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Wisconsin Social Work Licensure

How to become a Social Worker in Wisconsin...

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Wisconsin. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing at (608) 266-2112 to make sure you are on the right track.

Follow the steps to earn your Wisconsin Social Work License:

Step One:

Complete educational requirements for Wisconsin social work licensure:

  • Certified Social Worker (CSW) licensure - you will need a bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited school.
  • Advanced practice social worker (CAPSW), Certified independent social worker (CISW), and Licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licensures all require a masters degree in social work from an accredited school.

Request information from schools offering social work degree programs.

Step Two:

Complete the required work experience for your desired social work licensure:

  • Certified Social Worker (CSW) licensure and Advanced practice social worker (CAPSW) licensure do not require any previously documented work experience.
  • Both CISW and LCSW licensure candidates need to hold a current CAPSW license and then obtain 3000 hours of supervised social work practice in a time period of at least 2 years time.

More details about hourly requirements and supervisor qualifications can be found by clicking on the "Wisconsin Administrative Code" link on the following webpage. Next, you will want to click on the "more" link located under career links listed on the left-hand navigation. You will then need to click on the "Marriage & Family Therapists, Professional Counselors and Social Workers" link to access the necessary information.

Step Three:

Now, you can complete the appropriate Wisconsin social work application for licensure and submit the application to the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing. You will need to include all supporting forms and required fees.

You can download the application here.

Step Four:

The Department will review your application and once approved you will be notified of your eligibility to sit for the appropriate level national exam and a state administered law exam.

  • CSW needs to pass the basic level exam.
  • CAPSW needs to pass the intermediate level exam.
  • CISW needs to pass the advanced level exam.
  • LCSW needs to pass the clinical level exam.

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

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

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