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How To Start A Career In Social Work

How To Start A Career In Social Work

Rob Zawrotny, ArticlesBase.com

If you lack the educational or professional background, an associate’s degree may be a good place to start to see if you’re willing to make the necessary educational commitment.

More on Social Work


Salary: $32,590 - $48,420
Min. Education: Master's
Related Careers: Psychologist, Rehabilitation Counselor

For information regarding accredited social work programs, visit the Council on Social Work Education’s website:
www.cswe.org

Licensing and Exams: Social workers must be licensed. For licensing purposes, each state has its own requirements, but an MSW is usually a minimum. In addition, licensing requires 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

After completing school and hour requirements, social work candidates must pass an exam. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) develops and maintains four categories of social work licensure examinations: Bachelors, Masters, Advanced Generalist, and Clinical. Candidates should check with individual boards to find out which examinations are appropriate for the jurisdiction where they want to be licensed.

According to the ASWB’s website:

“Each examination contains 170 four-option multiple choice questions designed to measure minimum competencies at four categories of practice. Only 150 of the 170 items are scored; the remaining 20 questions are “pretest” items included to measure their effectiveness as items on future examinations. These pretest items are scattered randomly throughout the examination. Candidates have four hours to complete the test, which is administered electronically."

For information on state licensing requirements, see the Association of Social Work Boards website:
http://www.aswb.org/education/boards/

For information on exams, visit http://www.aswb.org/exam_info.shtml

Continuing Education: As part of renewing licenses every two years, almost all states require continuing education (CE) courses. Each state’s CE requirements vary in number of hours and approved courses, so be sure to check with the board over your jurisdiction to make sure you are in compliance with CE requirements. Many courses are available online, at sites such as www.speedyceus.com, which save time and money.

Types of Licenses: There are several different kinds of licenses available:
L.C.S.W. (or A.C.S.W., L.C.S., L.I.C.S.W., C.S.W.)

The licensed clinical social worker has a graduate academic degree, has completed supervised clinical work experience and has passed a national- or state-certified licensing exam. This advanced practitioner holds a license that allows him or her to receive health-care insurance reimbursements. (National Association of Social Workers)


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