Washington Psychology, Social Work & Counseling Licensure Requirements

Home » Psychology, Counseling & Social Work Licensing Requirements » Washington

Whether you currently live in Washington state or are looking to start a new life among the evergreens, a career in psychology, therapy, counseling, or social work might interest you. But where do you start? To practice in any of these fields, you’ll need to complete a series of steps that lead to earning a license.

Continue reading to learn exactly what it takes to work at these professional levels, helping individuals address a variety of problems that affect their daily lives.


Psychology Licensure in Washington

From education to renewal, the Washington State Department of Health manages the requirements for earning your license in psychology.

Education requirements

As with most states, you must have a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university to gain psychology licensure in Washington. While this level of degree is necessary, you do have options in terms of the exact degree type you earn. The two most common are the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees, though others—such as the Doctor of Education (EdD)—are available but rare.

Although it’s not required, it’s highly recommended that your psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Without APA accreditation, you’ll need to meet requirements that include:

  • At least 40 semester hours, or 60 quarter hours, in graduate courses specified by the board
  • A 1-year, or 750-hour, residency
  • An APA-approved internship with at least 1,500 hours of supervised experience completed within 2 years
  • A copy of your program-endorsed dissertation
  • Official transcripts including proof of a 300-hour practicum with at least 100 hours of supervision
  • 3 professional references
  • Verification of a total of 3,300 hours of supervision

The practicum and internship are required regardless of APA accreditation. Your internship itself should be accredited by the APA or be a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers. Between the practicum and internship, many students also choose to complete a pre-internship made up of 1,500 hours of supervised work.

Psychology licensing requirements

Once you hold your degree, you’ll be eligible to begin the next steps in the process.

Post-doctoral supervised hours

Post-doc practice hours are only required if you haven’t completed 3,000 hours during your doctorate program. Paired with the 1,500 hours of internship, you can apply up to 1,500 of post-doc supervised hours to meet this requirement.

In total, you should expect to complete 3,300 hours of supervised experience. You have 2 options for completing the hour requirements:

  1. Practicum (300 hours), pre-internship (1,500 hours), and internship (1,500 hours)
  2. Practicum (300 hours), internship (1,500 hours), and post-doc (1,500 hours)

With the pre-internship giving you the chance to complete all necessary hours while in school, it’s a popular option for those looking to gain their psychology license sooner.

Exams

You’ll need to apply for licensure before you’re eligible to take the required exams. This initial application ensures that you’ve earned the appropriate degree and completed the required number of supervised practice hours. Once that has been verified, you’ll receive notification of your eligibility to take the first of the 2 required exams.

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is offered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and is required for all psychologists in the country. Made up of 225 multiple-choice questions, the exam must be passed with a score of at least 500 out of 800.

Once you’ve passed the EPPP,  you’ll be eligible to take the Washington State Jurisprudence Exam. The exam is focused on your understanding of the laws and regulations related to the practice of psychology in Washington specifically. It’s an open book, 25-question exam that covers the following 9 topics:

  • Psychology law
  • Uniform Disciplinary Act
  • Healthcare Information Act
  • Abuse of children
  • Mental Illness Act
  • Abuse of vulnerable adults
  • Psychologists rules
  • Whistleblower complaints
  • Administrative procedures and requirements

You’ll need to pass the exam with a score of 90% or higher.

Additional training

Rounding out your education and training are courses specific to HIV/AIDS. The training must total 7 hours and can be completed all at once or in several shorter classes.

Renewal and continuing education requirements

Psychologists in Washington must renew their license every year on or before their birthday. Continuing education (CE) credits aren’t required for every period of renewal, but 60 hours of CE must be completed every 3 years. At least 4 of these hours must be in ethics and 6 in suicide intervention.

License reciprocity

If you hold a psychology license in another state, you have 2 options for gaining your license in Washington:

  • Temporary permit
  • Endorsement

The temporary permit is intended for professionals who are looking to practice for a short time period, specifically no more than 90 days, within a calendar year. However, if you’re looking to practice in the state permanently, you’ll want to apply by endorsement.

No matter which option applies to you, your current out-of-state license must meet the credentialing standards of Washington to gain licensure by reciprocity.

Psychologist Salary

Clinical and Counseling Psychologists

National data

Median Salary: $82,510

Projected job growth: 9.9%

10th Percentile: $47,010

25th Percentile: $62,040

75th Percentile: $126,590

90th Percentile: $167,460

Projected job growth: 9.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $62,520 $34,060 $167,250
Alaska $81,600 $59,480 $133,860
Arizona $77,450 $30,000 $126,110
Arkansas $62,540 $46,910 $128,070
California $126,470 $61,770 $205,460
Colorado $81,940 $39,760 $133,850
Connecticut $104,940 $60,820 N/A
Delaware $94,570 $74,870 N/A
District of Columbia $79,430 $38,290 $205,920
Florida $70,320 $38,790 $166,460
Georgia $62,460 $29,600 $149,070
Hawaii $101,310 $62,310 N/A
Idaho $62,410 $39,630 $130,030
Illinois $81,500 $39,760 N/A
Indiana $65,250 $39,470 $128,570
Iowa $88,340 $32,320 $166,980
Kansas $75,410 $29,350 N/A
Kentucky $77,190 $35,820 $161,610
Louisiana $93,750 $49,520 $203,650
Maine $75,670 $57,010 $159,120
Maryland $82,710 $47,850 $147,340
Massachusetts $80,840 $50,730 $135,650
Michigan $66,180 $47,280 $128,390
Minnesota $98,050 $47,630 $127,160
Mississippi $64,430 $31,140 $158,720
Missouri $63,580 $39,280 $100,620
Montana $81,590 $50,510 $126,040
Nebraska $81,570 $47,270 $113,790
Nevada $94,480 $19,440 $164,110
New Hampshire $94,570 $49,440 $130,720
New Jersey $119,670 $79,430 N/A
New Mexico $98,030 $52,400 N/A
New York $104,070 $48,800 N/A
North Carolina $81,700 $39,640 $163,980
North Dakota $101,910 $47,350 $204,240
Ohio $98,030 $39,620 N/A
Oklahoma $59,710 $31,240 $98,030
Oregon $119,180 $60,820 $205,440
Pennsylvania $69,930 $38,150 $111,110
Rhode Island $98,680 $74,870 $170,890
South Carolina $78,930 $34,860 $129,780
South Dakota $94,050 $52,840 $126,750
Tennessee $98,030 $47,150 N/A
Texas $78,000 $39,510 $126,870
Utah $79,510 $48,390 $133,850
Vermont $62,260 $30,450 $104,580
Virginia $83,080 $50,810 $205,920
Washington $97,140 $59,490 $131,640
West Virginia $50,350 $35,250 $101,780
Wisconsin $78,810 $48,640 $129,380
Wyoming $62,070 $23,680 $129,710

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Looking to branch into an even more specialized area of psychology? In some cases, specializations can give you the opportunity to work with a more focused population and possibly up your earning potential. For example, you could work within the criminal justice system as a forensic psychologist, with large companies as an organizational psychologist, or with coaches and athletes as a sports psychologist.


Therapy & Counseling Licensure in Washington

There are 3 therapy and counseling licensing types monitored by the Washington State Department of Health.

  • Certified counselor
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Mental health counselor

Certified counselor

This level of counseling tends to be general. Certified counselors can address a wide range of emotional issues within various populations. But before you can practice at this level, you’ll need to be properly trained and licensed.

Education requirements

While many counseling-related fields require advanced degrees, certified counselors in Washington are only required to hold a bachelor’s. You’ll also need to have completed 36 credit hours of continuing education, with 6 being in law and professional ethics related to counseling.

Licensing requirements

Along with submitting your transcripts, you’ll also need to complete the required exam. It’ll cover risk assessments, ethics, patient assessment scale, client referral, and Washington state law. There isn’t a designated grade for passing the exam, only a pass or fail distinction is given.

Prior to applying for licensure, you’ll need to complete 4 hours of HIV/AIDS training and a routine background check.

Once you’ve completed all these requirements, your application will be processed and reviewed. If you’re eligible to become a certified counselor, you’ll need to renew your license every year. For every 2 years, you must complete an additional 36 hours of CEs, with 6 hours in ethics and 3 hours in suicide assessment. Every 6 years, you’ll need to complete hours in the areas of screening and referral.

Certified advisor

If earning a bachelor’s degree is out of reach, then becoming a certified advisor could be a good option. The highest degree required for this role in Washington is an associate’s degree. Aside from the differing education requirement, certified advisors must meet the same requirements as certified counselors to become licensed.

Marriage and family therapist (MFT)

If you’re looking to have a more specialized therapy career, an MFT distinction is perfect for professionals who want to work with couples and families.

Education requirements

To become a licensed marriage and family therapist in Washington, you must have either a master’s or a doctoral degree in MFT. A behavioral science master’s or doctorate is also accepted if the coursework is equivalent.

The requirements go a step further by specifying that 45 semester credits (60 quarter credits) of coursework must be completed in the following areas:

  • Martial and family systems
  • Marital and family therapy
  • Individual development
  • Psychopathology
  • Human sexuality
  • Research
  • Professional ethics and laws
  • Elective (1 course)
  • Supervised clinical practice (up to 9 semester credits)

When you’re looking for MFT programs, consider completing your degree through a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). While not required, the COAMFTE accreditation gives you the chance to be credited with a portion of the required supervised hours that are explained in more detail below.

MFT licensing requirements

After completing your master’s or doctoral degree, your education must continue, specifically for 36 hours. You must verify on your application that you’ve met these CE hours, 6 of which must be in professional law and ethics. A 4-hour HIV/AIDS training is also required.

In addition, you must complete a minimum of 2 years of full-time MFT supervised work. You’ll need to make sure this experience includes:

  • A minimum of 3,000 hours
  • 1,000 hours direct client contact
  • 500 hours diagnosing and treating families and couples
  • 200 hours with an approved supervisor, 100 of which are 1-on-1

Selecting a COAMFTE-accredited program will give you the chance to be credited with 500 hours of direct client contact and an additional 100 hours with a supervisor.

Once you’ve completed these requirements, you can sit for the MFT exam offered the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). Scores are sent directly to the Washington licensing board.

With all of these steps complete, you’ll be eligible to earn your license as a marriage and family therapist. This license will need to be renewed once a year. And every 2 years, you’ll need to complete 36 hours of CEs, with 6 in law and ethics. Every 6 years, you’ll also need to complete 6 hours in suicide assessment, treatment, and management.

Licensed marital and family therapy associate (LMFTA)

The LMFTA is designed for candidates who are actively working towards an LMFT. To gain this distinction, you’ll need to complete the same education requirements and the 4-hour HIV/AIDS training. LMFTAs can only renew their license up to 6 times.

LMFT Salary

Marriage and Family Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $49,880

Projected job growth: 13.9%

10th Percentile: $37,050

25th Percentile: $42,910

75th Percentile: $75,410

90th Percentile: $96,520

Projected job growth: 13.9%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $44,820 $34,060 $62,170
Arizona $49,360 $37,270 $62,950
California $49,650 $37,220 $96,520
Colorado $62,280 $43,580 $130,760
Connecticut $59,330 $37,220 $96,520
Delaware $52,310 $48,760 $61,420
Florida $46,900 $34,530 $59,380
Georgia $46,910 $34,760 $61,710
Hawaii $49,650 $48,090 $102,540
Idaho $49,440 $38,480 $63,040
Illinois $47,320 $33,140 $97,400
Indiana $48,690 $35,270 $62,870
Iowa $46,910 $36,910 $76,950
Kansas $46,740 $30,640 $62,940
Kentucky $49,720 $34,260 $81,350
Louisiana $24,800 $22,980 $65,450
Maryland $49,630 $38,580 $80,560
Massachusetts $49,630 $38,630 $80,460
Michigan $59,910 $38,520 $76,090
Minnesota $65,150 $39,000 $96,710
Mississippi $46,860 $36,890 $51,520
Missouri $47,050 $37,060 $60,190
Nebraska $47,040 $20,650 $63,240
Nevada $61,330 $46,650 $96,250
New Hampshire $46,490 $36,750 $76,630
New Jersey $77,960 $61,320 $99,160
New Mexico $49,410 $37,000 $79,890
New York $59,760 $29,060 $96,520
North Carolina $43,670 $36,560 $63,350
North Dakota $48,540 $38,430 $60,990
Ohio $50,530 $37,220 $76,800
Oklahoma $55,660 $37,060 $101,430
Oregon $49,650 $44,280 $95,790
Pennsylvania $47,380 $36,210 $77,170
South Carolina $46,030 $35,500 $96,700
South Dakota $46,640 $37,060 $59,910
Tennessee $38,520 $30,640 $50,910
Texas $54,920 $38,850 $80,840
Utah $75,940 $49,250 $129,400
Virginia $49,130 $37,210 $76,950
Washington $47,130 $37,070 $60,020
West Virginia $38,830 $36,040 $61,140
Wisconsin $62,430 $44,090 $76,090
Wyoming $47,600 $36,660 $60,410

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Licensed mental health counselor (LMHC)

Mental health counselors guide clients through uncertain and trying times in their lives. Most often these professionals address depression, PTSD, anxiety, and a slew of other mental health concerns.

Education requirements

If you’re hoping to earn your license in mental health counseling, you’ll need to start by completing a master’s or doctoral degree in mental health counseling or a closely related field such as psychology, social work, rehabilitation, or social sciences.

Your program must address counseling theory and philosophy. It’ll also need to include either a counseling practicum or internship. Furthermore, 7 of your courses must relate to some of the following topics. Keep in mind that 5 of those 7 courses will need to touch on any of the first 8 topics listed:

  • Assessment/diagnosis
  • Ethics/law
  • Counseling individuals
  • Counseling groups
  • Counseling couples and families
  • Developmental psych
  • Psychopathology/abnormal psych
  • Research and evaluation
  • Career development counseling
  • Multicultural concerns
  • Substance/chemical abuse
  • Physiological psych
  • Organizational psych
  • Mental health consultation
  • Developmentally disabled people
  • Abusive relationships
  • Chronically mentally ill

Licensing requirements

You should be ready to complete 36 months of full-time supervised counseling, or 3,000 hours, once you graduate. At least 100 of these hours should be under direct supervision with a licensed mental health counselor, and 1,200 must be performed directly with individuals, couples, families, or groups.

When you’ve completed all of these hours, you’ll be eligible to take the required exam. While there are 2 acceptable exam options offered by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), you’ll only need to take and pass 1.

  1. National Counselor Exam (NCE)–This exam is a more generalized test designed to assess your knowledge, skills, and abilities at providing counseling services.
  2. National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE)–Focused on clinical simulations, this exam assesses your ability to identify, analyze, diagnose, and treat mental health issues at the clinical level.

All applicants are then required to undergo 4 hours of HIV/AIDS training. Following successful completion of these requirements, you’ll be eligible to earn your mental health counselor license. From that point on, it’ll be your responsibility to renew your license every year. The continuing education requirements are the same as for marriage and family therapists.

Licensed mental health counselor associate (LMCHA)

The LMHCA distinction is offered for those on track to earning their LMHC. If you’re interested in earning this license, you’ll need to make sure you meet the educational requirements and complete the 4-hour HIV/AIDS training. While renewal of this license if possible each year without CEs, it can only be renewed 6 times.

Mental Health Counselor Salary

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

National data

Median Salary: $48,520

Projected job growth: 22.1%

10th Percentile: $30,870

25th Percentile: $38,520

75th Percentile: $61,660

90th Percentile: $77,980

Projected job growth: 22.1%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $38,830 $29,430 $61,140
Alaska $61,040 $37,440 $97,740
Arizona $48,930 $36,940 $76,630
Arkansas $38,660 $27,520 $77,510
California $49,630 $36,750 $98,560
Colorado $49,630 $36,330 $80,580
Connecticut $48,900 $36,330 $81,610
Delaware $46,910 $30,730 $63,340
District of Columbia $60,600 $31,370 $96,870
Florida $46,680 $30,130 $76,880
Georgia $44,080 $30,320 $63,310
Hawaii $51,060 $38,000 $80,580
Idaho $49,360 $30,690 $79,420
Illinois $47,640 $35,100 $80,030
Indiana $46,230 $30,640 $76,090
Iowa $47,730 $30,090 $77,460
Kansas $48,330 $30,810 $63,460
Kentucky $44,250 $28,820 $62,870
Louisiana $37,510 $25,290 $59,460
Maine $48,960 $30,840 $100,040
Maryland $55,480 $36,650 $78,310
Massachusetts $48,960 $37,070 $78,540
Michigan $48,820 $31,800 $76,650
Minnesota $48,980 $37,960 $65,510
Mississippi $37,580 $23,700 $62,670
Missouri $38,920 $26,140 $60,310
Montana $46,790 $24,510 $63,800
Nebraska $49,370 $30,640 $78,700
Nevada $59,940 $30,640 $95,790
New Hampshire $46,640 $30,720 $68,520
New Jersey $60,000 $44,470 $92,620
New Mexico $56,750 $36,230 $96,710
New York $49,650 $31,310 $78,940
North Carolina $48,640 $29,960 $76,670
North Dakota $60,920 $36,750 $76,720
Ohio $47,510 $30,600 $76,950
Oklahoma $47,500 $29,200 $76,720
Oregon $59,060 $37,140 $94,800
Pennsylvania $46,790 $30,690 $75,060
Rhode Island $60,300 $31,990 $97,740
South Carolina $38,110 $28,580 $73,730
South Dakota $39,070 $30,970 $61,330
Tennessee $37,700 $27,780 $61,380
Texas $46,470 $29,360 $76,670
Utah $60,460 $30,690 $101,100
Vermont $47,320 $38,360 $63,340
Virginia $48,820 $36,750 $76,670
Washington $49,360 $37,070 $78,090
West Virginia $38,100 $29,530 $60,340
Wisconsin $48,100 $32,770 $76,650
Wyoming $60,130 $38,830 $96,440

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.


Social Work Licensure in Washington

The Washington State Department of Health also oversees all licenses related to social work, of which there are 4:

  • Licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW)
  • Licensed advanced social worker (LASW)
  • Licensed independent clinical social worker associate (LICSWA)
  • Licensed social worker associate advanced (LSWAA)

LICSW, LASW, LICSWA, and LSWAA: what’s the difference?

The top-tier license in Washington is the LICSW. This license gives you the opportunity to practice independent of a supervisor and is required for opening a private practice.

The LASW, while also a respectable license, doesn’t allow you to practice independently. You must practice under the supervision of an LICSW. As an LASW, you’ll most commonly be addressing case management, consultation, advocacy, counseling, and community organization.

Both also have associate-level licenses, which act as stepping stones towards earning the higher-level counterpart.

The licensed social worker associate advanced can be earned prior to an LASW, while the licensed independent clinical social worker associate is earned before the LICSW.

Education requirements

All 4 license types require candidates to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Social work licensing requirements

Following the completion of your degree, LSWAAs and LICSWAs maintain the same requirements. Candidates need to complete 4 hours of AIDS education and declare that they’re on track towards earning their full license.

Licensing requirements for LASWs and LICSWs, on the other hand, begin to vary drastically. While both must complete 4 hours of HIV/AIDS training and 36 CE credits after graduating, the 2 licenses have different postgraduate supervised experiences and require different exams.

LASW

As an aspiring LASW, you’ll need to complete 3,200 hours of postgraduate supervised experience. Within those hours, you’ll need to meet additional hour requirements:

  • 800 hours in direct client contact
  • 90 hours supervised by an LASW or LICSW, of these:
    • 50 hours must be under direct supervision of an LASW or LICSW, 1-on-1 or in a group setting
    • 40 hours can be 1-on-1 with an equally qualified licensed mental healthcare practitioner

The American Association of Social Work Boards (AASWB) offers the Advanced Generalist exam for those applying to become LASWs. To be eligible for this exam, you must have at least a master’s in social work and 2 years of postgraduate work. Rather than receiving a specific passing score, you’ll receive a pass or fail distinction.

LICSW

LICSWs require a higher number of postgraduate supervised hours, specifically 4,000 over the course of 3 years. These hours are also broken down by specific requirements:

  • 1,000 hours in direct client contact supervised by an LICSW
  • 130 hours supervised by an LICSW or equally licensed mental health practitioner, of these:
    • 70 hours must be with an LICSW either 1-on-1 or in a group setting
    • 60 hours may be 1-on-1 with an equally qualified mental health practitioner

As the highest-level test offered by the ASWB, the Clinical exam is required to become an LICSW. To be a candidate for this exam, you must complete the educational and postgraduate hour requirements. The department is informed if you’ve passed the exam.

The 2 license types show similarities again in their renewal requirements. LASWs and LICSWs must be renewed every year, with 36 CE credits earned every 2 years. Of these hours, 6 must be in law and ethics and every 6 years, 6 hours must be in suicide assessment, treatment, and management.

Social Worker Salary

Healthcare Social Workers

National data

Median Salary: $60,840

Projected job growth: 11.1%

10th Percentile: $37,630

25th Percentile: $47,630

75th Percentile: $76,920

90th Percentile: $86,820

Projected job growth: 11.1%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $49,040 $35,510 $63,560
Alaska $60,580 $37,550 $81,440
Arizona $60,910 $37,020 $81,020
Arkansas $59,960 $37,390 $77,860
California $79,730 $47,910 $126,880
Colorado $58,750 $37,020 $79,460
Connecticut $76,410 $47,630 $98,970
Delaware $56,170 $36,780 $78,020
District of Columbia $78,020 $47,570 $124,680
Florida $60,440 $36,220 $79,800
Georgia $50,350 $32,800 $77,650
Hawaii $77,270 $47,530 $98,920
Idaho $61,690 $45,430 $81,040
Illinois $60,410 $33,380 $79,290
Indiana $50,950 $38,290 $78,260
Iowa $59,550 $45,750 $77,280
Kansas $59,560 $36,900 $78,020
Kentucky $58,750 $37,080 $77,390
Louisiana $56,620 $34,770 $77,430
Maine $60,910 $47,430 $77,670
Maryland $61,410 $37,970 $81,440
Massachusetts $61,000 $37,830 $98,520
Michigan $60,870 $38,990 $78,180
Minnesota $61,920 $47,230 $80,970
Mississippi $50,200 $36,760 $77,100
Missouri $48,190 $33,330 $77,430
Montana $60,040 $38,030 $77,280
Nebraska $49,830 $37,190 $77,670
Nevada $61,690 $29,450 $98,490
New Hampshire $63,870 $48,900 $81,440
New Jersey $63,850 $49,230 $95,640
New Mexico $60,040 $44,510 $81,230
New York $58,240 $37,360 $98,740
North Carolina $60,920 $46,880 $81,020
North Dakota $59,800 $37,310 $77,670
Ohio $60,470 $38,670 $77,670
Oklahoma $48,100 $34,840 $77,760
Oregon $77,960 $50,490 $103,900
Pennsylvania $60,360 $41,060 $82,700
Rhode Island $78,870 $49,940 $81,440
South Carolina $60,040 $37,170 $77,820
South Dakota $47,430 $36,890 $61,860
Tennessee $49,350 $31,170 $78,950
Texas $62,270 $41,990 $90,600
Utah $63,850 $46,600 $98,470
Vermont $49,720 $37,840 $81,000
Virginia $59,580 $36,800 $81,110
Washington $77,240 $47,430 $99,060
West Virginia $49,520 $37,020 $78,100
Wisconsin $60,360 $45,290 $79,380
Wyoming $61,280 $38,630 $82,750

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

National data

Median Salary: $49,130

Projected job growth: 11.1%

10th Percentile: $31,010

25th Percentile: $38,630

75th Percentile: $69,260

90th Percentile: $97,300

Projected job growth: 11.1%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $36,600 $22,940 $51,270
Alaska $48,820 $37,220 $77,420
Arizona $38,590 $36,110 $61,140
Arkansas $37,430 $29,180 $60,300
California $77,640 $39,000 $123,210
Colorado $48,330 $35,610 $77,430
Connecticut $65,230 $36,860 $103,600
Delaware $46,910 $36,780 $62,670
District of Columbia $61,660 $48,820 $103,600
Florida $38,850 $29,010 $62,670
Georgia $39,010 $29,390 $78,280
Hawaii $63,700 $48,560 $81,230
Idaho $40,050 $18,550 $76,730
Illinois $46,640 $30,600 $98,370
Indiana $47,280 $31,600 $74,320
Iowa $48,560 $37,060 $79,230
Kansas $46,910 $30,690 $62,870
Kentucky $38,530 $28,840 $63,560
Louisiana $46,520 $25,270 $62,950
Maine $59,390 $39,040 $79,800
Maryland $48,090 $35,550 $77,150
Massachusetts $48,960 $31,010 $81,240
Michigan $49,340 $37,060 $76,180
Minnesota $59,990 $38,680 $84,240
Mississippi $39,140 $29,170 $62,720
Missouri $44,200 $25,820 $59,940
Montana $38,180 $31,010 $49,790
Nebraska $34,040 $23,770 $49,340
Nevada $59,910 $38,520 $78,950
New Hampshire $61,480 $38,700 $77,920
New Jersey $80,540 $60,710 $166,740
New Mexico $54,000 $23,890 $74,670
New York $75,230 $46,910 $114,690
North Carolina $49,590 $45,160 $63,460
North Dakota $52,620 $35,790 $70,390
Ohio $46,910 $30,460 $63,360
Oklahoma $38,110 $22,520 $62,870
Oregon $49,220 $30,730 $78,450
Pennsylvania $39,380 $29,770 $62,870
Rhode Island $76,410 $47,700 $80,540
South Carolina $41,500 $35,570 $51,320
South Dakota $41,270 $30,640 $60,620
Tennessee $38,830 $23,300 $58,320
Texas $42,230 $29,350 $72,360
Utah $46,720 $29,240 $64,300
Vermont $47,750 $36,780 $79,490
Virginia $48,350 $35,190 $77,440
Washington $61,210 $33,790 $78,450
West Virginia $38,430 $30,600 $49,170
Wisconsin $48,610 $36,380 $76,620
Wyoming $49,600 $30,730 $95,960

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.