Arizona Social Work Licensure

Below are basic guidelines for those wishing to earn their social work licensure in Arizona. Most procedures and requirements remain constant over the years; however, it is wise to contact the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners at (602) 542-1882 to make sure you are on the right track.

Step One:

First you will need to decide which social work license is right for you. The Arizona board provides three levels of licensed social work.

  • Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW): For this license, you will need a baccalaureate degree in social work.
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW): To qualify for a LMSW, you will need at least a masters degree.
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW): For this license, you will need a masters degree or
    higher in addition to 3200 hours of work experience.

Request information from schools offering psychology or social work degree programs in Arizona. Additionally, learn more about accredited social work programs offered in Arizona on the Council for Social Work Education website.

Step Two:

After the completion of a degree program, those looking to become a LBSW or LMSW can take their exams immediately without any required work experience.

The Arizona board recognizes the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) as the standard test. Each level of licensure will take a different test. More information on the exams and helpful study guides can be found here.

If you have your masters degree and are pursuing the Clinical Social Work Licensure, you will need to complete 3200 hours of supervised work experience over the course of at least two years. At least 1600 of those hours need to be in direct client contact. In addition, while completing your work experience, 100 hours of clinical supervision should be recorded. Check your supervisor's eligibility before beginning your work to make sure he or she satisfies the board's regulations.

Step Three:

At this point, you can download your application as well as the Social Work License Supplement and submit them to the board. You can download both applications from the following Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners webpage.

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