Looking to become a social worker in Ohio? 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 Ohio’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 Ohio, 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 Social Worker (LSW) is granted to social workers with Bachelor’s degrees. The designation Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) requires education at at least the master’s level.

Licensed Social Worker (LSW) is the basic licensing level. The LSW 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 LSW licensure must pass an exam as prescribed by the Board, then the LSW is prepared to assume the beginning level professional role in public and private social service agencies.

The Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) needs to have earned an LSW, as well as a master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by CSWE (Council on Social Work Education).  You would then complete two years (24 full months) of post-LSW, post-MSW supervised social work experience, during which time you complete at least 3000 hours of work in a social work setting, and at least 150 hours of face-to-face training supervision with an LISW-S.  By law, the assessment, diagnosis, and/or treatment of addictions is within the scope of practice for LISW’s.

Thirty Clock Hours of continuing education are required for all license renewals every two years from the date of licensure. Three of the thirty hours must cover ethics. Social Work Assistant (SWA) Registrations require 30 hours of continuing education every two years and at least three of those hours must cover ethics. All hours must be completed, approved or post approved before you renew your license. Licensees are not able to take the same CEU twice within a 2 year renewal period. All continuing education completed within the State of Ohio must be pre-approved by the board to count toward your renewal, however only the sponsoring organization may submit for pre-approval.

LSW Requirements:

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

LISW Requirements:

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