How to become a Social Worker in Alabama
Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Alabama. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners at (334) 242-5860 to make sure you are on the right track.
Follow the steps to earn your Alabama Social Work License:
First you will need to decide which social work license is right for you.
Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) is the basic licensing level. A baccalaureate degree in social work from an approved school is needed in order to achieve this license.
Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) requires a masters or doctors degree in social work.
Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) needs a masters or doctors degree in social work as well but also requires post-graduate work and you must also hold a current LGSW license.
Private Independent Practice (PIP) is an LCSW who has spent a certain required amount of time practicing. At this time they can apply for private practice.
All licensures have different supervised work experience requirements.
Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW): An LBSW can take the required examination (download and complete the application in order to be eligible to sit for the examination) directly after graduation. After the examination has been successfully completed. you must work under continued supervision (4 hours per month) of a LGSW for at least 2 years. After this requirement is met, you may continue on without any further supervision granted you remain in the same field of practice.
Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW): An LGSW can also take the exam immediately after receiving their masters or doctoral degree (download and complete the application to be eligible). After this is completed, you can work on acquiring 2 years of supervised experience averaging 4 hours per month. You can then begin the process of working towards your LCSW and also supervise LBSWs.
Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW): After you have passed your LGSW exam (download and complete the application to be eligible), you will need to begin 2 years of professional experience supervised by an LCSW (4 hours per month) before you are eligible to apply for the LCSW. At this time you will be eligible to sit for the LCSW exam.
Private Independent Practice (PIP): To receive a PIP, an LCSW can apply after having completed 3 years of full-time or 5 years of part-time legal practice in their field. They also need 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time experience in a specific social work method after receiving their LCSW. The exam is the same as the LCSW exam. Download and complete the application here.
Your designated examination must be passed within 1 year of application approval. The Board offers opportunities for testing at least twice a year. If after a year you have not passed the appropriate exam, you will have to go through the application process again.