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Hawaii Social Work Schools

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Social Work Schools in Hawaii
Hawaii MSW Schools
Total Schools:
2
Typical Acceptance Rate:
75%
Average Tuition Cost:
$14,002
Average Loan Amount:
$8,910
Average Scholarship Award:
$4,131

There's nothing like living in a vacation site year-round, which is what you'll get if you study social work in Hawaii. Hawaii is home to 1.4 million residents who are your prospective clients. Many residents live in the state's largest cities, which include Honolulu, East Honolulu, and Pearl City. As a student, it is important to know that Hawaii highly values education. Their high school and college graduation rates, at 90.3% and 29.6%, are higher than the national averages of 85.7% and 28.5% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

One of the most unique parts of Hawaii's population is its ethnic makeup. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 38.3% of Hawaiians are of Asian descent, compared to 5.1% of the entire United States population. This population makeup requires culturally-sensitive social workers that understand the needs of people with different ethnic backgrounds.

Hawaii is home to two MSW programs, both of which are located in Honolulu. The average cost of tuition is just over $14,000. However, since both schools also have Bachelor's of Social Work programs, you may be able to secure a teaching assistantship. Both schools have excellent programs, but Hawaii Pacific University has a helpful program for new students. The Peer Mentorship Program matches new MSW students with established MSW students. As a new student, this can help you learn about the program and what is expected of you.

Both MSW programs start with your core classes. These classes build the foundation of everything you need to know as a social worker. Courses teach you how to counsel different groups of people, the causes of social issues like poverty, and what evidence-based care is in social work.

If you attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, you can concentrate on one specific social work field. Your concentration directs your elective choices and what career choices you can pursue after graduation. The concentrations they offer are Child and Family, Gerontology, Health, and Mental Health.

Both schools require 900 hours of field experience, so you complete at least 225 hours of field experience in each of your four semesters. You complete your field experience at several different sites to give you experience in a variety of different fields. Not only does this give you a practical way to use what you have learned, it can help you start figuring out what you want to do as a career.

Because Hawaii is an island chain, your employment options are largely limited by where you live. Many of the main social work employers are located near or in Honolulu, so you may be able to work in the same area that you studied. However, some rural areas on the smaller islands do not have access to mental health services. If you want to own a private independent practice, there may be employment opportunities there.

Social work employers are sorted into two groups: government entities and private organizations. Some of the largest private employers in Hawaii are Easter Seals, Bayada Home Health Care, Hawaii Pacific Health, and Avalon Health Care.

As a new MSW graduate, you can seek licensure from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. When you apply to take the licensing exam, you have to pay a $175 application fee. Upon successfully passing your license examination, you become a LSW (Licensed Social Worker). Your license must be renewed every three years.

To bump your licensure up to LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), you need to complete 4,500 hours of supervised experience after becoming a LSW. You can then reapply for licensure and take the advanced licensing exam.

With the variety of employers and work settings for social workers, it's not surprising that salaries vary significantly. In general, O*Net reports that healthcare social workers have the highest average salary, at $57,900 per year. Family and child social workers in Hawaii earn, on average, $46,200 per year (O*Net, 2012). Mental health and substance abuse social workers can look forward to an average salary of $37,700 per year (O*Net, 2012).

Across the board, social workers are in high demand. This trend is expected to continue at least through 2020. With anticipated job growth of 30%, healthcare social workers are in highest demand across the state (O*Net, 2012). O*Net predicts job growth of 22% for mental health social workers and 12% for family social workers.

Schools in Hawaii Offering Masters in Social Work Programs
(Honolulu,
HI)
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$18,500 Tuition Cost
$3,897 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting
(Honolulu,
HI)
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$8,664 Tuition Cost
$4,365 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting