How to Become a Social Worker in Oklahoma

oklahomaSocial Work is an academic discipline that leads to a specialized profession in which credentialed individuals provide assessment, counseling, intervention and support services to various individuals or groups. Those who obtain social work services, for example, include people undergoing psychological issues and others who need help obtaining social and health services. Since the practice of social work deals directly with the health, wellness and safety of individuals receiving assistance, the process of becoming licensed and the practice of it is strictly regulated.

Oklahoma Social Work Licensing Requirements

In Oklahoma, there are three licenses available to those who have met the educational, examination, and experience criteria established by the State Board:

These types of licensure come with their own requirements that qualify candidates to perform different levels of social work services.

LICENSE TYPE EDUCATION REQUIREMENT SUPERVISED EXPERIENCE EXAM
Licensed Master’s
Social Worker
(LMSW)
Master’s Degree in Social
Work 
No supervised
experience required
for initial licensure
ASWB National
Master’s Social Work
Examination
Licensed Social Worker
(LSW)
Master’s Degree in Social
Work
Two years, full-time
supervised experience.
A minimum of 4,000
post-degree hours.
ASWB National
Examination at
appropriate level
Licensed Clinical Social
Worker (LCSW)
Master's Degree in Social Work Two years, full-time
supervised experience.
A minimum of 4,000
post-degree hours.
ASWB National
Clinical Social Work
Examination

Learn more about social work degrees in Oklahoma

LMSW Requirements in Oklahoma

The rules and regulations of the State of Oklahoma authorize a licensed Master’s Social Worker to provide social work services only under the supervision of a LCSW or LCSW-Admin. To apply for licensure, all candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Master’s Degree in Social Work – All applicants must provide an official college transcript certifying completion of a master’s degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Master’s degrees from international institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Supervised Experience – Persons who have completed a master’s degree from a CSWE-accredited program may practice social work for up to two years under supervision. They may use these hours to put towards licensure requirements to become a LSW or LCSW.
  3. ASWB Master Social Work Examination – All candidates must have passed the national exam prior to licensure and submit their scores as part of the application.

LSW Requirements in Oklahoma

Licensed Social Workers are permitted to practice in a private setting or under the umbrella of public or voluntary institutions, performing social work in regards to familial, economic, health, recreational, religious, penal, judicial and educational concerns. However, they cannot perform clinical social work in a private practice setting as the board defines it. To apply for licensure, all candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Master’s Degree in Social Work – All applicants must provide an official college transcript certifying completion of a master’s degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Master’s degrees from international institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Supervised Experience – LSW candidates must have completed 2 years of full time work experience (or the part time equivalent) totaling 4,000 hours under the supervision of a LCSW or a LCSW with administration specialty, which includes at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision between candidate and advisor.
  3. ASWB Social Work Examination – All candidates must have passed the national exam appropriate to their education level prior to licensure and submit their scores as part of the application.

LCSW Requirements in Oklahoma

Licensed Clinical Social Workers are permitted to practice in a private office or under the umbrella of public or voluntary institutions, performing social work in regards to familial, economic, health, recreational, religious, penal, judicial and educational concerns. To apply for licensure, all candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  1. Master’s Degree in Social Work – All applicants must provide an official college transcript certifying completion of a master’s degree in social work from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Master’s degrees from international institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Supervised Experience – LSW candidates must have completed 2 years of full time work experience (or the part time equivalent) totaling 4,000 hours under the supervision of a LCSW or a LCSW with administration specialty, which includes at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision between candidate and advisor. This also must include at least 3,000 hours of direct client contact, which is defined as any activity dedicated to providing treatment to a client.
  3. ASWB Clinical Social Work Examination – All candidates must have passed the national exam prior to licensure and submit their scores as part of the application.

The Importance of CSWE Accreditation

The Council of Social Work Education has developed standards that post-secondary and graduated level programs must meet via multistep process in order to obtain CSWE accreditation. Every state requires licensed social workers to attend a CSWE-accredited program. This ensures that licensees have obtained the proper critical thinking skills and knowledge that are necessary to practice Social Work.

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 Oklahoma: