Human Services Guide
Michigan

Social Work Licensure in Michigan

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Michigan is bordered by the majestic Great Lakes and is home to the capital of American automobile industry. The state that saw the birth of the Motown music phenomena, Michigan has a rich culture and history unlike any other. Michigan is a great state to start your licensed Social Work career in. It is important to remember that there can always be updates or changes to a state’s rules and regulations. Remember, that the best way to stay informed with current regulations is the state’s website on licensure.

There are two different kinds of social work licenses in Michigan: Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) and Licensed Master Social Worker. Here is ah helpful guide provided by the state

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Limited Social Service Technician (LSST)

Michigan has many levels of Social Work licensure, the most entry level is known as the Limited Social Service Technician or LSST. With an LSST you will be granted the right to practice under supervision by a LBSW or higher social worker with appropriate licensure in Michigan. In order to be granted this title of licensure, one must complete the following steps:

    1. One must have at least two years of college in any subject matter.
    2. You will need to be currently employed as a human or social services worker.
    3. You will need to pay the $40 fee and complete an application with the Michigan state board, submitting a transcript from your school. You can find the application here
    4. You will need to pass a criminal background check from a board approved agency.
    5. You will need to provide proof of supervision from a state approved supervisor by submitting a supervision form which you can find here.
    6. Once you have passed these steps you will get your LSST licensure.

Registered Social Service Technician (RSST)

The next level of licensure in Michigan is known as the Registered Social Service Technician. Due to the higher standards to attain this license, an RSST holder will find they have significantly more opportunities for employment often at greater levels of compensation. To become an RSST you will need to complete the following steps:

    1. You will need to meet one of the following requirements: Option one, completion of no less than 2,000 hours of supervised work experience along with current employment in the Social Work field. Option two, you have earned an associates degree in social work from a CSWE accredited school completing a minimum of 18 semester hours, or 27 quarter hours along with supervised social work field work of no less than 350 hours. Option three, completion of no less than two years of college in any field of study with a minimum of 90 quarter hours, 60 semester hours, the maintenance of a Grade Point Average of at least 2.0 and course work to include four courses related to human services or social services along with current employment in a human services field.
    2. Once you have completed one of the above options for qualification, you will need to pay the $40 fee and complete an application with the Michigan state board, submitting a transcript from your school. You can find the application here
    3. You will also need to be able to pass a criminal background check including fingerprints from a Michigan State Board approved agency
    4. You will need to provide proof of current employment via submitting a supervision form which you can find by clicking here.
    5. Once you have completed the above steps you will be given your RSST from the Board.

Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW)

The LBSW level of licensure will allow you to have access to a far greater number of social work employment opportunities at a greater rate of pay than lower levels of licensure. If you are in the process of completing the required steps to become a LBSW you can apply for something called a Limited Licensed bachelor’s Social Worker (LLBSW) which allows you to do limited social work while you attain your required hours of experience per below. If you wish to attain the title Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) in Michigan you will need to complete the following steps.

    1. You must first attain a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
    2. You will need to pay the $40 fee and complete an application with the Michigan state board, submitting a transcript from your school. You can find the application by clicking here.
    3. You will need to submit fingerprints and undergo a criminal background check.
    4. You must provide verification of 4,000 hours over the course of two years, of supervised experience in Social Work. This takes the form of a completed supervision form which you can find by clicking here.
    5. Finally, you must pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam. You will need to pay the $230 exam fee and apply for an examination by clicking here.
    6. Once you have completed these steps you are eligible for your LBSW licensure.
    7. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 45 contact hours of continuing education. .

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

The highest level of licensure in Michigan is the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) which can have either a Macro or Clinical focus. The Macro focus will give one access to assessments and program development for community social work projects in a variety of different ways. The clinical designation allows one to focus on private practice or clinical social work within an agency context. It’s possible to obtain both designations, but they require all elements of both designations to be met to attain licensure, namely passing the Clinical or Advanced Generalist ASWB exams along with additional experience as described below. You may not earn both licenses simultaneously and must apply for and complete the requirements in two different licensure applications. The simplest way to determine which is a good fit for you is if you wish to work at the Macro level designing programs, or if you wish to work on the Clinical level directly engaging with clients in a clinical social work environment. If you wish to attain the title Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Michigan you will need to complete the following steps.

    1. You must first get a Master of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
    2. You will need to submit fingerprints and undergo a criminal background check. In addition, you must provide verification of 4,000 hours over the course of two years, of supervised experience in Social Work. These hours must be under the supervision of an LMSW who is currently licensed in the state of Michigan. You will need to have your supervisor complete the supervision form which you can find here.
    3. You must also specify which kind of licensure you will want. You can choose to have the Macro designation, which requires you to take and pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist exam. You must pay the $260 fee and apply for an examination here.
    4. You may also choose the Clinical designation which requires you to take and pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical exam. You must pay the $260 fee
    5. If you wish to hold both the Macro and clinical designations, you will also need an additional 2,000 hours over the course of one year, of post-graduate Social Work in a professional setting within the designated specialty. Of the 2,000 hours required, 50 hours must be of supervisory review.
    6. By following the above steps you will be able to hold the title of Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Michigan.
    7. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 45 contact hours of continuing education.