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For some social workers, the ultimate career aspiration is to open up their own private practice. If you aim to do that and gain complete control over your work and how you help people, you’ll need to obtain a Private Independent Practice – or PIP – license. Once this license is held, it’s possible to take your professional work in many different directions, including doing traditional clinical social work, community-based projects, or even research.
As you might imagine, this level of licensure is not something you obtain early in your career. Rather, this is a goal you may work toward as you gain experience and move through the other stages of social work. Of course, not all social workers will aim for this type of license, so you’ll need to think carefully about your goals and how the option of private practice would connect to what you want to accomplish as a professional.
The education requirement for PIP in Alabama is a master’s degree in social work. Find and filter all the social work degree programs in Alabama.
There are two options for fulfilling your experience requirements to become eligible for PIP. One path is to accrue three years of full-time practice experience after receiving your graduate degree. Once those three years have been completed, you’ll be able to check off the experience demands for this license. Alternatively, if you have already earned status as a LICSW, you can work for just one year after holding that license.
It won’t be necessary to pass any additional examinations to earn PIP licensure, as long as all of the other requirements are met successfully.
The key to the application process for PIP is to already hold the Clinical Social Worker license. With that in place, and the experience requirements met as listed above, the process is as simple as filling out the form with the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners and paying the appropriate fee.