How to Become a Social Worker in South Carolina

south carolinaWhat are the different types of social workers’ licenses in South Carolina?

There are four types of social worker’s licenses available in South Carolina:

  1. Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
  2. Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
  3. Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice (LISW-CP)
  4. Licensed Independent Social Worker – Advanced Practice (LISW-AP)

In order for interested individuals to obtain a social worker’s license in South Carolina, they must first complete specific coursework and then pass state-level examinations. No field work is currently required to pursue the LBSW or LMSW licenses, but a certain amount of experience is required to pursue the LISW-AP and LISW-CP licenses. There are continuing education requirements in order to maintain licensure of all social workers in South Carolina. Below is a general outline of the license requirements for the state of South Carolina. More detailed information can be found via the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

What Kind of Degree is Required to Become a Social Worker in South Carolina?

The minimum education requirement in South Carolina is a Bachelor’s Degree. Those interested in becoming a social worker can obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in social work or social welfare from a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

How Do I Get My LBSW in South Carolina?

After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in social work or social welfare from an accredited school or program, you may register to take the state examination to become an LBSW. No specific field work or experience is required to become an LBSW in South Carolina.

While there are no field requirements for the LBSW in South Carolina, individuals must graduate and obtain their Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited school.

How Do I Get My LMSW in South Carolina?

After obtaining a Master’s Degree in social work or social welfare from an accredited school or program, you may register to take the state examination to become an LMSW. No specific field work or experience is required to become a LMSW in South Carolina.

Individuals must graduate and obtain their Master’s Degree from an accredited school. There are no field requirements for the LMSW in South Carolina.

How Do I Get My LISW-CP or LISW-AP in South Carolina?

After obtaining a Master’s or Doctorate Degree in an accredited social work or social welfare program, individuals must gather advanced coursework credits as well as field experience under a licensed supervisor over a minimum of 2 years but not more than 4 years. Individuals may then register for an take the state examination to become a LISW-CP or a LISW-AP in South Carolina.

 Education for LISW-CP

After obtaining a Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree from an accredited social work or social welfare program, practicing social workers in South Carolina will be one step closer to earning their LISW-CP license. The next steps will be gaining 3000 hours of social work experience in a clinical setting with 100 face-to-face meetings with a licensed LISW-CP, as well as additional post-degree coursework in:

  1. Psychopathology
  2. Psychodiagnostics

This must occur over a minimum of 2 years after obtaining the Master’s or Doctorate, but in a maximum of 4 years. Individuals may then register for and take the state examination to become a LISW-CP. For a more detailed description of the coursework and hours required, visit the South Carolina Code of Laws Section 40-63-240.

  Education For LISW-AP

 After obtaining a Master’s Degree or Doctorate Degree from an accredited social work or social welfare program, practicing social workers in South Carolina will be ready to pursue the LISW-AP license. The next steps involve gaining 3000 hours of social work experience with 100 face-to-face meetings with a licensed LISW-AP, as well as additional post-degree coursework in:

  1. Advanced social work practice with communities and organizations.
  2. Professional ethics.

This must occur over a period of 2 years after obtaining your degree, but in a maximum of 4 years. Individuals may then register for and take the state examination to become a LISW-AP in South Carolina. For a more detailed description of the coursework and field experience required, visit the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

What are the Examination Requirements for a Social Work License in South Carolina?

All individuals must first apply to take their exam through the Association of Social Work Boards. To obtain the LBSW, individuals must take and pass the Bachelor’s Level Exam. Those seeking the LMSW must take and pass the Master’s Level Exam available through the ASWB. Those seeking the LISW-CP must take the Clinical Exam and those seeking the LISW-AP must pass the Advanced Generalist level test.

Social Worker Career Outlook In South Carolina

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected employment and wage data from South Carolina employers in all different industries, including social work, in May of 2011. According to the BLS, there were 4,190 family, child and school social workers employed in South Carolina. The average salary ranged from $34,740 for those who worked in relief organizations to $58,010 for those who worked in elementary and secondary schools. About 2190 social workers held careers in clinical settings and earned an average salary of $45,760 and up to $67,970 for those who worked in professional, technical and scientific services. For more information on the occupational employment data and wage estimates, please visit South Carolina’s Occupational Employment Statistics page with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by South Carolina:

Schools with Degree Programs Accepting Students from South Carolina