Social Work License Requirements in Georgia

Social work in Georgia provides numerous opportunities, all aiming to help a variety of populations. Whether professionals wish to practice clinical social work, or contribute to policy and administration, they have two different liscencing paths that can help them make their desired impact in Georgia. Those wishing to become a social worker in Georgia should understand the education, work experience, and examination requirements that will be expected of them prior to beginning this journey. It is also important to be mindful of the application process, and the guidelines for renewing liscences so that credentials are properly maintained. Because Georgia offers no formal reciprociy with other states, those licensed in another state may earm the credentials to practice social work in Georgia by following the same procedures as new social workers.

Check out our lists of the best BSW programs and best MSW programs in Georgia.

Social Work Licensure Requirements in Georgia

Georgia’s Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists provides two paths to becoming a social worker in Georgia. One option is to earn a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW). The second option is to earn a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Each one demands different education and work experience requirements

Both licenses require a master’s degree in social work (MSW). All students will have a set of core class requirements. They can then choose electives based on interests and selected concentration. This could include anything from child and family services to medical social work. Students are also likely to have a fieldwork requirement in addition to classroom learning. Common fields of work include mental health and clinical work, gerontology, child and public welfare, corrections, health care, and more. Social workers in Georgia can work in a variety of organizations, companies, and agencies. With the right combination of education and supervised work experience, students can apply for a social work license in Georgia.

Licensed Master of Social Work

Social workers need a master’s degree in social work in order to apply for an LMSW license in Georgia. The graduate program must be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Within a year of completing the program, graduates must take the licensing examination from the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The exam can be taken up to three times. Once passed, graduates can apply to become an LMSW through Georgia’s Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists. Along with the application, candidates need to pay a $100 fee for this license.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

In order to become an LCSW in Georgia, applicants must meet one of two requirements. The first option is to earn a master’s degree in social work from a program accredited by the CSWE. Graduates must then complete three years of full-time work experience in clinical social work, part of which must be under supervision. Applicants must also have 3,000 hours of postgraduate social work experience acquired between 36 and 108 months after receiving their MSW. The first 2,000 hours have to be under supervision in clinical social work. Both the applicant and supervisor must keep records of completed hours, which must match up when submitted for the social work license application.

The other way students can meet the LCSW requirement is if they have earned both a MSW and a doctoral degree in social work, professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, medicine, psychiatric nursing, applied psychology, pastoral counseling or applied child and family development from a CSWE-accredited program. During their course of study, they must have completed a supervised clinical internship. Applicants that meet these requirements can use these credentials to substitute for one year of experience. They must also have 2,000 hours of supervised postgraduate experience, which must be completed between 24 and 72 months after earning their degree.

Social Work License Reciprocity in Georgia

Georgia does not have reciprocity agreements with other states. This means that applicants need to submit a social work license application to become either an LMSW or an LCSW. Out-of-state social workers should review the details above to make sure they understand what is required to apply for a license.

Relevant exam results should be sent directly from the AWSB to the Georgia Board. Applicants also need to have official transcripts sent from their university outlining relevant degree details; these must be original documents. When applying, social workers also need to provide verification of their existing social work license from their home state. Once the required information has been submitted and verified, the applicant will receive a license to practice social work in the state of Georgia.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

The Georgia social work board provides specific rules surrounding the renewal process and continuing education requirements. Renewal occurs every two years. During that time, social workers must complete 35 hours of approved continuing education courses.

At least five of those hours must be designated in professional ethics and may not be obtained through independent study or online. For the other 30 hours, 15 must be core hours and 15 must be related hours. Social workers can take up to ten hours of continuing education courses online during each renewal period. Up to five hours can be through independent study, which includes activities like teaching a course, presenting a lecture or conducting a workshop for the first time.