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Earning a Social Work License in Georgia

Higher Education Articles August 29, 2013

Earning a living as a social worker is an incredible privilege and challenge. If you live in Georgia or plan on moving to the state then you will find it to be particularly rewarding, as there are many brilliant people in Georgia, and yet many individuals who need help. That’s what social work is all about, helping the under privileged. This job will provide you a path to success and fulfillment. And of course, it all starts with a top-rate education.

Licensing Issues

The primary concern working in Georgia, as with any other state, is licensing. Georgia is a reasonable state, and particularly when compared to other states that have stringent demands for mental health workers. However, there are still some basic requirements to consider, and these include coursework, examinations, and even supervised work projects. The minimum educational degree required would be a Master of Social Work course, one step below a doctorate degree, though it is worth noting that most graduates pursue a doctorate degree because of increased competition. The school must be accredited or have an equivalency of hours deemed acceptable by the board.

The level of experience required for licensing is three years and 3,000 hours of work, with the first 1,000 hours done under direct supervision of a qualified authority. After extensive training, you will be ready to file an application, which can be downloaded, filled out, and then submitted for licensing with a fee. The source to contact for this step would be the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Social Workers. Even after this process, an examination is still required. Only after completing the exam can you practice as a social worker throughout the state.

Career Paths

If you finish a master’s degree program, you will earn a Masters of Social Work degree. After this, you can apply for an LMSW or Licensed Masters in Social Work. Upon successful screening, you will be given the title. Lastly, there is the LCSW, which is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and is an even high accolade still within the master’s degree category. This category also opens up more opportunities for you compared to other achievements since there will be more intensive education covered.

The medical authority that will supervise you will be approved by the state and provide further guidance on how to interact with various clients and other contacts. The primary reason for this is to promote clinical and people skills, training new graduates beyond mere textbook knowledge. A lot of this training will be in video segments, but much of it will also be under direct observation.

The Georgia Society for Clinical Social Workers is an organization to keep in mind. This resource can help you with continuing education, networking with important contacts, and providing assistance in some of the more difficult aspects of going out on your own.

This is a tremendous challenge and yet one that will be emotionally and spiritually fulfilling as you help the less fortunate to change their lives for the better.

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