Looking to become a social worker in Washington? 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 Washington’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!
In Washington, it is possible to be licensed as a social worker with a Master’s degree from an accredited institution. The designations Licensed Advanced Social Worker (LASW) and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) require education at at least the master’s level.
The Licensed Advanced Social Worker (LASW) 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. Applicants must have a minimum of 3,200 hours of postgraduate, supervised experience before passing the Advanced-Generalist exam. Eight hundred hours of the supervision must be in direct client contact. Ninety hours must be supervision by a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) or licensed associate social worker (LASW) who has been licensed for at least two years.
The Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) 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 LASW license. Applicants must have a minimum of 4,000 hours of postgraduate, supervised experience over a minimum three-year period. One thousand hours must be in direct client contact supervised by a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). One hundred and thirty hours must be direct supervision by a LICSW or equally licensed mental health practitioner. The LICSW may supervise LASWs.
Applicants applying for licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor or licensed social worker must have completed 36 hours of Continuing Education, six of which must be in professional law and ethics. They must have received these hours after completing the academic requirements and prior to the department issuing their license. The continuing education program or course must be relevant and contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of the professional competence of the licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed mental health counselor or licensed social worker. Every two years, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health counselors and licensed social workers must complete 36 hours of continuing education. At least six of the 36 hours must be in professional ethics and law.
- Education: Master’s
- Supervision: 3,200 hours
- ASWB Exam: Advaned-Generalist
- Education: Master’s
- Supervision: 4,000 hours
- ASWB Exam: Clinical