How Much Do Social Workers Make in Illinois?

October 17, 2023

Licensed social workers make critical contributions to society and play an essential role in the lives of people in need. They assist those facing mental health issues, addiction, domestic violence and more. They work in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Entry-level salaries can vary widely depending on geographic location, employer and experience level. Those with advanced degrees, specialized certifications and leadership roles have the potential to earn higher salaries.

Social work is a challenging but rewarding career for those who are compassionate, culturally competent and resilient in the face of assisting clients at their most vulnerable. The job requires the ability to develop strong relationships and provide empathetic listening and emotional support while at the same time providing advocacy and identifying community resources.

Those looking to become a social worker in Illinois should seek an MSW program that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The state also has several doctoral programs for those interested in research, although those who wish to pursue clinical practice will need to complete a supervised clinical experience requirement.

Those interested in becoming licensed social workers in the state of Illinois should be prepared to spend between 4-7 years in school depending on their licensure level. The process starts with a bachelor’s degree in social work, followed by a minimum of two years of supervised clinical professional experience and passing the ASWB clinical exam to qualify for an LSW license.


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