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Iowa Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Iowa

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Iowa. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Iowa Bureau of Professional Licensing at (515) 281-7689 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Iowa Social Work License:

Step One:

To practice as a social worker in the state of Iowa you will need to satisfy the following educational requirements...

  • Licensed bachelor social workers (LBSW) will need to receive their bachelors degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Licensed masters social workers (LMSW) and Licensed independent social workers (LISW) will need a masters in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Supervised Experience Requirements...

  • A LBSW is not required to complete supervised experience before being licensed.
  • A LMSW is also not required postgraduate experience before licensing.
  • Once a LISW has completed their education at a masters level, they can begin their supervised work experience requirements. This can be fulfilled either by two years of full time work experience or 4000 hours finished in a minimum of 2 years and no more than 6 years. All experience needs to under a Board approved supervisor.

More details about the hourly experience and supervisor qualifications can be found under the Licensure Rules on the following Iowa Department of Public Health webpage.

Step Three:

Once the educational and work experience requirements are fulfilled, you can download and submit your Iowa social work licensure application to the Board. Include all necessary forms and fees with the application.

You can download the Iowa social work licensure application here.

Step Four:

Once your application has been approved by the Board, they will contact and inform you of your eligibility to sit for the Iowa social work licensure examination. LBSW candidates will need to take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) basic level examination. LMSW candidates will need to take and pass the intermediate level examination of the ASWB. Finally, LISW candidates will need to pass the clinical level examination of the ASWB.

Information on all of the above exams is available on the ASWB website.

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

Iowa Social Work Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from Iowa.
Results:  8
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