North Carolina Certified Social Worker (CSW) Guide - 2024

AKA: North Carolina CSW License

Social Worker License

by Social Worker License Staff

Updated: February 16th, 2024

North Carolina Certified Social Worker (CSW) Licensing Process

CSWs achieve the entry-level certification to practice non-clinical social work in North Carolina. They typically serve as:

  • Child welfare counselors
  • Case managers
  • Residential counselors

Education Requirements

A BSW from a CSWE-accredited undergraduate college or university is needed to become a CSW.

Find all schools offering social work degree programs in North Carolina.

Background Check

You will have to pass a criminal background check to receive this certification. If you have any criminal convictions, have been found guilty of grossly unprofessional conduct, or have violated any of the Board’s provisions, you may not be granted a certificate to practice as a CSW.

Applying for Certification as a Certified Social Worker

Once you have a BSW, you can apply for certification by submitting your Application for Certification and Licensure packet. Along with the $145 application fee, you must also send three professional references and a transcript. Each reference must fill out a Professional Reference Form and send it back to you in a sealed envelope with their signature written over the closure. The transcript you receive must also remain sealed, and you are to include them, unopened, with your packet.

Some schools will not send you the official transcript but transmit it directly to the Board on your behalf. In case that happens, notify the Board in the cover letter of your application that they will receive the transcript separately.

After the Board reviews your application, they will inform you by email if you are eligible to take the Association of Social Workers Board (ASWB) exam. If you meet all requirements, the next step is to submit the Exam Request Form and a $40 fee to inform the Board you will take the Bachelor’s exam.

Examination Requirements

The Board will look over your request and give you the approval to sit down for the four-hour, 170 multiple choice question test. The exam fee is $230, and you can register for it on the ASWB website. You can download the handbook there to become familiar with the entire testing process.

It takes the Board about two weeks to receive your scores, and if you pass, you are granted CSW certification.