Human Services Guide
Texas

Social Work Licensure in Texas

Almost a country unto itself, Texas is the lone star state and has a history that brings its residents plenty of pride. From the legendary oil fields of west Texas, to the Alamo the shining skyline of Houston or the vast communities throghout, Texas is a huge and varied state with lots to offer. Texas is also a great state to start your licensed Social Work career in.

There are four different kinds of social work licenses in Texas: Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Licensed Master Social Worker - Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)

In the state of Texas, there are five levels of licensure with the entry level being known as the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW). The title of LBSW allows one to work in a variety of Social Work jobs and begin to gain experience that will help to open doors to higher levels of licensure. If you want to earn the LBSW license in Texas you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. If you wish to attain the title Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW) in Texas, you must first get a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
  2. You will need to pass an online Jurisprudence Exam which you can find by here.
  3. You will need to fill out the TBSWE’s application for licensure Form A which you can find by here. You will need to pay the fee of $91.00 when you apply.
  4. You must pass a criminal background check
  5. No field experience is required for this license.
  6. You must also pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Exam and pay the $230 application fee. You can find exam registration by here.
  7. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

The second level of licensure in Texas is known as the Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). This level of licensure is available to people who have earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and has a higher pay scale with increased responsibilities. It also allows one to gain invaluable experience in the field of social work that can lead to better job opportunities and higher levels of licensure. To attain the LMSW title, one must complete the following steps:

  1. If you wish to attain the title Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Texas, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
  2. You will need to pass an online Jurisprudence Exam which you can find by here.
  3. You will need to fill out the TBSWE’s application for licensure Form A. You will need to pay the fee of $91.00 when you apply.
  4. You must pass a criminal background check.
  5. No field experience is required for this license.
  6. You must also pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Exam and pay the $230 application fee. You can find exam registration .
  7. You will need to have completed the Social Work Employment History form
  8. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education.

Licensed Master Social Worker- Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP)

One of the reasons to pursue a LMSW designation is en route to the Licensed Master Social Worker - Advanced Practitioner (LMSW-AP) level of licensure. This license will let you do any social work in the state of Texas that is not designated as clinical. Once you have your LMSW as outlined above, you will need to complete the following steps to become a LMSW-AP:

  1. If you wish to hold the title of Licensed Master Social Worker - Advanced Practice (LMSW-AP) in Texas, you must first get a Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college.
  2. You will need to get your LMSW license as outlined above and have a plan to gain 24 months of non-clinical full time (at least 30 hours per week) of social work practice. This must include 100 supervision hours.
  3. You will need to pass an online Jurisprudence exam
  4. You will need to fill out the TBSWE’s application for upgrade of your LMSW licensure, Form A, which you can find by here. You will need to pay the fee of $111.00 when you apply.
  5. Provide proof of your clinical experience by having your supervisor complete the Clinical Supervision Verification for LCSW form which you can find here.
  6. You must pass a criminal background check.
  7. You must also pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist Exam and pay the $260 application fee. You can find exam registration by clicking here.
  8. You will need to have completed the Social Work Employment History form which you can find here.
  9. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

If you are interested in performing clinical social work in the state of Texas, you will want to earn your Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) designation. This level of licensure allows for social work in a clinical social work setting, you also are able to have an independent private practice if you wish. To earn your LCSW license in Texas you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. To become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Texas, you must first get your Master or Doctorate of Social Work degree from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited university or college. You must pass a criminal background check..
  2. You will need to get your LMSW license as outlined above and have a plan to gain 24 months of full time (at least 30 hours per week) of clinical social work practice. This must include 100 supervision hours. This must be in the form of clinical social work, where you provide assessments, diagnoses, and the creation of treatment plans which may be either psychotherapy or clinical therapy. You will need to provide a supervision plan that shows your plan to complete the necessary experience while you are a LMSW or LMSW-AP, you can find the Clinical Supervision form here.
  3. You will need to pass an online Jurisprudence exam which you can find here.
  4. You will need to fill out the TBSWE’s application for upgrade of your LMSW licensure, Form A, which you can find by clicking here. You will need to pay the fee of $111.00 when you apply. .
  5. Provide proof of your clinical experience by having your supervisor complete the Clinical Supervision Verification for LCSW form which you can find here.
  6. You must pass a criminal background check.
  7. Once you have completed and sent in application you may apply with the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) for their Clinical or Advanced Generalist Level exam and pay the $260 application fee.
  8. Once you pass the test you will be eligible to receive your Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Texas.
  9. To renew your license, you must have successfully completed 30 clock hours of continuing education.

Independent Practice Recognition (IPR)

For those interested in opening their own private social work practice, the Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) license is a must. While you are prohibited from performing clinical social work (only LCSW’s can do clinical work), you are able to open your own independent practice which means you assume sole responsibility for the practice and can directly bill your clients. There are two levels of licensure based on your academic background. You can either be a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker – IPR (LBSW-IPR) or a Licensed Master Social Worker – IPR (LMSW-IPR). This is an excellent license for people who wish to run their own social work practice. You can earn the Independent Practice Recognition (IPR) designation by completing the following steps:

  1. 1. Gain necessary licensure to acquire experience as required by the board. You will first need to gain licensure at the LBSW, LMSW or LMSW-AP level of licensure as outlined above.
  2. Submit a Supervision plan to the board for approval with a board approved supervisor designated in your Supervision Plan. You will need to get your LBSW, LMSW or LMSW-AP license as outlined above and have a plan to gain 24 months of non-clinical full time (at least 30 hours per week) of social work practice. This must include 100 supervision hours. You will need to submit to the board a Non-clinical Super vision plan which you can by clicking find here.
  3. Apply with the board and pay the $20 fee. You can find the application Form A, which you can find by clicking here.
  4. Provide proof of your Non-Clinical Supervision Form which documents all the supervision you received. This must be completed by the supervisor you designated with the board when you submitted your plan. You can find the Non-Clinical Supervision form by clicking here.

It is important to remember that the best way to stay informed with current regulations is the state’s website on licensure. Here is the website for the State of Texas:

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