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Massachusetts Social Work Licensing Information

Higher Education Articles August 21, 2013

Massachusetts social work licensing information is vital, if you want to work as a licensed social worker in the state and remain in good standing with the community. This is certainly not an easy task, as there are prerequisites to consider, and even a supervised work assignment. The minimum degree required is a master’s degree in the subject of social work. The Massachusetts State Board of Social Work Examiners is the leading authority and governs licensing for four different types: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Social Worker, and Licensed Social Worker Assistant.

Accreditation and Work Experience

The clinical social worker applicant can work with a master’s degree or doctorate degree, provided the education comes from an accredited program. However, an additional 3,500 hours of supervised clinical experience are also required and limited to a two year period. After paying application and exam fees, the applicants can take the test, and then receive their license. To work as a social work in the State of Massachusetts, the requirement is similar, a master’s or doctorate degree, but with one second-year field placement supervisory reference.

The LSW applicant is not as readily qualified as the other positions, but only requires a bachelor’s degree to get started in the field. They can also apply by substituting additional field requirements in some cases. Even if an undergraduate does not have a related field in past, he or she can make it up with 3,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. However, students with two-years of experience in college must undergo six years of supervised work experience. High school graduates can even work in the field, but will need as much as ten years of experience in order to qualify for the LSW title. Lastly, there is the LSWA applicant, which only requires an associate’s degree (in some human service subject) or in some cases, a high school diploma. High school graduates must also have four years of documented work experience relevant to the profession.

Jobs that don’t need Graduate Level Degrees

What’s nice about working in Massachusetts is that no experience is required for entry-level positions such as the LSWA and LSW. The exceptions are the LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker), which requires a valid LCSW license, and 3,500 hours of supervised work history, and the LCSW, which do require a minimum number of experiential years. After fulfilling all of these obligations, it’s time to fill out the application and submit all documents to the Board. You will be expected to pass the basic Licensure exam as an entry level worker, as well as the LCSW intermediate exam, and the clinical licensure level exam for the highest title.

This is a state that cares about social work and is willing to help graduates of all levels enter the field, even if it’s in a learning role. This means a great opportunity for yourself, if you earn a degree at the leading schools listed below. Help the ones who need it and start learning and working right away!

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  • Earn a Master of Social Work online from top-ranked USC
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