New Jersey Licensed Social Worker (LSW) Guide - 2023
AKA: New Jersey LSW License
What's Here? - Table of Contents
As a licensed social worker, you can provide general social work services, including policy analysis, research, and assessments. Additionally, you’ll be allowed to provide clinical services as long as a licensed clinical social worker supervises you. If this scope of practice aligns with your career goals, go over the requirements so you can work toward becoming an LSW.
There’s so much to learn about social work, and the board wants to make sure applicants are ready. Thus, you’ll need to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in social work from a school that’s been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) or is in pre-candidacy for accreditation.
New Jersey does not have any accredited doctoral programs in social work, but you can choose from many accredited master’s degree programs. With options for in-person and online classes, you can easily find a program that accommodates your schedule and ability to travel.
Here you can find all schools offering social work degree programs in New Jersey.
New Jersey does not require applicants to have work experience before applying for licensure. You’ll get hands-on experience during your degree program, and that will suffice. Then you will gain lots of experience in the field as soon as you begin working as an LSW.
In the past, you had to submit an exam request application to get permission to sit for the test. Now, you need to apply for licensure to receive approval. After ensuring your application is complete, the board will grant you permission to sit for the licensing exam through the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). At that point, you can go to the ASWB’s website and register to take the Master’s exam. It costs $230 to take the exam, and the money is due upon registration.
It’s important to note that you can register for and take the exam while in your final semester of school. By doing this, you can fast-track the process, so you’ll have your license shortly after graduating.
You can also buy study materials and take an online practice test on ASWB’s website. While extra work can be hard to balance with school, the test and study materials will help you get a better understanding of what will be on the exam. Thus, you’ll actually feel less stressed when using them.
You have to complete a background check before receiving your license. First, fill out the Certification and Authorization Form for a Criminal History Background Check and submit it with your application. Then the board will check everything and provide instructions for undergoing the background check. You’ll need to follow those instructions, and then the board will issue your license as long as it’s approved.
When you’re ready to apply for your license, have your school email your transcripts to DCA_Social_Work_No_Reply@dca.lps.stsate.nj.us. Then you can apply for your license, upload the supporting documents, and pay the $75 fee on the MyLicense portal. It will take up to eight weeks to process your application, and you’ll receive the approval via email. Keep checking your email because licenses are often issued before the eight weeks are up.