Social Work License Requirements in New Mexico

There are multiple social work licenses available in New Mexico, giving graduates various opportunities to practice in the field, regardless of an applicant’s level of education. There are three types of licensure a social worker can obtain in New Mexico: LBSW, LMSW, and a LISW.

Social Work Licensure Requirements in New Mexico

For graduates wishing to become a social worker in New Mexico, applicants can choose one of three paths to licensure. The first is by becoming a licensed bachelor of social work (LBSW). As the name implies, it only requires a bachelor’s degree in the field of social work.

The next option is to become an LMSW, which requires a master’s in social work (MSW). An applicant can earn this degree from New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico State University or Western New Mexico University. Finally, applicants can get a social work license as a licensed independent social worker. This also requires a master’s degree, in addition to supervised field work after graduation.

Licensed Bachelor of Social Work

At the most basic level, aspiring social workers can practice in New Mexico by becoming a licensed bachelor of social work. In order to obtain an LBSW, applicants must first earn a bachelor’s degree in social work from a college or university whose program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). If a degree is obtained outside of New Mexico, graduates must also take a cultural course on the state’s demographics.

Next, applicants need to submit an application. This social work license application includes a fee. In addition to completing the form, applicants must submit two personal character references and an original personal photograph. Graduates are also required to take and pass the ASWB’s bachelor’s examination as part of the application process. Test scores can be sent directly from ASWB to the Board.

Licensed Master of Social Work

For a more advanced social work license, aspiring professionals can apply to be a licensed master of social work. First, applicants must earn a master’s in social work from a CSWE-accredited program. Transcripts should be sent directly from the school to the New Mexico Board. Applicants must also complete a cultural awareness course. For those who completed their degree outside of New Mexico, they must also take this course to gain better insight into the state’s population.

The next step is submitting an application. To practice New Mexico social work as an LMSW, applicants must pay a fee when submitting their application. Other requirements include two personal character references and a personal photograph. Finally, the LMSW license requires that graduates pass the ASWB’s master’s examination. Test results should be sent from the ASWB directly to the Board.

Licensed Independent Social Worker

The LISW is the most advanced social work license that can be earned in the state of New Mexico. Similar to the LMSW, applicants need an MSW from a CSWE-accredited program in order to apply for a LISW license and practice New Mexico social work in this way. It’s also required to take the New Mexico cultural course for those who haven’t studied or worked in the state.

Once graduates earn an MSW, they need to work in a supervised practice setting for at least two years and no more than five years. Applicants must accumulate 3,600 hours before completing this post-graduate requirement. Additionally, at least one hour of supervision must be documented for every 40 hours worked. After these conditions have been met, aspiring social workers are ready to submit the application. Applicants need to fill out the paperwork and also include two personal references and a personal photo. There’s also an application fee for the LISW license. The final step is to pass the ASWB’s advanced or clinical examination.

Social Work License Reciprocity in New Mexico

The reciprocity process for those who are already licensed in another state entails applying to be licensed for New Mexico social work with just a few extra steps. In addition to completing the application for the specific social work license that’s currently held, applicants also need to have the previous state send verification of the current license. The form is called “Statement of Registration, or Certification of Licensure in Another State.” Two personal character references are also required and ASWB test scores must also be sent. Finally, applicants must complete the New Mexico Cultural Course, which is offered both online and in person.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Education Information

In New Mexico social work, the renewal process happens every two years, starting July 1 and ending June 30. Thirty hours of continuing education must be completed during that period. Of these course hours, six must be in the subject area of cultural awareness. There is a fee associated with license renewal, and the biennial renewal fees vary based on the social work license type. Applicants can complete the renewal application online. Information can be entered into an online account, including each course taken throughout the two-year period.