How to Become a Clinical Social Worker

What is LCSW? If you’re thinking about becoming a CSW, this article will walk you through it.

All you require to do is to keep scrolling down. You’ll learn about CSW academic essentials, how to become a CSW, CSW responsibilities, how long it will take to become a CSW, and many more.

How to Become a Clinical Social Worker

A CSW is an expert in delivering clinical aid to society. One of their services is to help people cope with challenges such as poverty, disability, addiction, and violence.

In addition, CSWs are trained to assist, treat and mentor individuals with attitudinal and sensation problems.

LCSW Meaning

Before we begin our discussion, we’ll like to give you a taste of what an LCSW worker is. This will provide you with a better sense of what we’re about to discuss.

  • What Is A Licensed Clinical Social Worker?

An LCSW is a practitioner with a state work permit to function as a certified social worker. The ‘State License Office issues this work permit.’

However, before a CSW receives a permit to practice, they must have an MSW certificate and meet the standards for state accreditation. That’s when you can work within a variety of parameters.

When seeking MSW certification, you’ll be trained to help people deal with sensations and psychological issues. You will also learn how to access and diagnose people to determine the best care plan.

As an LCSW, you can work with people, families, or groups in different work environments. These may include hospitals, schools, not-for-profit organizations, or public and private organizations.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Schooling & Requirements

The essentials for becoming a clinical worker depend on your residential terms. While some states accept undergrad degrees, others demand master’s degrees.

However, the general requisites for CSW are set out below.

  • Obtain a BSW or MSW from a CSWE-approved institution
  • Write and pass ASWB and Bias exams
  • Undergo a criminal check
  • Have a level of experience.
  • The majority of states require a minimum of three years of field experience.
  • CSW must have an official work permit.

Steps to Becoming an LCSW

Before we get into the conversation, know that the steps to becoming a certified CSW vary by state. Below are the general steps required to become a registered CSW.

Here is how to be a clinical social worker.

  • Obtain An Undergraduate And Post-Graduate Degree

The minimal certification of a CSW is an undergrad degree. This title could be in CSW or other fields like sociology, psychology, social work, public health, or counseling.

Clinical Social Worker Education Requirements

Undergrad studies provide scholars with basic knowledge of the discipline.

The syllabus includes core social work courses and field internships. This has an added impact on researchers with competencies, values, and ethics.

A master’s degree is ideal for those wanting to become a licensed CSW. Most states made it an essential credential for state licensing.

Maybe it’s because the studies provide academics with advanced knowledge and field experience. MSW specialists can also specialize in a clinical area of their choice.

However, please note that you must obtain undergraduate and master’s degrees at a CSWE-approved institution. Otherwise, your certificate will not be valid.

  • Develop experience

After completing your studies, you’ll need to complete extra hours of supervised clinical experience. This is part of the core licensed clinical social worker requirements.

But each state has different rules regarding how many hours you have to complete your clinical experience. However, most states demand a minimum of 1000-3000 hours over 2-6 years.

Some areas in which you will gain experience include assessments and treatment, diagnosis, individual and group therapy, consultation, advocacy, examination, research, etc.

In the meantime, you need to keep in mind that you will be under the direct supervision of a registered social worker while getting additional experience.

  • Sit For ASWB And Jurisprudence Exams

Before obtaining a work permit as a CSW, you must pass the ASWB and case law tests listed above.

The ASWB is a nationwide exam consisting of 170 questions. But before you take the test, you need to pay an enrollment fee of around $260.

Most states in the US require their academics to write the law and ethics exams after taking the ASWB exams. Nevertheless, each state has its standards for this exam.

You should therefore check the standards of the state where you reside or want to do your social work.

  • Request A Clinical License

As mentioned earlier, the MSW certificate and professional examinations are critical to obtaining clinical licensure. Once you have met these vital requirements, you’ll receive a work permit to work as a certified clinical social worker.

Clinical Social Work Responsibilities

The fundamental responsibility of CSW is to assist individuals, families, or groups in dealing with mental health and other behavioral problems.

But they have other responsibilities as far as their areas of specialization are concerned. These include the following:

  • Develop and execute treatment plans for patients
  • Partner with professionals such as therapists, physicians, and court officials to deliver care or treat patients.
  • Provide advisory services to healthcare organizations, schools, and businesses.
  • Take a holistic and comprehensive approach to client service delivery.
  • Develops and maintains strong relationships with group and individual clients.
  • Provide psychotherapeutic services.
  • Assist individuals, families, or groups in times of crisis.


As an authorized CSW, you can work in multiple settings.

These include hospitals, offices, schools, hostels, community centers, assisted living centers, business organizations, and government and private organizations.

However, you should note that the work environment of CSWs depends on the field they specialize in.

Remuneration Of Clinical Social Workers.

Just as the working environment for c CSWs varies, so does their compensation.

CSWs with higher education and experience earn more than those with lower levels of certification and experience. Similarly, the CSW working in metropolitan areas earns higher wages than those in rural areas.

However, a CSW in the US is paid approximately $41,950-$51,760 annually. Then those who are LCSW made as much as $85,820 a year.

Clinical social work is a career worth pursuing if you are passionate about helping people and communities with brain and sensation problems. The steps outlined above are sufficient to lead you to a successful career.

All you need to do is satisfy your state’s essentials regarding clinical social work.

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