Becoming a Social Worker in Arizona

What Are The Different Types of Social Worker Licenses in Arizona?

Arizona recognizes three types of social work licensure - the LBSW, LMSW, and the LCSW. Each has its own particular requirements for certification based on regulations set by the state Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Continue reading below to see the various actions needed to get started on your licensing process.

What Degrees or Education are Required To Become a Social Worker in Arizona?

Earning your social work licensure in Arizona will permit you to work in a variety of environments and there are dozens of career choices available. However, to enjoy the most prolific and profitable careers, a Master's degree is recommended. Every state in the country requires its clinical social workers to earn at least an MSW degree from an accredited institution. A PhD is usually not necessary to qualify for any specific type of licensure and that is true in Arizona.  For now, you need to find an approved institution to earn your associates and ultimately your baccalaureate degree.

Arizona Social Work Licenses
Education Requirements Education Length Available Programs
LBSW (License Bachelor's Social Work) Bachelor's  4 Years  Online or Campus
LMSW (Licensed Master's Social Worker) Master's  6 Years  Online or Campus
LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) Master's +3200 Clinical Hours 7-8 Years  Online or Campus

How do I get The LBSW License in Arizona?

With a Bachelor's degree in social work, you qualify for a LBSW title, which permits you to work within the field under direct supervision of another licensed social worker. However, if you want to have the capacity to work independently in non-clinical settings, you will need to complete 3,200 hours of work under direct supervision within two years of receiving your degree. Read more about social work degrees in Arizona.

What is the application process for the LBSW Social Work Licensure in Arizona?

After completing your baccalaureate education, you may download the application for social work licensure. The board will review your forms carefully, and you will hear back from them within a few weeks as to whether you qualify to sit for the national exam.

What is the Testing Process to Get the LBSW License in Arizona?

After board approval, you will need to visit the ASWH website, where you will find registration information for the LBSW basic examination. This 170 question multiple choice exam must be passed, and then the board will mail your licensure within 6-8 weeks.

How do I get the LMSW (Licensed Master of Social Work) in Arizona?

Great! You've decided to press on and earn that coveted Master's or PhD, which will open up more doors for you in the future. For now, get enrolled in a school accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

With your Masters or PhD, you can opt for the Licensed Master Social Worker, LMSW, or you can press on a bit more and earn your Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW. The primary difference in the two titles, is that LCSW's can work in clinical environments and counsel patients independently. However the LMSW may not work in clinical settings without direct supervision at all times. LMSW's may be permitted to work independently, but only if you complete 3200 hours of supervised work experience. LCSW's must complete 3200 hours in order to receive their licensure.

Those who are not planning to work independently or in a clinical environment may simply start the application process for the Arizona Social Work License.

What is the Licensing Process for the LMSW Licensure in Arizona?

The First step will be to Find a program that offers a Social Work Master's Degrees.

If you have completed this program, you will then apply for licensing.

The next step is to download the application for social work licensure in Arizona. Be sure to complete the entire form, and submit it along with any fees, transcripts, and reference letters requested to expedite the approval process.

Once you get approval from the state board, you are eligible to sit for the intermediate level LMSW exam or the more intensive LCSW examination. Find additional information from the governing body, the Association of Social Work Boards for additional testing information.

Candidates who successful master the exam should expect their certificate of licensure in their appropriate field to arrive via mail in 6-8 weeks.

Social Work Careers and Employment in Arizona

The National Association of Social Workers has an active Arizona chapter and any aspiring social worker in the state should consider becoming a member or visiting the website at the very least. It has information about licensure, education and careers in Arizona as well as relevant news about the industry and information about potential volunteering opportunities for those looking for extra experience. The NASW maintains an updated career database on its website that is worth checking out.

Arizona is home to a bustling social worker community according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics but the majority of that community is centered in one place -- the Phoenix metropolitan area. The BLS reports that as of May 2022, Arizona had more than 15,000 professional social workers employed across the state. According to the numbers, more than half of those social workers are child, family and school social workers and Phoenix is home to more than 5,000 of them alone. There are also more than 3,000 healthcare social workers and another 2,850 substance abuse social workers and the majority of them are working in the Phoenix area as well. The pay for social workers in Arizona is not terrific according to the raw data. Child and school social workers as well as substance abuse social workers make less than $50,000 per year in annual salary, but healthcare social workers in Arizona have an average annual income of $63,130.

Research Additional Psychology Professional Licenses Granted by Arizona:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for child, family, and school social workers, healthcare social workers, mental health and substance abuse social workers, and social workers (all other) are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed July 2023.

Learn more about the various educational options by requesting more information from the featured schools local to you or online.