Thinking about becoming a licensed clinical social worker? Great. We need you! Social work is a growing field that encompasses a vast array of different jobs--crucial jobs. Becoming a licensed social worker increases professional opportunities, credibility, and ability to make a positive impact on individuals and communities. It's also the path to boosting your pay. Specifics about getting licensed are different state to state--check your state licensing board for details. No matter where you are, to get your clinical social work license, you'll need to follow these four steps: 

  1. Get a Degree: Earn a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The MSW degree is usually required to become a licensed clinical social worker.

  2. Get Field Experience: Complete required supervised clinical experience. Most licensing boards mandate a specific number of hours of supervised practice, typically ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 hours. You'll likely need to work under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) during this period.

  3. Pass the ASWB Exam: Prepare for and pass the clinical social work licensure exam. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) offers the Clinical level examination, which is widely used for licensing purposes in the United States and Canada. Check with your state licensing board for specific exam requirements.

  4. Apply: Submit your application to the licensing board in the state where you intend to practice. This typically involves completing an application form, paying the required fees, and providing documentation such as your educational transcripts, supervised experience verification forms, and exam results.

The steps are simple. The time, dedication, and expense to get them accomplished is decidedly not simple. It takes years and some combination of blood, sweat, and tears. But once you set your sites on getting your clinical social work license, it's just a matter of walking with determination through these steps and making it happen. 

We're rooting for you. When you're ready for the final step, passing the licensing exam, come back to get practice tests here at SWTP--that's what we do.

Warmest social work licensing wishes!

June 12, 2023
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