Alaska Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) Guide - 2022

AKA: Alaska LCSW License

Last Reviewed: April 14th, 2022

Licensor: Alaska BSWE

Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Alaska

If you want to assess, diagnose, and treat patients, you will need to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). You’ll also be involved in case management and can refer patients to physicians after taking on this role. Because you’ll be directly involved in patient care, the licensing requirements are much more involved than those for other social work positions. However, meeting the stringent requirements will give you confidence when embarking on your career.

Education Requirements

At a minimum, you must complete a master’s degree program in social work, although many clinical social workers go on to finish doctorate programs. In both instances, you must choose a program that’s accredited by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). Many of the schools offer distance learning opportunities, meaning you can continue with your current job while furthering your education.

Find all social work degree programs in Alaska.

Experience Requirements

The Board of Social Work Examiners doesn’t allow people to become clinical social workers without the appropriate work experience. The state requires that you hold down a job in postgraduate clinical social work for a minimum of two continuous years. This includes at least 3,000 hours of work under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist. You must have completed these hours within the last 10 years for the board to recognize it.

Examination Requirements

The ASWB oversees licensing examinations for those who want to become social workers. While you won’t register for the exam until you’ve submitted your application, you can prepare by practicing on ASWB’s website. It has an online practice test that will help you get ready for the exam.

Reference Requirements

You will need to include three references when submitting your application. The first two will come from your current and previous social work supervisors. If you only have a current or previous supervisor, you’ll need to provide supporting documents with your application. The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development requires a letter of explanation explaining why you don’t have a current or previous supervisor. You will then need to provide a reference from your current or previous supervisor and two professional references.

If you have both a previous and current supervisor, you’ll also need to provide an additional professional reference. You can submit a reference from a licensed:

  • Social worker with a master’s or doctorate degree
  • Psychological associate
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Physician specializing in psychiatry
  • Medical physician
  • Osteopathic physician
  • Mental health advanced nurse practitioner
  • Registered nurse who holds a master’s in psychiatric nursing
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Professional counselor

Applying for Licensure as a Clinical Social Worker

After completing your education and gathering your references, you’ll be ready to submit your application for licensure. You’ll need to:

  • Fill out, notarize, and submit the Application for a Master Social Work License
  • Pay the $100 application fee
  • Pay the $275 initial license fee when applying or after passing the social work examination
  • Have your school send your certified transcripts to the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
  • Submit your three references
  • Provide verification of licensure if you have held a professional license in any state other than Alaska

You will send your application, fees, and supporting documents to:

Board of Social Work Examiners

PO Box 110806

Juneau, AK 99811-0806

The board will review your application and documents. If you have provided everything necessary, you’ll receive approval to take the exam.

Then, you can register for the exam online through the ASWB. You’ll also have to pay the $260 exam fee when you register.

You’ll provide your email address when applying for the exam. Then, the ASWB will review your application and email an Authorization to Test within two days of registering. That means you’ll have the authority to schedule and take the exam.

The ASWB will send your results to the board. If you pass the exam, you will receive your initial license.

Now that you have all the necessary information, you can start working toward your license. You might want to become a licensed baccalaureate social worker first before pursuing your master’s degree. Each new degree will open up another door as a licensed social worker in Alaska.