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Illinois Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Illinois...

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Illinois. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at (217) 782-8556 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Illinois Social Work License:

Or skip down to Illinois Clinical Social Work Licensure

Step One:

To practice as a licensed social worker in Illinois you will need either a bachelor's degree in social work or a masters degree in social work from an approved school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Work Experience:

  • After completing a bachelors degree program in social work, you will need to complete 3 years of supervised professional experience. Supervision is required weekly by a qualified person. You will find more information on supervised experience requirments for Illinois social work licensure, here.
  • If you have a master's degree, you are not required to complete supervised work experience in order to earn your Illinois Social Work License.

Step Three:

Before your application can be approved, you will need to take and pass the Masters Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examination.

You will find more information regarding ASWB examination content, location, dates and registration on the following ASWB website.

Step Four:

After meeting the appropriate requirements, you can download and submit the Illinois social work licensure application to the Illinois Division of Finance and Professional Regulation. You will have 1 year to submit your application after completing the examination.

You can download the Illinois social work licensure application here.

This process can take some time, so being aware of deadlines and keeping your Associate Social Worker license active is important.

Follow the steps to earn your Illinois Clinical Social Work License:

Step One:

To qualify for an Illinois clinical social work license, you will need to either:

  • Have your masters degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Or have your doctorate degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from psychology schools and colleges.

Step Two:

Work Experience:

  • After receiving the masters degree you need 3000 hours of supervised social work experience.
  • After receiving the doctorate degree you will need 2000 hours of supervised social work experience.

In both situations, you will need to have a Division approved supervisor. More information about the qualifications of a supervisor and hours needed is available on the following Illinois General Assembly webpage.

Step Three:

Next, you will need to sit for the Clinical Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) examination. More information on the clinical level exam is found on the ASWB site.

Step Four:

When you have finished all necessary requirements, you can download the Illinois Clinical Social Work Licensure application and submit it to the Illinois Division of Finance and Professional Regulation. You will have 1 year to submit your application after taking the examination.

You will find a link to download the application on the following webpage.

This process can take some time, so being aware of deadlines and keeping your Illinois Social Worker license active is important.

Illinois Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list also contains online schools that accept students from Illinois.

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