Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Contributing Editor
If you’re wondering about the process of becoming a social worker in Texas, SWDC has all you need to know. Here is the Texas Social Work license, education, and employment information for anyone interested in a career in Social Work in the Lonestar State.
Also called the Lone Star State, Texas is the second-most populous state in the United States. Houston is both the fourth-largest city in the United States and the largest city in Texas. Therefore, it is no surprise the employment of Social Workers in Texas is growing. Overall. Social Work jobs are expected to grow eleven percent between 2018 and 2028.
What Are the Social Work Education Requirements in Texas?
Many prospective professionals want to know how to be a social worker in Texas. To become a Texas social worker, applicants need a BSW or an MSW before applying for a social worker license. Then, social workers can practice at different levels depending on the degree.
Social Work Degrees in Texas
Social Work degrees in Texas range from undergraduate to masters and doctoral degrees. Career opportunities often determine a Social Work career. A bachelor’s degree in Social Work prepares graduates for entry-level positions in Texas. These are non-clinical positions as case managers and family specialists.
A master of social work (MSW) degree opens clinical and non-clinical career opportunities. For example, clinical social workers work in mental healthcare and substance abuse. They also work in schools. Furthermore, a doctoral degree in Social Work can increase research and teaching opportunities for a graduate.
Online social work programs are a great choice for licensed bachelor social workers who are already working in the field. A licensed social worker can earn credits for social work employment history and start with advanced practitioner status. Prospective social workers who have not worked in human services might consider an on-campus program better for their professional development and networking opportunities. You should definitely seek out a CSWE accredited program. Accredited social work programs ensure the highest level of professional ethics and reliability.
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Individuals with have earned a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) in Texas can apply for an LBSW license. A BSW from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited social work program is a four-year degree that lets students earn a license on a generalist level.
Texas LBSWs may take general social positions and apply to the Board for independent practice recognition in a non-clinical setting.
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Another way to become a social worker in Texas is with a master’s degree. An MSW involves two years of post-undergrad education. However, students with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work may qualify for advanced standing and complete an MSW in one year.
Students who earn a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) should also ensure it is from a CSWE accredited school and program. Individuals who have an MSW in Texas can apply to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), a Licensed Master Social Worker with an Advanced Practitioner specialty (LMSW-AP), or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).
Many MSW students specialize in an area like mental health,
What Are the Social Work Licensing Requirements in Texas?
All practicing Texas social workers are required by the state to be licensed. Anyone who practices without a license is subject to monetary fines and penalties for misrepresentation.
There is one license for individuals in Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. In addition, there are three licenses available for individuals with master’s and doctoral level degrees. The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE) is the group that issues these Social Work licenses.
Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker (LBSW)
LBSWs in Texas are qualified to work as generalist Social Workers. Roles they often find to be family and youth specialists and also caseworkers. LBSWs can also apply to the Board for independent practice recognition in a non-clinical with single or group clients.
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
To become a Licensed Master Social Worker, students must first earn a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE accredited school and program. After graduating, with an MSW, they can apply to become an LMSW.
Licensed Master Social Worker Advanced Practitioner (LMSW–AP)
A Licensed Master Social Worker Advanced Practitioner (LMSW–AP) is the highest non-clinical license a Social Worker in Texas can earn. Applicants must have either a master’s degree in Social Work or a doctoral degree in Social Work. In addition, they must pass the ASWB Master’s Exam.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
A Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) is the highest credential a Texas Social Worker can earn. This license is for clinical practice, and Texas LCSW’s can also have an independent practice. In addition, applicants for an LCSW must have earned an MSW or doctorate from a CSWE accredited school and program.
|LBSW||Bachelor’s Degree||–||ABSW Bachelor’s|
|LMSW||Master or Doctorate||–||ABSW Master’s|
|LMSW-AP||Master or Doctorate||100 hours||ABSW Adv Gen|
|LCSW||Master or Doctorate||100 hours||ABSW Clinical|
Can You Get A Social Work License by Endorsement In Texas?
Unfortunately, Texas does not have a formal agreement for reciprocity or endorsement with other states. However, social workers who have a license in another state and pass the ASWB can apply for license verification. Therefore, if they meet all the criteria, applicants may waive the exam requirement in Texas.
Social Work License Compact
The ASWB is working to create a social work licensing compact. The company will allow licensees to quickly obtain a license to practice in a state other than where they hold a charge. Stay tuned for more information.
Additional Licensing Renewal And Continuing Education Information
Social workers with a Texas license must renew it every two years. Licensees in Texas must also complete required continuing education to keep their license current. In addition, they must complete thirty hours of CE every two years.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Social Worker In Texas?
It typically takes most students four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and two additional years to earn a master’s degree. However, students with an undergraduate degree in Social Work can attend a program that offers advanced standing and complete an MSW in one year. After graduating, LBSW and LMSW students can sit for their ASWB exams and potentially receive a license in a few weeks.
- 4 + years – LBSW
- 6 + years – LMSW, LMSW-AP
- 8 + years – LCSW
How Much Do Social Workers Make In Texas?
In May 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the below Social Work career categories in Texas average salaries. How much does a social worker make in Texas? Many social workers work in state health services, and make lower salaries than social workers in the private sector.
- Child, family, and school social workers – $50,390
- Healthcare social workers – $59,790
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers – $45,180
- Social workers, all other – $63,570
Resources For Social Workers in Texas
Additionally, information is available on Social Work in Texas from the organizations listed below.
- The Texas Society for Clinical Social Work
- Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners
- National Association of Social Workers
- Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
Your Social Work Career In Texas
If you are interested in Texas Social Worker jobs, Texas is a great place to start your career. The state offers some of the most affordable college tuition in the country. In addition, Texas has a list of excellent colleges and universities. The Social Work Degree Hub has ranked the Best Social Work Schools in Texas to help you get started!