Social Work State Licensing Boards

State licensing boards are responsible for protecting the public by ensuring that certain types of social workers meet professional and educational standards through licensing and regulation. Licensing requirements are determined at the state level; therefore, the requirements for licensing are different for each state. Students who wish to pursue a career in social work should review the standards for their state of residence to ensure that the online program they choose meets the requirements needed for licensing.

With state licensing boards being responsible for setting the standards for licensure, every state has different types of licenses and some states even require multiple licenses in order to become a specific type of socials worker. For example, California requires professionals to earn an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW / ACSW) license before they can become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Here are some other examples of state licenses:

  • Florida: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Oregon: Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW), Certified Social Worker Associate (CSWA), Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • New York: Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Texas: Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • Find a complete list of state-specific social work licenses that require a MSW

State licensing boards also provide the public a way to verify that a social worker is actively licensed to practice in the state. In addition, some states provide information about social workers who have been disciplined by the board. Finally, if a consumer has a complaint against a licensed social worker, they can file it with their state’s licensing board, who will investigate the claim(s) to determine if there was any misconduct by the social worker.

Social Work Licensing Boards by State

Social Work Licensing Boards by State
STATE LICENSING BOARD TYPES OF LICENSES
Alabama Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Master Social Worker
Alaska Alaska Board of Social Work Examiners Clinical Social Worker (CSW)
Master Social Worker (MSW)
Arizona Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Arkansas Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
California California Board of Behavioral Sciences Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Licensed Certiified Social Worker (LCSW)
Colorado Colorado State Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Public Health Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Delaware Delaware Board of Social Work Examiners Masters Social Worker
Clinical Social Worker"
District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Board of Social Work Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW)
Florida Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Certified Master Social Worker
Georgia Georgia Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists Clinical Social Worker
Master Social Worker
Hawaii Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Idaho Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners Master Social Worker
Clinical Social Workerr
Illinois Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Clinical Social Worker, Licensed
Indiana Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC)
Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC)
Iowa Iowa Department of Public Health Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW)
Social Worker - Independent
Kansas Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker (LSCSW)
Kentucky Kentucky Board of Social Work Certified Social Worker (CSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Louisiana Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) / Certified Social Worker
Maine Maine State Board of Social Work Licensure Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Maryland Maryland Department of Health Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical (LCSW-C)
Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
Massachusetts Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Michigan Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Master's Social Worker (M.S.W.)
Limited Master's Social Worker (L.M.S.W.)
Minnesota Minnesota Board of Social Work Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW)
Mississippi Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Missouri Missouri Committee for Social Workers Licensed Advanced Macro Social Worker (LAMSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Montana Montana Board of Behavioral Health Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Nebraska Nebraska Office of Behavioral Health and Consumer Services Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW)
Nevada Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers Clinical Social Worker (CSW)
Independent Social Worker (ISW)
New Hampshire New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice Independent Clinical Social Worker
New Jersey New Jersey State Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)r
New Mexico New Mexico Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
New York New York Office of the Professions Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
North Carolina North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW)
Certified Social Work Manager (CSWM)
North Dakota North Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)r
Ohio Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW)
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Licensed Social Worker-Administration (LSW-Adm)
Oregon Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers Clinical Social Work Associate (CSWA)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW)
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Social Worker (LSW)
Rhode Island Rhode Island Department of Health Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
South Carolina South Carolina Board of Social Work Examiners Licensed Independent Social Worker - Advanced Practice (LISW-AP)
Licensed Independent Social Worker - Clinical Practice (LISW-CP)
Master Level Social Worker (LMSW)
South Dakota South Dakota Social Work Examiners Board Certified Independent Practice Social Worker (CIPSW)
Certified Social Worker (CSW)
Tennessee Tennessee Board of Social Workers Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker (LAPSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Texas Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Licensed Master Social Worker - Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP)
Utah Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Certified Social Worker (CSW)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)r
Vermont Vermont Office of Professional Regulation Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Master's Social Worker
Virginia Virginia Board of Social Work Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Master's Social Worker (LMSW)
Washington Washington Department of Health Licensed Advanced Social Worker (LASW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Licensed Social Work Associate & Advanced (LSWAA)
Licensed Social Work Associate & Independent Clinical (LSWAIC)
West Virginia West Virgina Board of Social Work Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW)
Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW)
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
Wisconsin Wisconsin Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW)
Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Wyoming Wyoming Mental Health Professions Licensing Board Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Information for state licensing boards of social work was retrieved as of November 2019. For the most up-to-date information, check with your state board.