Looking to become a social worker in New Jersey? 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 New Jersey’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 New Jersey, 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 Certified Social Worker (CSW) is granted to social workers with Bachelor’s degrees. The designations Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) require education at at least the master’s level.

Certified Social Worker (CSW) is the basic licensing level. The CSW 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 must pass the bachelor’s-level exam, then is prepared to assume the beginning level professional role in public and private social service agencies. The license does not allow, however, independent practice.

The Licensed Social Worker (LSW) must have a master of social work from a college or university approved or accredited by the CSWE. The candidate for licensure at the LSW level must then pass a masters-level exam as prescribed by the Board. The LSW may provide social work services, such as assessment, consultation and counseling, planning and community organization, policy and research, administration, and client-centered advocacy, as well as clinical social work services (when supervised by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker).

The Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) must have a master of social work from a college or university approved or accredited by the CSWE as well as two years of full-time clinical social work experience under supervision within a period of not less than two, and not more than three, consecutive years. The candidate must then pass the clinical-level exam as prescribed by the Board. He/she is then permitted to engage in social work independently or within an agency and supervise other persons engaging in the practice of social work.

Organizations that offer continuing education in New Jersey must have each course approved in advance by a formally recognized entity, such as ASWB.  ASWB is an authorized continuing education approval entity of the New Jersey Board of Social Work Examiners.

CSW Requirements:

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

LSW Requirements:

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

LCSW Requirements:

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