View Full Version : Social Workers and the Licensing Exam
I'm a social worker in NYC, and I have my MSW-Master's of Social Work. My job does not require me to be licensed so I have been really lazy about studying for the exam. Although I hope to be at my job for a very long time (I love what I do and the place I work) I would feel better having the license-just in case I ever do need it.
So I am curious if there are other social workers out there preparing for the exam, or if you have already taken it. And I'm curious about your reasons for either getting licensed or not getting licensed.
07-03-2005, 09:04 PM
I just stumbled across this thread. I am a LSW now currently studying for my LCSW. I was in a similar situation that you are in when I took the first exam. I worked in a job that didn't require a license, but I wanted one in case. Well, just in case certainly happened as I moved a few months later to another state and without the License I wouldn't have been able to get a job (it wasn't hard to transfer my license to the new state).
I just borrowed a book for the next exam, I'm a few years out of grad school now and hoping that I can remember everything!
I'm in school for something directly related to SW and have been thinking really hard about getting my bachelors in SW when I'm done with this degree. Is the licensure test the same in every state?
I got my MSW in 1997 and wanted to practice clinically, so I took the licensing exam right away. In the back of my head, I always thought about two things:
1) What if I wanted to open up my own practice in the future which would allow me some flexibility when I got married and had children? - did not do.
2) What if I wanted to be a supervisor to MSW students in my workplace? - did do!
It's a great credential to have - you never know where you might be working 1, 3, 5, or 10 years from now. I'm no longer working as a clinical social worker, but you better believe the fact I was licensed is on my resume. It has definitely helped in my new field.
Good luck with the exam and check about reciprocity with other states.
07-08-2005, 12:57 PM
MsRo, if you already have your bachelors degree you can go straight for your MSW instead of getting another bachelors. It would save time and money. I guess what I'm saying is, you don't need your BSW to get your MSW. Hope that makes sense.
07-08-2005, 04:13 PM
The license tests (3 levels) are the same nationwide. However, what your state requires varies DRAMATICALLY. I learned this when moving states. For the most part, a LSW requires a intermediate exam and the LCSW requires the advanced exam. But there are other requirements besides the test for most states such as a specific amout of post-grad supervised direct service, etc.
The ASWB handles the testing, look here for more info:
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