Last Reviewed: May 15th, 2022
Social work is one of the most fulfilling roles one can have in our society. When others are at their most vulnerable stages of life, a social worker can be the force they need to change their circumstances. There are numerous opportunities in Tennessee for social workers to engage with individuals, communities, and families.
Tennessee has several social work organizations that connect residents with the support, education, employment, and housing services they need. Mental health and substance abuse services are provided to assist those suffering in getting to the root of their issues so they can lead productive lives. Because of the nature of social work, it’s imperative workers are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make effective, long-lasting changes.
Many go into social work because they want to make a difference they can see. They may have grown up in less than ideal situations and have a strong duty to ensure others don’t have the same experiences. Or, they may have grown up privileged and see social work as a way to give back. Whatever the reason, if you have a passion and drive to sincerely help others and see them succeed, consider a career in social work.
There are many different avenues to take once you are licensed, and the following guide will provide enough information for you to make an informed decision about the area you wish to pursue.
A Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree is the minimum required level of education needed to become a licensed social worker in Tennessee. Once you have that credential, you can apply for the first of four licenses offered in the state, the Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW). You are then able to provide non-clinical services in an unsupervised setting.
To reach a higher level of licensure, a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree is needed. You can then practice independently and develop treatment solutions for clients. Most MSW programs take two years to complete, but you will likely qualify to take the accelerated path and complete the program in one year if you have a BSW. Keep reading for a deeper look at the different licenses offered in Tennessee and their requirements.