How to Become a Social Worker in New York

When researching how to become a social worker in New York, there are several important considerations to think about: social work programs, licensure requirements, potential earning power and the nature of the job itself. Social work can be a great fit for individuals who have a strong desire to help others to improve their quality of life. Social workers help people in all age groups learn how to overcome challenges and live more productive and happy lives.

New York Social Worker Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were 174,070 people working in the social work field in New York State. The annual mean salary for a social worker in the New York in 2010 was $46,960, or $22.56 per hour.1 The highest salary listed was for social work professionals working in educational, guidance, and vocational settings, with an annual mean salary of $62,500.1

Social Worker TypeNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Child, Family, and School Social Workers21,180$51,500
Healthcare Social Workers10,230$54,480
Mental Health and Substance Abuse10,010$51,160
Social Workers, All Other10,370$57,260

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.

Top Ranked Social Work Programs in New York

US News Best Graduate Social Work Programs
Columbia University; New York #5
Fordham University; New York #11
CUNY–Hunter College; New York #16
New York University; New York #16
University at Albany–SUNY; Albany, NY #24
University at Buffalo–SUNY; Buffalo #26
Adelphi University; Garden City #44
Yeshiva University; New York #52
Syracuse University; Syracuse #60
Stony Brook University–SUNY; Stony Brook #66
Binghamton University–SUNY NY; Binghampton #79
CUNY–Lehman College; New York #89
College at Brockport–SUNY; Rochester #104
Roberts Wesleyan College; Rochester #172
LIU–Post and Brooklyn; Brookville #187
Touro College; New York #187

Social Worker Programs in New York

New York University

New York University offers a Master of Social Work degree program with a commitment to building strong clinical skills in students. This MSW takes a relationship-centered approach to social work practice with courses available on three campuses. The programs available are designed to accommodate various possible schedules, including a traditional two-year program, an advanced standing program, a residency program, and extended and 32-month programs. Students can choose to tailor their education by concentrating in areas of interest supporting their intended career tracks. The Silver School of Social Work draws on and contributes to the resources of the greater New York City community to provide an exceptionally well-rounded education to its students.

New York Social Worker License Requirements

The Licensed Master Social Worker and the Licensed Clinical Social Worker both require a masters degree in social work. All applicants must have earned their degree from schools accredited by the CSWE. To become a Licensed Master Social Worker requires no work experience, but applicants must pass a master level Association of Social Work Board Exam.

To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker requires three years of clinical supervised social work and a passing score on the clinical level Association of Social Work Board Exam. The supervised social work experience must involve 2,000 hours of client contact that includes components of psychotherapy such as assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plans. This experience must be done in at least three years but no more than six years. There must also be 100 hours of face-to-face supervision. The supervision must be done by a state board certified and approved Licensed Clinical Social Worker, psychiatrist, or licensed psychologist.

If a Licensed Clinical Social Worker accumulates an additional three years of supervised psychoanalytical experience they can earn the “R” credential. The “R” designation allows Licensed Clinical Social Workers to bill insurance for mental health services.

All social workers must pass a class on recognizing child abuse. Social workers must renew their license registration every three years. There is no continuing education requirement for licensed social workers in the state of New York.
(Source: New York State Office of the Professions)

New York Social Work Career and Job Resources

Social workers in New York can work for public institutions such as schools, hospitals, and government organizations. They can also find employment for private institutions such as social work agencies and non-profit organizations. Members of the New York chapter of the National Association of Social Workers can access the jobs page on their website. The City of New York also offers a listing of available jobs within the city at its website.

Schools With Social Work Programs in New York

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, New York: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ny.htm