How to Become a Licensed Social Worker

Social work is such a broad field and each subfield has its own responsibilities, specialty areas, and regulations. Just in case that isn't confusing enough, different states have different types of social work licenses that you can earn. Some states have just one license while other states have as many as five different licenses available for interested social workers.

The differences in licenses can be hard to spot, but it is important to know them before you pick which license you want to pursue, because it will help you pick the program that works best for you. We have broken down each of the different licensure possibilities in each state in detail so that aspiring social workers can have the information readily available to make an important decision about their career.

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State Summary of License Requirements Education Requirement

Alabama
  • Education: Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LGSW / LCSW / PIP
  • Examination: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE or CASSW


Alaska
  • Education: Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Examination: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Arkansas
  • Education: Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Examination: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


California
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: ASW / LCSW
  • Examination: CA Law & Ethics + Clinical Exam
 

Master's Degree* *Accredited by CSWE


Colorado
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 24 Months / 3,360 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Exam + CO Jurisprudence Exam
 

Master's Degree* *Accredited by CSWE


Connecticut
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Post-Degree Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Masters or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or PhD* *Accredited by CSWE


Delaware
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,200 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Clinical Exam
 

Master's or PhD* *Accredited by CSWE


Florida
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LCSW / CMSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 2 Years
  • Examination: ASWB Clinical Exam
 

Master's or PhD* *Accredited by CSWE


Georgia
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LCSW - 3000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Masters or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or PhD* *Accredited by CSWE


Hawaii
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours Post-Masters
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelors, Masters or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE or WASC


Idaho
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 2 Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Masters or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Illinois
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Indiana
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW
  • Examination: ASWB Masters or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Iowa
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LISW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LISW- 2 Years / 4,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Kansas
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LSCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LSCSW- 4,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Kentucky
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / CSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LCSW - 2 Years
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Lousiana
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: RSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LCSW - 5,760 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Maine
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Maryland
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSWA / LGSW / LCSW /LCSW-C
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Massachusetts
  • Education: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LSWA / LSW / LCSW / LICSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,5000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

ASW / BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Michigan
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 4,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Minnesota
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LGSW / LCSW / LICSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 4,000 to 8,000 Hours
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE or CASSW


Mississippi
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 1,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE or SACS


Missouri
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LSW / LMSW / LCSW / LAMSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 2 Years / 3,000 Hours
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Montana
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Generalist or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


Nebraska
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: CSW / CMSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: CMSW - 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Generalist or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Nevada
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: SW / ISW / CSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


New Hampshire
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: CSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Clinical + NHBMH Practice Essay Exam
 

Master's Degree* *Accredited by CSWE


New Jersey
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: CSW / LSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 1,920 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


New Mexico
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LISW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,600 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical + NM Jurisprudence
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


New York
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
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  • Available Licenses: LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3 Years / 2,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Masters's or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


North Carolina
  • Education: Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: CSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


North Dakota
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW / LICSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Ohio
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: SWA / LSW / LISW
  • Supervised Work Experience: LISW - Two Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Oklahoma
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: SWA / LSW-ADM / LSW / LMSW / LCSW
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Generalist, Masters, or Clinical
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Oregon
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
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  • Available Licenses: RBSW / LMSW / CSWA / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,500 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Exam + OR Jurisprudence Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Pennsylvania
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Three Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


Rhode Island
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LCSW / LICSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


South Carolina
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LISW-CP / LISW-AP
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


South Dakota
  • Education: Associates, Bachelor's, Master's. Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSWA / LSW / CSW / CIPSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years
  • Examination: ASWB Associates, Bachelor's, Masters, Clinical
 

A.A. / BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Tennessee
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LCSW / LAPSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's, Advanced Generalist
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Texas
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LBSW / LMSW / LMSW-AP / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 24 Months
  • Examination: ASWB Exam + TX Jurisprudence Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Utah
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: SSW / CSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 4,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Vermont
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years
  • Examination: ASWB Clinical Level Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


Virginia
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelors or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE


Washington
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSWAIC / LSWAA / LICSW / LASW
  • Examination: ASWB Clinical or Advanced Generalist Exam
 

Master's or Doctorate* *Accredited by CSWE


West Virginia
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: LSW / LGSW / LCSW / LICSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Wisconsin
  • Education: Bachelor's + Master's or Doctorate
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: CSW / CAPSW / CISW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: Two Years / 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Bachelor's, Master's or Clinical Exam
 

BSW / MSW / DSW* *Accredited by CSWE


Wyoming
  • Education: Bachelor's, Master's
  • Find Schools
  • Available Licenses: CSW / LCSW
  • Supervised Work Experience: 3,000 Hours
  • Examination: ASWB Master's or Clinical Exam
 

Bachelor's or Master's* *Accredited by CSWE

Find a Social Work Degree in Your State

Looking for more information about social work degrees near you? We have social work degree overviews that cover everything from career opportunities to schools in the area. Click on a state to find out more about potential options for you. You may also consider online social work degree options available from many accredited colleges & universities.

Social Work Licensing Agencies by State

Alabama
Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners

Alaska
Alaska Board of Social Work Examiners

Arizona
Arizona State Board of Behavioral Health Examiners

Arkansas
Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board

California
Board of Behavioral Sciences

Colorado
State Board of Social Work Examiners

Connecticut
Connecticut Department of Public Health

Delaware
Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners

Florida
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling

Georgia
Georgia Board of Prof. Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists

Hawaii
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: Professional & Vocational Licensing

Idaho
Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners

Illinois
Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation

Indiana
Indiana Professional Licensing Agency

Iowa
Iowa Board of Social Work

Kansas
Behavioral Science Regulatory Board

Kentucky
Kentucky Board of Social Work

Louisiana
Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners

Maine
State Board of Social Work Licensure

Maryland
Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners

Massachusetts
Board of Registration of Social Workers

Michigan
Michigan Board of Social Work

Minnesota
State of Minnesota Board of Social Work

Mississippi
Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists

Missouri
Committee for Social Workers

Montana
Montana Board of Social Work Examiners and Professional Counselors

Nebraska
Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services

Nevada
State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Work

New Hampshire
New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice

New Jersey
State Board of Social Work Examiners

New Mexico
Board of Social Work Examiners

New York
Office of the Professions

North Carolina
North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board

North Dakota
North Dakota State Board of Social Work Examiners

Ohio
Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board

Oklahoma
Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers

Oregon
Board of Licensed Social Workers

Pennsylvania
State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors

Rhode Island
State of Rhode Island Department of Health

South Carolina
South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners

South Dakota
South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners

Tennessee
Tennessee Board of Social Worker Licensure

Texas
Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners

Utah
Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

Vermont
Vermont Secretary of State – Professional Regulation

Virginia
Virginia Board of Social Work

Washington
Washington State Department of Health

West Virginia
West Virginia Board of Social Work Web Site

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Wyoming
Mental Health Professions Licensing Board

District of Columbia
Board of Social Work

Puerto Rico
Junta Examinadora de Trabajadores Sociales (State Board of Social Work Examiners)

CSWE Accredited Resources: