Licensing and Exam Prep
According to the Association of Social Work Board:
All 50 states regulate social work practice. Whatever state you decide to work as a social worker, you should obtain licensure. It is the law and it identifies your level of education and social work experience for the public. The application process often involves submitting an application, school transcripts, passing a state background check, and passing an exam.
The majority of states have several different levels of licensure that correlates with your level of education (BSW, MSW or DSW) and experience (no years of experience to several years of post Master's experience).
The Association of Social Work Boards is the organization that produces the required licensure examinations for 49 states. The process of applying for licensure involves:
- Identifying what state you wish to work as every state has a different licensing board and application process. The Association of Social Work Boards has a searchable database that identifies all 50 states licensing levels and licensing board websites. This database is located on the ASWB website as a link under Laws and regulations.
- Review the state's licensure requirements and application materials.
- Identify if an exam is required and which exam you must pass.
- Determine if you can start the application process while still in school. Approval for licensure takes time and some employers will not hire you if you are not licensed so any early preparation that you can complete helps to make your transition into employment an easier process.