Iowa Social Worker License Guide - 2022

Social Worker Licensing Guide for the state of Iowa

Last Reviewed: October 3rd, 2022

Social work is one of the most fulfilling careers you can pursue. It takes a dedicated and empathetic nature to want to help others in need. Social workers perform various functions in society, all of which are necessary to help us all move forward in unison. 

Iowa Social Work License Options



Iowa is a great state where you’ll enjoy a slower pace of life, which makes it the perfect place to begin a career as a licensed social worker. You’ll be an advocate for people of all ages and backgrounds and there to help them adjust to different life transitions and get through hardships. You’re the person who will use your knowledge and resources to get the supplemental care they need to obtain and maintain an appropriate standard of life.

There are two areas of social work for you to choose from: direct and clinical social work. As a direct social worker, you’ll interact with the community on a regular basis. Your duties will entail identifying those in need and helping individuals, families, and groups solve everyday problems. You can develop plans and conduct research to find community resources that will improve your client’s well-being. When there is a crisis, you are the go-to person for the situation.

As a clinical social worker, you’ll engage with clients in a more formal setting. You can analyze client behavior and assess their needs in order to develop treatment strategies. You’ll also have the ability to diagnose psychological, behavioral, and emotional disorders. Consultations with doctors, therapists, and other medical professionals to assist clients and find the best course of action for treatment will be a regular occurrence. 

Social workers can be found helping others everywhere, so you’ll have a number of environments to choose from when it’s time to decide where you want to effect change. The medical field has social workers in hospitals and clinics. If you want to work with a specific population, like children, you can find work in schools or child protection service agencies. 

Maybe you have a deep need to help the elderly. If so, nursing homes and other geriatric care facilities would be ideal for you. Whatever avenue of social work you decide to pursue, you will undoubtedly find the experience enriching. The desire to make a difference in the lives of others is something all social workers share, and if this sounds like you, why put it off any longer. Start getting the work done to gain your license, and before you know it, you’ll be the one others can depend on in times of need.

Types of Social Worker Licenses for Iowa

There are three different levels of licensure in Iowa for social workers. Here is a brief description of the services each one allows you to provide.

Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW): If you’re looking to become an LBSW, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. You will then be able to perform supervised assessments for particular issues and interventions. 

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW): You must obtain a master’s or doctorate degree in social work before receiving an LMSW license. LMSWs can do everything an LBSW can and diagnose clients as well as develop treatment plans. 

Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW): LISWs hold a master’s or doctoral degree in social work. On top of providing all the services of an LMSW, you can perform independent and clinical services for patients.