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Online MSW Programs in Wisconsin

By Jordan Beliles | Updated 12/22/2022

Social workers help underserved and struggling individuals with a variety of problems, from advocating for civil rights to supporting substance abuse recovery. They may work in hospitals, community centers, welfare organizations, or within a range of human and health services organizations. Graduates of master's programs have options beyond direct support that include supervisory roles and specialty practices. If you're curious how to become a social worker in Wisconsin, or maybe you want to gain a better understanding of what social work is, this article will explain everything you need to know.

MSW programs in Wisconsin, otherwise known as a master's degree in social work, will prepare you with the communication and analytical skills needed to join the workforce. Online degrees are highly flexible making them great for working professionals. This is even true for master's degrees which can be completed remotely, including online MSW programs in Wisconsin. The content below discusses how to get a social work certification in Wisconsin and the ways you can earn a Wisconsin social work license.

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CSWE Accredited Online MSW Programs in Wisconsin

School Annual Tuition Locations
# Concordia University - Wisconsin $11,760 Mequon
# Herzing University $11,680 Multiple Locations
# University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee $25,651 Milwaukee

MSW in Wisconsin

In order to earn a social work license in Wisconsin you'll need to complete a social work degree in the state. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is the main accrediting board for schools in each state.

Currently, there are three programs available that are taught fully-online at the master's level that CSWE has approved based on the organization's accreditation standards and educational policy.


The first one is from Concordia University Wisconsin, which offers a faith-based program featuring optional clinical licensure courses.


The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee is another option. Here, students gain extensive hands-on experience through four semesters of field placement. Keep in mind that this program is only available for Wisconsin residents.


The last CSWE-accredited program comes from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, which also has a fully online option and offers a variety of elective courses, where students can prepare for a specialist practice in school social work, substance abuse, or mental health.

Graduates of each program will have the opportunity to earn social work jobs in Wisconsin.

To learn about online MSW programs and social worker requirements in other states, explore our list of CSWE-accredited online MSW programs by state below:

CSWE-Accredited Online MSW Programs by State

How To Become a Social Worker in Wisconsin

Once you earn your MSW in Wisconsin you'll be eligible to apply for the proper credentials. The Wisconsin Board of Social Work is overseen by the Department of Safety and Professional Services, which outlines the requirements for earning a social work license in Wisconsin as well as how to become a certified advanced practice social worker. 

Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker H3

The Wisconsin social work board states that a Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW) is allowed to practice general social work under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker. 

The requirements to become a CAPSW are as follows:

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Once you've gained certification as a CAPSW, you can apply to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). 

The requirements are as follows:

  • Provide proof of 3,000 hours of supervised clinical social work practice, which must include 1,000 hours of face-to-face client contact and feature Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental disorders and treatment of individuals. There's also a supervisor's form that must be submitted to confirm your experience. 
  • You'll also need to provide proof of your clinical coursework during your MSW by submitting an additional form. 
  • From there, you'll need to pass the ASWB Clinical examination, which costs $260.
  • Your exam results will be passed along to the board for confirmation at which point they will issue your license.

Social Work Jobs in Wisconsin

There are a few state-specific agencies and associations that offer assistance for licensed social workers to obtain employment. LCSWs in Wisconsin can take advantage of job resources from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The posted roles include positions within local health and human services departments throughout Wisconsin, such as a community support program manager and clinical social worker. 

There's also the Wisconsin Social Services Association and the Wisconsin Nursing Home Social Services Association that offer resources for employment. The Job Center of Wisconsin may be the most fruitful option, with over 500 social worker roles listed as of October 2022.

Social Worker Salary in Wisconsin

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 37,890 individuals employed in community and social services throughout the state. 

A median social worker's salary in Wisconsin was $50,910 as of May 2021. This equates to an hourly mean wage of $24.48. Wisconsin social workers earn slightly less than the national median wage for similar roles, which sits at $53,950. 

When comparing social worker's wages in neighboring states, Wisconsinites earn less than professionals in Minnesota and Illinois but more than those in Michigan and Iowa

Bottom Line

Online MSW degrees provide graduates with an advanced understanding of the social sciences. Not only can graduates promptly gain licensure to work in Wisconsin, but they'll also be able to explore other careers in social work. As mental health services become more commonplace, social workers in Wisconsin will find there are plenty of ways to put their skills to use.

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