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Pennsylvania Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Pennsylvania...

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Pennsylvania. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers at (717) 783-1389 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Pennsylvania Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete education requirements for Pennsylvania social work licensure:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) licensure requires at least a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Complete professional experience requirements for the associated licensure:

  • Licensed Social Worker (LSW) - no experience is required
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) candidates are required to complete 3 years or 3000 hours of supervised work experience in a clinical setting.

More details about the hourly requirements and qualifying supervisors can be found on the Pennsylvania Code website.

Step Three:

Both levels of licensure candidates can apply to the Pennsylvania State Board by submitting the appropriate social work licensure application and including all necessary forms and fees.

  • LSW candidates need to submit the Social Worker - Application for Examination/Licensure.
  • LCSW candidates need to submit the Clinical Social Worker - Application for Examination/Licensure.

You can download the appropriate Pennsylvania SW licensure applications off the State Board's website.

Step Four:

After the Board has reviewed your application and decided that all qualifications have been met, you will be notified of your eligibility to take the examination developed by the Association of Social Work Boards.

  • A LSW applicants need to take the Masters level exam.
  • A LCSW applicants need to take the Clinical level exam.

Information about both exams can be found on the ASWB website.

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

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

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