How to Become an LICSW in Massachusetts
What Is Social Work?
- Social workers build key relationships with clients and colleagues while growing personally and professionally.
- Social workers make every day meaningful; they strive to address client needs and are committed to fighting for equality and social justice, especially for vulnerable populations.
- Social workers have opportunities to advance their career and further their knowledge through continued training and education.
What Is Clinical Social Work?
- Diagnosing mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders
- Consulting and coordinating care with other professionals to develop treatment plans
- Facilitating individual, family, and group sessions
- Lobbying for policy changes that will benefit the community
Where Do Clinical Social Workers Practice?
- Substance abuse treatment centers
- College counseling centers
- Day treatment programs
- Mental health clinics
- Outpatient facilities
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Private practices
- Court clinics
- Prisons and jails
- Legislative advocacy divisions of institutions
Social Worker Salary
Educational Requirements to Become a Social Worker
Licensed Social Worker Associate (LSWA)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Social Work Licensure at a Glance
Guidelines for Pursuing an LICSW in Massachusetts
- Hold at least a master’s degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited school. Learn more about Simmons’ online MSW program.
- Be currently licensed in Massachusetts as an LCSW or equivalent in another jurisdiction.
- Submit a completed application to ASWB. The application must be accompanied by the following items:
- Official transcript – Provide official MSW or DSW transcript from a CSWE-accredited school in a sealed school envelope.
- Three recommendation forms – All references must be qualified to evaluate the student’s social work experience. Two references from LICSWs are required.
- Documented post-degree experience – A clinical supervisor licensed at the LICSW level must provide documentation of the student’s completed clinical work experience. Students must have obtained 3,500 hours of clinical social work experience, in no less than two years, after the date they received their LCSW. A minimum of 100 hours must be face-to-face with a clinical supervisor.
- Application fee
- Register for, schedule, and pass the ASWB clinical social work exam.
- Apply for a license. The license approval time varies. Generally, it takes up to two weeks for the Board of Registration of Social Workers to receive exam scores, followed by another week or more for the board to issue a license.
Social Work License Reciprocity
Social Work Post-Licensure
- LSWAs must complete at least 10 hours of continuing education.
- LSWs must complete 15 hours of continuing education.
- LCSWs must complete 20 hours of continuing education.
- LICSWs must complete 30 hours of continuing education.
Simmons University’s Online Clinically Focused MSW
Resources for Becoming a Social Worker in Massachusetts
- The Board of Registration of Social Workers provides specific licensure requirements for each license available in Massachusetts. Students who are interested in licensure in another state should refer to their state’s social work licensing board to determine specific requirements.
- All social work licensing applications are processed by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) sets and maintains the national accreditation standards for baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work. Simmons School of Social Work is CSWE-accredited.
- The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), a resource for a wide range of social work information at both the state and national levels, is the largest organization of professional social workers. NASW also provides information on professional liability coverage once students obtain their license.
- The National Association of Social Workers Massachusetts Chapter (NASWMA) is the largest professional social work organization in the state. NASWMA staff are available to respond to member inquiries regarding social work practice, social policy issues, and other informational requests.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, the independent statistical resource for the United States Department of Labor, is responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.