issues. This job carries a lot of responsibility, which is why the criteria are stricter. As with other licenses, you might qualify for a reciprocal license if you're licensed in good standing elsewhere.
CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs by State
Social Work Jobs in Hawaii
With an MSW, you may be eligible for many careers in social work in Hawaii. Here are a few varieties of social work:
Child and family social workers often work for government agencies providing assistance to families in need and referring them for extra services.
Clinical social workers are mental health counselors who help with a variety of psychological issues.
Healthcare social workers help patients navigate complex healthcare systems, procedures, and facilities.
School social workers meet with students and their families to solve behavioral problems and help them get the necessary educational assistance.
An MSW may also qualify you for work outside strict social worker roles, especially in other community health or community and social service fields.
Social Work Salary in Hawaii
We've listed the median annual salaries for different types of social workers below. All data comes from hourly wages given by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and assumes a 40-hour workweek.
- Child, family, and school social workers: $60,258
- Healthcare social workers: $77,272
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers: $63,710
- Social workers, all other: $90,542
Social Work Outlook in Hawaii
The BLS expects the social work field to expand by 9% nationwide during 2021-2031, but it's unclear how many new positions Hawaii will add during that time. The analytics company, Lightcast, notes that employers in Hawaii posted 522 ads for family, school, and general social workers in the last 12 months, along with 138 ads for medical and clinical social workers. The number of open social worker positions in Hawaii has steadily increased from a recent low of 85 jobs in 2017.