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Maine Social Work Schools

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Social Work Schools in Maine
Maine MSW Schools
Total Schools:
3
Typical Acceptance Rate:
81%
Average Tuition Cost:
$17,128
Average Loan Amount:
$8,519
Average Scholarship Award:
$7,890

With a huge coastal area and great seafood, many people who move to Maine end up living there for their entire lives. What does this mean for you as a social worker? Instead of having transient clients, you may end up seeing and counseling entire families throughout the duration of your career. There are over 1.3 million people in Maine, many of whom live in the state's coastal communities. Some of the largest cities in Maine, like Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor, still have fewer than 100,000 people each.

One of the benefits of living in Maine is the fact that its cost of living is only 5% higher than the national average, which is very low for a New England state. The average house cost is also about $6,000 lower than the national average.

Maine hosts three schools with MSW programs, primarily located in suburban areas. The average cost of tuition in Maine is $17,128, which is similar to tuition costs throughout New England. All three Maine schools are universities with Bachelor's of Social Work components, so you may be able to land a teaching or research assistantship to offset the cost of your tuition.

MSW programs in Maine are specifically structured in such a way to gradually build on what you've learned. The first year is spent building a strong foundation of counseling techniques, knowledge of social policy and analysis, and social work ethics. In your second year, you either get a deeper knowledge of all social work fields or dive into your concentration area. The University of New England is the only school with a concentration option; you can choose between clinical practice and community practice. In addition, the University of New England allows you to complete all or part of your degree online.

On top of courses that cover the foundation of social work, you complete approximately 1000 hours of field work. During field hours, you can expect to work with children, adults, people dealing with substance abuse, people with mental health issues, and those that have been part of the social work system for a long time. These experiences are meant to prepare you for whatever career path you choose after graduation.

One of the major benefits of an MSW degree is the flexibility it affords you in your employment options. You may be limited by the concentration you choose while earning your degree, which is why it's important to select a concentration that reflects your career goals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists hospitals, substance abuse clinics, schools, and correctional facilities as important social work employers. They indicate that the majority of social workers are employed by government or healthcare organizations.

After you have completed two years of supervised experience, you may be eligible to work independently in your own private practice. This employment option gives you lots of freedom in terms of how many clients you take and when you work.

Prior to starting your career as a social worker in Maine, you must earn your license from the State Board of Social Work Licensure. Right away, you have to pay a $21 background check fee and $25 application fee. Once your application is processed and approved, you can sit for the state licensure exam. Passing this exam gives you the title of Licensed Master Social Worker.

To become an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and have more freedom in your practice, you must complete 3200 hours of supervised work experience. You can then sit for the advanced exam and get your license.

There is a large degree of variance in social worker salaries in Maine, clearly demonstrated by the average salary range of $29,100 to $81,400 (O*Net, 2012). Healthcare social workers tend to be the highest paid, with an average salary of $45,600 per year (O*Net, 2012). They are closely followed by mental health social workers, at $43,400 per year and family social workers, at $42,100 per year (O*Net, 2012).
Licensure level is one of the biggest factors in salary. LMSWs tend to earn less money than LCSWs, which is why pursuing that extra licensure can really help you.

Overall, the job outlook for social workers in Maine is bright. There is not expected to be much change in the demand for child/family social workers, but O*Net predicts that job openings for mental health social workers will increase by 8% through 2020. Healthcare social workers can look forward to an even bigger boost of 19% in the same time frame (O*Net, 2012).

Schools in Maine Offering Masters in Social Work Programs
(Orono,
ME)
• Masters in Human Development and Family Studies
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$8,370 Tuition Cost
$5,944 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Suburban Campus Setting
(Biddeford,
ME)
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$30,750 Tuition Cost
$14,780 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Suburban Campus Setting
(Portland,
ME)
• Masters in Public Policy Analysis
• Masters in Social Work (MSW)
$7,590 Tuition Cost
$2,945 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
• Urban Campus Setting