Human Services Guide
New York

Social Work Licensure in New York

  • Find Education Requirements in New York for one of the following:

New York is known as the Empire state and with good reason as it has so much to offer. Home to arguably the most storied city in the country, New York has everything from a one of a kind metropolis on Manhattan Island, to beautiful hardwood forests in upstate New York. Also home to Niagara Falls, New York is a one of a kind state. New York is also a great place to start your licensed Social Work career in.

There are two different kinds of social work licenses in New York: Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

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Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

The entry level of licensure in the state of New York is known as the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Having the LMSW level of licensure will provide many employment opportunities in social work and is the first step towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as it allows for you to gain the required experience for the LCSW level of licensure. To gain the title of LMSW in the State of New York you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Values and ethics in social work
    • Research and practice evaluation in social work
    • Service delivery and social welfare policy
    • Human behavior within the social work environment
    • At risk populations, diversity and social justice
    • Foundation as well as advanced social work practice
  2. You will need to pay the $294 license fee and apply with the application which you can find here. You must also be 21 years of age or older to apply.
  3. There is no field experience requirement for this position.
  4. You will need to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Exam and pay the $230 fee. You can register for the exam here.
  5. There are no continuing education requirements for license renewal at this level.


Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

The highest level of licensure in the state of New York is the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LMSW). The LMSW allows you to work in clinical social work as well as opening your own private practice. To earn your LCSW in the state of New York you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. If you wish to attain the title Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in New York, you will first need to get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a CSWE accredited Social Work Graduate or Doctoral program. You must also be 21 years of age or older to apply.
  2. To apply you must have accrued at least three years of post-graduate experience in Social work that must include psychotherapy, diagnosis and assessment based treatment plans. In most cases, people will opt to get their LMSW in order to get experience in New York state to meet licensure requirements.
  3. You will need to pay the $294 license fee and apply with the application which you can find here. You must also be 21 years of age or older to apply.
  4. Finally, you will need to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level exam you will also need to pay the $260 fee. You can register for the exam here.
  5. Once you pass the test you will be eligible to receive your new title Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New York.
  6. You will need to complete 36 hrs of acceptable continuing education credits each triennium in order to maintain licensure.