How to Become a Social Worker in New Mexico

New Mexico Social Work Licensing Requirements

new mexico
Social work as a career and discipline exists to promote social development and change as well as social justice and empowerment of people. It is an important field that focuses on human rights and diversity, and on the administration and providing of social services to not only individuals but to entire communities.

In New Mexico, there are three levels of social work licensure granted by the State Regulation and Licensing Department:

LICENSE TYPE EDUCATION REQUIREMENT SUPERVISED EXPERIENCE EXAM
Licensed Baccalaureate
Social Worker
(LBSW)
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 Master Social
Work Examination
Licensed Independent
Social Worker
(LISW)
Master’s Degree in Social Work

 

Three years, full-time
supervised experience. A
minimum of 3,000 post-
degree hours.
ASWB National Clinical Social
Work Examination

Learn more about social work degrees in New Mexico

LBSW Requirements in New Mexico

Bachelor’s level social workers perform at an entry level, providing many administrative and aid-based social work services in such areas as case management and local social service provision. They cannot provide unsupervised clinical care. 

  1. Education Requirements: In order to obtain an LBSW, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
  2. Cultural Requirements: In addition, a three-hour credit course, board approved course or workshop in New Mexico cultures, or passing the New Mexico cultural examination, is required.
  3. Work Requirements: There are no supervised work experience hours required to obtain an LBSW, but you must be employed in a social work position.
  4. Exam Requirements: Candidates are required to register for and pass the ASWB national social work exam at the bachelor’s level. The state licensing board will help you register for the test.
  5. Application Package: Following the completion of your exam, you will submit an application package to the state. This application will include the following:
    • Completed application for licensure
    • $75 fee
    • Two personal character references
    • “Passport-style” photo
    • Official academic transcripts
    • Official examination scores
    • Proof of New Mexico culture education requirements

LMSW Requirements in New Mexico

Licensed Master’s Social Workers are those who have completed graduate-level education in the field of social work. They can perform social work duties at a higher level than those at the bachelor’s level, but still must be supervised to perform any clinical duties.

  1. Education Requirements: A master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited school is required to obtain LMSW status in New Mexico.
  2. Cultural Requirements: In addition, a three-hour credit course, board approved course or workshop in New Mexico cultures, or passing the New Mexico cultural examination, is required.
  3. Work Requirements: Professional employment in a social work job is requisite for this degree, but there is no supervised work experience required.
  4. Exam Requirements: Applicants must pass the appropriate ASWB master’s level national exam to apply for licensing.
  5. Application Package: Following completion of the above requirements, submit an application to the state board which includes:
    • Completed application for licensure
    • $100 fee
    • Two personal character references
    • “Passport-style” photo
    • Official academic transcripts
    • Official examination scores
    • Proof of New Mexico culture education requirements

LISW Requirements in New Mexico

Licensed Independent Social Workers are the highest level of licensed professionals in New Mexico. They can perform duties at all levels, including providing independent clinical work from evaluation to counseling of psychosocial disorders. They perform similar services to mental health therapists and psychologists.

  1. Education Requirements: A CSWE-accredited master’s degree is required.
  2. Prior Licensing: Applicants must hold a prior LMSW license to apply. This assumes completion of all of the requirements of that license, listed above.
  3. Work Requirements: Those seeking an LISW must complete 3,600 hours of supervised work experience over a period of at least two years, but not more than five. This supervision is under the guidance of an LISW. A total of 90 hours of direct supervision is required, one per forty hours of work.
  4. Exam Requirements: Taking the appropriate ASWB national master’s exam at either the clinical or advanced generalist level is required. The state board will help you arrange to take the test.
  5. Application Package: Finally, submit an application package with the following elements:
    • Completed application for licensure
    • $125 fee
    • Proof of prior licensure
    • Two personal character references
    • “Passport-style” photo
    • Official academic transcripts
    • Official examination scores
    • Proof of New Mexico culture education requirements

The Importance of CSWE Accreditation

It is absolutely imperative that your education be gained at an organization accredited by the Council of Social Work Accreditation, a nonprofit group that is dedicated to setting the standards for and overseeing social work education in the United States. Without this accreditation, you may not be able to obtain work and will not be eligible for licensure.

Search Accredited Social Work Programs

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by New Mexico: