Online Social Work Programs in Georgia

Social workers provide an invaluable service to Georgia residents, helping them overcome a vast array of problems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in child, family, and school social work in the Atlanta metropolitan area rank among the top 10 U.S. cities for employment levels, and the Albany area ranks sixth for the highest concentration of jobs.

As of May 2018, the BLS reported the largest number of social worker jobs in Georgia (8,660) in child, family, and school social work, with those professionals earning a mean annual wage of $41,040. Healthcare social worker positions totaled 3,550, earning a mean annual salary of $53,110, and mental health and substance abuse social worker jobs numbered 1,160, with a mean annual salary of $39,600.

According to a recent report, 52 Georgia counties lack a licensed social worker. This makes Georgia an ideal state for graduates to find work, especially with helping children and adolescents.

Social Work Programs by Degree Level

Online Bachelor’s in Social Work Programs

Education and Licensure Requirements for Social Workers in Georgia

The Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists licenses Georgia social workers. The state offers two types of licenses, both of which require masters degrees: licensed master’s social worker (LMSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). The following section describes the educational requirements and application process for each type of license.

Education Requirements

Georgia licensure applicants must hold degrees from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). LCSWs with a master’s degree must also complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience during a span of 3-9 years. Those holding doctoral degrees need 2,000 hours with 2-6 years’ work experience. LMSWs and social workers with bachelor’s degrees who are not licensed can practice, but their employment options and the types of services they can offer are more limited than for LCSWs.

Exam Application Process and Requirements

All applicants must submit a completed, signed, and notarized application to the licensing board, along with a $100 processing fee, either online or by mail. Prospective students also need to provide two professional references and academic transcripts. LCSW candidates should submit verification of supervised experience, as well. Applicants can download the forms they need online.

Approved applicants also take an exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The licensing board does not offer reciprocity to LCSWs who hold licenses from other states.

Once they receive board approval, applicants register for the licensing exam through the ASWB’s website. Fees total $230 for the master’s exams and $260 for the clinical exam. The ASWB sells exam preparation materials online to registered applicants. The exam takes four hours to complete and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.

In Georgia, LMSWs may enter private practice as long as it does not include psychotherapy or counseling; only LCSWs with their licenses or in supervised training to receive their licenses may provide those services.

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Continuing Education and Licensure Renewal

Social workers’ licenses expire on Sept. 30 of even-numbered years. Renewal costs $100, and LMSWs and LCSWs must complete 35 hours of continuing education (CE) during every two-year license renewal period. These hours must include five hours of in-person ethics education. Renewal candidates can take up to 10 hours of their overall CE requirements online.

For a listing of CE options, go to the National Association of Social Workers: Georgia Chapter.

Reactivation of an inactive license costs $150, unless inactivity spanned more than five years or the license lapsed or was revoked. In the latter cases, reinstatement costs $350.

Why Choose an Online Social Work Program in Georgia?

Online master of social work (MSW) degree programs offer distance learning opportunities for students who can’t attend classes in-person but who want the same high-quality education offered to on-campus students. Online programs offer the flexibility and convenience of virtual courses, with in-person attendance required for practicums, internships, and on-campus trainings.

The online MSW program at Georgia’s Albany State University costs $300 per credit hour for both in- and out-of-state students. The BLS also projects healthcare social work jobs in Georgia to experience the fastest growth from 2016 through 2026, with a 17.4% increase in occupations.

Ranking Methodology

Here is our list of online social work degree programs in Georgia as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics. We cover online bachelor’s in social work, online master’s in social work, and online doctorate in social work programs. All programs are regionally and CSWE accredited, and all are available entirely online.

Online Social Work Programs in Georgia

Albany State University

Providing the only online option for students interested in Georgia social work degrees, the historically black Albany State University’s Department of Social Work offers a bachelor of social work that students can complete either on campus or through blended learning. The department does not list much about its history on its website but offers the only partially online social work program in the entire state. The department features opportunities for dual majors, provided that students clear their planned coursework with the department chair.

Albany State University Bachelor of Social Work

  • Credits and Courses: Each student must complete 123 credits before graduating. Enrollees can complete the core curriculum, 42-44 credits, online but must complete all upper-level requirements through on-campus coursework.
  • Completion Time: Like most other bachelor’s degrees, the program usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.
  • Field Education: The program’s curriculum includes a field instruction course and an accompanying integrative seminar.
  • Exam Preparation: The program prepares students to take the ACAT examination before graduating.
  • Transfer Policies: A transfer applicant must have earned at least 30 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA for consideration. Otherwise, they must apply as freshman students.
  • Online Student Support: Online students at Albany State University receive access to library services and an online writing center.
  • Cost: $188/credit
  • Admission Requirements: Each applicant must earn a high school GPA of at least 2.0 and submit ACT or SAT scores.

Albany State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Albany State University’s online social work programs are CSWE-accredited.

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