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Licensing and Certification

The purpose of licensing and certification in social work it to assist the public through identification of standards for the safe professional practice of social work. Each state defines by law what is required for each level of social work licensure. Typically, there are four categories of practice that states may legally regulate.

      ** BASIC: Baccalaureate social work degree upon graduation.

      ** INTERMEDIATE: Master's degree in social work (MSW) with no post-degree experience;

      ** ADVANCED: MSW with two years post-master's supervised experience; and

      ** CLINICAL: MSW with two years post-master's direct clinical social work experience

Social work degrees must be obtained from programs of social work that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or other nationally recognized accrediting agencies. Non-social work degrees are accepted in some instances at the Basic level. Some states regulate only one of these practice levels, while most states regulate two or more levels of social work practice. A summary table containing the licensing requirements may be accessed by selecting a state from the following list:

Alabama
Alaska
Alberta
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming