Remote LCSW & LMFT Jobs in Illinois

Find work opportunities and resources for remote LCSW & LMFT jobs in Illinois.

Illinois has faced the ongoing social worker shortage in the U.S. in several ways. The pandemic has driven more people to seek mental health treatment, just as the national population ages and fewer professionals enter the mental health field.

The social worker shortage has created demand for remote social workers and therapists. Two of the most sought-after specialists are Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist (LMFT). Paths to licensure for those two professions vary but open a wealth of opportunities in hospitals, non-profit agencies and other mental health care facilities.

Illinois provides licenses to those with undergraduate or graduate degrees as Licensed Social Work (LSW) degrees. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) must accredit the program. LSW holders work in advanced positions, including social group work, social casework, social welfare administration, and community organizing. They can provide clinical services if supervised by an LCSW.

How To Become a LCSW or LMFT in Illinois

How to Become an LCSW in Illinois

Now is a great time to work toward an LCSW or LMFT license in Illinois. The first step for both licenses is to get a bachelor’s degree. The path to licensure then contains specific steps, so

To get an LCSW license, prospective candidates must pursue the following:

  • Education and additional coursework: You must earn a minimum of a master’s degree (MSW) or doctoral degree in social work (DSW).

  • Experience: Candidates with MSW degrees need 3,000 hours of supervised postgraduate experience. Those with doctorates must have 2,000 hours of supervised experience.

  • Exams: After earning the appropriate master’s degree and meeting the Illinois clinical experience requirements, you can submit an application for licensure to the Illinois Social Work Certification and Licensure Board. Once approved, you can register to take the national clinical exam administered by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The exam’s 170 questions cover topics such as assessment, diagnosis, treatment, interventions, ethics, and values.

  • Certification: Once licensed in Illinois, you can apply for certification to become a specialized social worker in a number of specialties. These credentials can expand your teletherapy work opportunities.

  • Fees: Illinois requires a $50 fee for LCSW licensure application and a $260 fee for the ASWB clinical exam. Additional fees are required for specialized certification.

How to Become an LMFT in Illinois

Illinois also has two licensed marriage and family therapist options: Associate Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (ALMFT) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The main difference is the ALMFT is valid for five years and may not be renewed. The first step to becoming an LMFT in Illinois is to complete the requirement for an ALMFT degree. Those requirements include:

  • Education: An LMFT candidate must have a master's or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy. They may also qualify for licensure if the degree is in a subject with equivalent coursework.

  • Experience: LMFT candidates must complete a variety of hourly requirements to qualify. First, you must have face-to-face client contact for at least 1,000 hours, which must include individual therapy for at least 350 hours and at least 350 hours working with two or more clients in a session. You must also show that at least 200 hours were clinically supervised. Although 100 hours of your training may be obtained during graduate training, your experience must include 100 hours supervised by an approved marriage and family therapist.

  • Exams: After earning the appropriate master’s or doctoral degree and meeting the Illinois experience requirements, a candidate can apply to the IDFPR to take the Marital and Family Therapy Exam developed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).

  • Fees: Illinois requires a $100 fee for LMFT licensure and a $365 fee for the AMFTRB exam.

Requirements for Remote Mental Health Workers (LCSWs & LMFTs) in Illinois

Once you earn your license as an LCSW or LMFT in Illinois, you can decide which type of position suits you best whether you live in Chicago, Springfield, Peoria, or anywhere else in the state.

If you want to become a remote LCSW or remote LMFT, there are plenty of full-time and part-time virtual work opportunities available in Illinois.

Here’s what you should know before applying for roles as a remote mental health therapist:

  • Work-from-home therapist: As a remote therapist, you will conduct virtual sessions with clients using a website, telephone, mobile application, or other virtual media. All therapists (remote or on-site) can only treat clients in the state in which they are licensed, so a LCSW or LMFT licensed in Illinois must only accept clients from that state.

  • Skills of successful remote therapists: All therapists need excellent communication skills, but especially those who work remotely. In fact, many therapists hone their skills by working with clients in person before they move to teletherapy. Therapists who work remotely must also learn how to properly use digital therapy tools and testing materials.

  • Necessary documentation: When applying for remote jobs, be sure to update your resume and provide appropriate documentation showing your education and credentials.

  • Additional training: Telemedicine companies often provide training to educate clinicians on how to use relevant technology and platforms for virtual mental health therapy. This may also include best practices for good webside manner.

Companies hiring remote LCSWs and LMFTs in Illinois often post open positions on job posting sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn, so this is a great place to start looking for virtual therapy work opportunities.

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