How to Become a Social Worker in Maine

Maine Social Work Licensing Requirements

Social work is an important field that helps to establish, provide and improve necessary social services to individuals, families and communities. These services include everything from the administrative establishment and evaluation of existing services to the direct clinical diagnosis, treatment and referrals to those who need psychosocial services.

The first step in becoming a licensed social worker in Maine is to get an education. You will want to pursue at least a bachelor’s degree, with master’s level studies and a master’s degree required for those who want to apply the full range of career choices in the social work field.

The state of Maine has a number of licensing levels for professional social workers. The first step in starting your career after gaining an education from a CSWE-accredited institution is to determine which level of licensure you want to pursue. The different levels of licensure for social workers in Maine are:

Each licensure stage holds specific requirements that permit the licensee to provide clients different levels of social work service and to publicly declare themselves official social workers. Read on for a summary of the basic eligibility requirements and board rules for each stage of licensure.

LICENSE TYPE
EDUCATION REQUIREMENT SUPERVISED EXPERIENCE EXAM
Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work No supervised experience requirement prior to licensure ASWB National Bachelor Social Work Examination
Licensed Master's Social Worker (LMSW) Master’s Degree in Social Work No supervised experience requirement prior to licensure ASWB National Bachelor Social Work Examination
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Master’s Degree in Social Work Three years, full-time supervised experience. A minimum of 3,000 post-degree hours ASWB National Bachelor Social Work Examination

Learn more about social work degrees in Maine.

LMSW Requirements in Maine

A LMSW in Maine is a higher-level licensure which declares that you have been approved by the state board to perform non-clinical social work functions such as research, consultation, social planning and teaching, as well as engaging in private practice at a non-clinical level.

  1. Education Requirements: This level requires a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.
  2. Exam Requirements: You must also complete the appropriate ASWB National Master Social Work Exam successfully.
  3. Application Package: Following the completion of the exam, you must complete and submit an application package. To complete this package, you will provide the following:
    • Completed application for licensure, with a $25 application fee and $70 licensure fee
    • Official transcripts from your MSW program
    • Documentation of completion of the appropriate ASWB National Master Social Work Exam
    • Three letters of recommendation written within the past year, at least two of which must be from professionals with an LCSW, LMSW, CSW-IP or MSW who is licensed in another state
    • Criminal background check, which carries a $21 fee

LMSW Requirements in Maine

A LMSW in Maine is a higher level licensure which declares that you have been approved by the state board to perform non-clinical social work functions such as research, consultation, social planning and teaching, as well as engaging in private practice at a non-clinical level.

  1. Education Requirements: This level requires a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.
  2. Exam Requirements: You must also complete the appropriate ASWB National Master Social Work Exam successfully.
  3. Application Package: Following the completion of the exam, you must complete and submit an application package. To complete this package, you will provide the following:
    • Completed application for licensure, with a $25 application fee and $70 licensure fee
    • Official transcripts from your MSW program
    • Documentation of completion of the appropriate ASWB National Master Social Work Exam
    • Three letters of recommendation written within the past year, at least two of which must be from professionals with an LCSW, LMSW, CSW-IP or MSW who is licensed in another state
    • Criminal background check, which carries a $21 fee

LCSW Requirements in Maine

These professionals can engage in clinical duties as a fully-licensed social worker. They can evaluate, diagnose and treat psychosocial problems and dysfunction, and work with people at all levels. An LCSW can apply social work diagnosis and theory to diagnosing, treating, evaluating and preventing psychosocial problems, as well as providing a full range of social services.

  1. LMSW: In Maine, you must have an LMSW before you can seek an LCSW.
  2. Supervised Work Experience: Maine requires a minimum of 3,200 hours of full-time work experience that is supervised by an LCSW. These hours must include significant supervised work performing consultation and clinical services.
  3. Exam requirements: You must complete the appropriate ASWB National Clinical Social Work examination.
  4. Application Package: Your LCSW application package must include the following:
    • LMSW certification
    • Completed application with $25 application fee and $70 license fee
    • Completed criminal background check with $21 fee
    • Official transcripts from your MSW program
    • Documentation of minimum consultation hours (3,200 hours of supervised work experience)
    • Three current letters of recommendation from each:
      • the LCSW who supervised your work
      • an LCSW, CSW-IP or LMSW
      • an LCSW, CSW-IP, LMSW, Board-Certified Psychiatrist, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, ANA Psychiatric Nurse or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
    • Proof of successful completion of the appropriate ASWB clinical exam

Social Worker Career Outlook In Maine

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on employment and wages in Maine for all industries, including social workers. According to the BLS, as of May of 2014, there were less than 4,000 professional social workers employed in the state. 1,580 of those social workers were child, family and school social workers and 730 of the social workers in a healthcare setting.

There are also approximately 1,300 substance abuse social workers in Maine as well as another 440 specialty social workers. The child, family and school social workers earned an annual average salary of $46,650 while those in a healthcare setting earned a average annual salary of $49,720. For more information on the state occupational employment and wage estimates, please visit the Maine Occupational Employment Statistics page with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For information about potential job opportunities, the Maine chapter of the NASW is usually a great resource.

Why You Should Seek CSWE Accreditation

Accreditation is vital in any professional field. Obtaining an education from a nationally accredited institution demonstrates that you have the training, skills and ethics to perform at a high level of success in your chosen field. In social work, the agency that provides this accreditation is the CSWE, or Council on Social Work Education, which represents more than 2,500 members and is the only association considered valid for accrediting social work programs in all fifty states.

Persons without a CSWE-accredited degree could potentially apply with their respective state board for an exemption. However, the majority of exemptions are typically granted to individuals already licensed to practice other related disciplines like medicine or psychology.

Search Accredited Social Work Programs

Additional Resources for Social Workers in Alaska: