Michigan Social Worker License Guide - 2022

Social Worker Licensing Guide for the state of Michigan

Last Reviewed: May 14th, 2022

Becoming a social worker is one of the most important ways people can contribute to societal development. Social workers have touched millions of lives, from championing community-building campaigns to doing the seemingly little things like resource facilitation, case management, and substance abuse treatment in Michigan.

Want to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around you? It all starts with obtaining a Michigan social worker license. Michigan social workers have to get licensed to practice their profession. A social worker license will authorize you to perform certain roles in community building. To get one, you need to apply to the social workers’ licensing body in Michigan.

The Bureau of Professional Licensing/Michigan Board of Social Work (MBOSW) is responsible for issuing social worker licenses. The board sets regulation that governs the safe and ethical conduct of social work professionals in the state. The board is also in charge of setting eligibility requirements for aspiring social worker license holders.

Every prospective licensee must meet the board’s requirements to merit a license. If you want to begin your social work journey in Michigan or climb the professional ladder, you will need to understand these requirements. This guide will arm you with the necessary information to gain a Michigan social worker license.

There are three levels of licenses for social workers in Michigan. These are as follows:

Michigan Social Work License Options



If you are just beginning your foray into Michigan social work, the RSST will be your first license. Afterward, you can aim for the LBSW and, ultimately, the LMSW.

Let’s see their roles and responsibilities.

Social Service Technician

The Registered Social Service Technician is the first step in social works licensure in Michigan. You will perform roles such as emergency intervention, determine clients’ needs through interviews, point out resources and solutions, and relay relevant client info to your supervisor.

Licensed Bachelor’s Social Worker

The LBSW license is at a higher level than the RSST. LBSWs will perform case management roles, work with groups in communities to develop health solutions, linking clients with resources and solutions.

Licensed Master’s Social Worker

The LMSW license is the ultimate social works license in Michigan. As an LMSW, you will perform more delicate case management, advocacy, mediation, helping to run human services organizations, research, activism, and policy formulation.