How to Become a Social Worker in Colorado

What Types of Social Work Licenses are Available in Colorado?

There are two licenses for social workers in Colorado:

1)  Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
2)  Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

To become a social worker in Colorado, you are required to obtain a masters level degree from a regionally accredited university, fulfill exam requirements administered by the Association of Social Work Boards, and work in a supervised clinical environment for a minimum of 3,360 hours over a minimum of 24 months.  For detailed licensing information, please visit the Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners or read below.

What are the Degree Requirements for a Social Worker in Colorado?

Both social work licenses in Colorado are for qualified graduates with a Masters in Social Work (MSW).   There is no license for Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) level social workers.

Colorado Social Work Licenses
Education RequirementsEducation LengthAvailable Programs
LSW (Licensed  Social Worker)Master’s6 YearsOnline or Campus
LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)Master’s +3,360 Clinical Hours7-8 YearsOnline or Campus

 How do I get my LSW in Colorado?

Candidates for an LSW in Colorado must graduate with a Master’s of Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.   After receiving a master’s degree, candidates for licensure must complete an application with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and pass the open-book Colorado Jurisprudence Exam.  Once your application is processed by DORA, there are three exams offered by the ASWB to become a Licensed Social Worker:

1)  Association of Social Work Board’s (ASWB) Masters
2)  Advanced Generalist (Accepted for LSW and LCSW)
3)  Clinical Level (Accepted for LSW and LCSW)

Note:  If you pass the Advanced Generalist of Clinical Level Exam for your LSW you do not have to re-take the exam after completing your required experience and supervision hours.

How do I get my LCSW in Colorado?

Once you have your LSW license, you may begin to count experience and supervision hours.  To qualify for a LCSW you must accumulate a total of 3,360 hours, over a minimum of 24 months, with at least 96 concurrent hours, under the supervision of a clinical supervisor who holds a current LCSW from the State of Colorado.  If you have already passed the Advanced Generalist or Clinical Level exam, you may apply for your LCSW.  If you took the Master’s level exam to earn your LSW, you will have to take and pass the Advanced Generalist or Clinical Level exam.

What Volunteer Programs Will Help Me Gain Practical Experience?

Working for a volunteer program is a great way to gain practical experience and to learn more about the day-to-day responsibilities of your desired career field.  See below for links to some fantastic Colorado volunteer organizations to consider:

University of Colorado Hospital Volunteers
Jefferson County Human Services
Smile on Seniors Colorado

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Colorado:

Schools with Master’s Programs Accepting Students in Colorado