Florida Certified Master Social Worker (CMSW) Guide - 2023
AKA: Florida CMSW License
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If you want to work on the administrative side of social work, you can become a certified master social worker (CMSW). Even though you won’t be able to provide clinical services, you’ll discover a wealth of opportunities after obtaining your license. For instance, you can use your license to work on policy or take on another role, such as a case manager. First, though, you must meet all the requirements to earn your license.
You can begin down the path of becoming a CMSW by earning a master’s or doctoral degree in social work. In order for your degree to be recognized, you must complete a program that’s accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
There are currently 13 accredited master’s degree programs in social work in Florida, and many offer online learning. Thus, you can balance going to school with other obligations when working to become a CMSW.
The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling wants to make sure you have the field experience necessary to jump into the role after receiving your license. Thus, you must have three years of experience before applying for your license. Two of those years must be post-master’s level work under the direct supervision of a clinical social worker or certified master social worker.
You have to take and pass the Advanced Generalist exam through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to obtain your license. The exam fee is $260, and you can pay it when registering on ASWB’s website.
You will provide your social security number and other information when applying to become a certified master social worker. Additionally, you will provide information about your background. You must pass the background check requirement to receive your license.
You can’t apply for a CMSW online. Instead, you need to request an application by emailing MQA.491@FLHealth.gov. Then, follow the instructions in the application and include the $205 fee. The $205 consists of the application fee, initial licensure fee, and unlicensed activity fee, and you can make a check out to the Department of Health.
All licenses must be reviewed within 30 days of receipt. However, it’s normally much faster, with the board reviewing most CMSW applications within one to three days of receipt. Once approved, you can begin working as a CMSW.