Looking to become a social worker in Maryland? You’ve come to the right spot!  While there are similarities in licensing requirements from state to state, each state is unique. In addition to providing the essentials below, you can click the link we have provided for Maryland’s official licensing body. There you can find additional information on potential requirements like background checks, state-to-state license transfers, and continuing education requirements. We hope this handy guide assists in your efforts to become a certified social worker in your state!

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In Maryland, it is possible to be licensed as a social worker with either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited institution. The designation Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) is granted to social workers with Bachelor’s degrees. The designations Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW), and Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) require education at at least the master’s level.

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) is the basic licensing level. The LBSW must have a bachelor’s degree in social work from an accredited college or university whose social work program is approved or accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The candidate for the LBSW licensure must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board, then the LBSW is prepared to assume the beginning level professional role in public and private social service agencies.

The Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) must have a master of social work from a college or university approved or accredited by the CSWE. The candidate for licensure at the LGSW level must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board. An LGSW provides a wide range of services. An LGSW may provide preventive and treatment services pertaining to individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.

The Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) must have a master of social work or a doctor of social work degree from a college or university approved or accredited by the CSWE and hold a current LGSW license. The LCSW must have received two years of SW experience provided by an LCSW or LCSW-C prior to application for the LCSW exam. The LCSW candidate must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board. The additional designation LCSW-C (clinical) requires at least 2 years of clinical experience under the supervision of an LCSW-C.

There is no limit on the number of times the licensing examination can be taken. However, a candidate must wait 90 days before retaking the examination. It is the licensee’s responsibly to renew his/her license every two years. If you do not receive your renewal notice by September 1, it is the licensee’s responsibility to renew online or to contact the Board in order to obtain a renewal form. The Board of Social Work Examiners does not have reciprocity with any other states. The Board, however, will accept the exam results of persons from other states who have sat for and passed the national social work examination given through the Association of Social Work Boards.

LBSW Requirements:

  • Education: Bachelor’s
  • ASWB Exam: Bachelor’s-Level
  • Supervision: N/A

LGSW Requirements:

  • Education: Master’s
  • Supervision: N/A
  • ASWB Exam: Master’s-Level

LCSW Requirements:

  • Education: Master’s
  • Supervision: 2 years
  • ASWB Exam: Clinical