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Steps to Obtain a License in NJ
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Obtaining NJ Social Work Certification or Licensure


BSW Degree ~ Certified Social Worker (CSW)

If you have received a Baccalaureate degree in Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited program or one in candidacy for accreditation:

  • Download the "Application for Certification as a Certified Social Worker" from the BSWE website.
     
  • Mail the Application and your BSW official transcript to the BSWE with the $75 fee. BSWE address: BSWE, PO Box 45033, Newark, New Jersey 07101.
     
  • You will receive information about fingerprinting in the mail after your application has been reviewed. Fingerprinting must be done even if you’ve been previously fingerprinted for employment purposes. There is a fingerprint rescan fee if you were originally fingerprinted for previous Division of Consumer Affairs credential.
     
  • You will receive a letter advising you of the next steps including payment of the certification fee. 
     
  • You will receive your certification after you have paid your certification fees and your payment has been processed.  This will take 8-10 weeks.

MSW Degree ~ Licensed Social Worker (LSW)

If you are pursuing a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE accredited program or one in candidacy for accreditation, then you may begin the licensing process after you have registered for your last semester of your graduate program. This is a THREE STEP process. You must do these steps in order or it will delay the licensing process.

STEP 1: Apply to take exam

  • Download the "Application for ASWB "Masters" Level Examination Preapproval" application from the BSWE website.

  • Mail the notarized Application for ASWB "Masters" Level Examination Preapproval" application and a copy of your MSW transcript (if you are in your last semester) to the BSWE with $75 fee. BSWE address: BSWE, PO Box 45033, Newark, New Jersey 07101.

  • Submit requests for special accommodation including ESL or ADA needs to the BSWE if applicable.

  • Receive approval via mail to register with ASWB to take the exam. 

STEP 2: Register for and take exam

  • Call ASWB at 1-888-579-3926 or visit their website at www.aswb.org to register for the appropriate examination (Masters). At this time, you must also pay the exam fee and notify the testing representative about any approved special accommodations.

  • Receive an ASWB Authorization Letter and Number to sit for the exam. You will NOT be admitted to the testing site without this letter!

  • Call Pearson VUE to make an examination appointment. The phone number will be provided on your Authorization Letter or you can visit their website at www.pearsonvue.com/aswb. Make sure to follow all of the directions on your authorization letter carefully, write down all of the information pertaining to your appointment.

  • Bring a valid government-issued photo ID and ASWB Authorization Letter to the testing center on the day of your exam.

  • After you complete the exam, you will receive a paper with your pass or fail score immediately - please hold on to this as you will need to submit a copy to the BSWE. 

STEP 3: Apply for State License (LSW)

  • Download the “Application for Licensure as a Licensed Social Worker.” Follow the instructions carefully and include all required documentation.

  • Mail in the completed application with all documentation including a copy of your ASWB passing score and “final official transcript.”

  • You will receive information about fingerprinting in the mail after your application has been reviewed. Fingerprinting must be done even if you’ve been previously fingerprinted for employment purposes. There is a fingerprint rescan fee if you were originally fingerprinted for previous Division of Consumer Affairs credential.

  • Application packets are formally approved by the BSWE during the 2nd week of each month.

  • You will receive a letter advising you of the next steps including payment of the licensure fee. 

  • You will receive your license after you have paid your licensure fees and your payment has been processed.  This could take 8-10 weeks.

  • Please note: You may not practice as an LSW after just passing the ASWB exam. You must wait until you receive your paper license in the mail.

MSW Degree plus 2 years of supervised clinical experience ~ Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

The exam and licensing process is similar to the LSW licensing process. Please read the process for "MSW Degree - Licensed Social Worker (LSW)" above. The ASWB requires that LSWs wait 90 days after passing the LSW exam before taking the LCSW exam. However, the ASWB recommends waiting to take the LCSW exam until you have had substantial clinical experience. 

There is currently no limitation on the number of times you can take the exam. For additional information regarding clinical supervision, see our Frequently Asked Question section of the website.  

STEP 1: Apply to take exam

  • Download the Application for ASWB “Clinical” Level Examination Preapproval  from the BSWE website.

  • Mail the notarized Application for ASWB "Clinical" Level Examination Preapproval" application to the BSWE with $75 fee. BSWE address: BSWE, PO Box 45033, Newark, New Jersey 07101.

  • Submit requests for special accommodation including ESL or ADA needs to the BSWE if applicable.

  • Receive approval via mail to register with ASWB to take the exam.

STEP 2: Register for and take exam

  • Call ASWB at 1-888-579-3926 or visit their website at www.aswb.org to register for the appropriate examination (Clinical). At this time, you must also pay the exam fee and notify the testing representative about any approved special accommodations.

  • Receive an ASWB Authorization Letter and Number to sit for the exam. You will NOT be admitted to the testing site without this letter!

  • Call Pearson VUE to make an examination appointment. The phone number will be provided on your Authorization Letter or you can visit their websiteat www.pearsonvue.com/aswb. Make sure to follow all of the directions on your authorization letter carefully, write down all of the information pertaining to your appointment.

  • Bring a valid government-issued photo ID and ASWB Authorization Letter to the testing center on the day of your exam.

  • After you complete the exam, you will receive a paper with your pass or fail score immediately - please hold on to this as you will need to submit a copy to the BSWE. 

STEP 3: Apply for State license (LCSW) 

  • Download the “Application for Licensure as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker." Follow the instructions carefully and include all required documentation.

  • Mail in the completed application with all documentation including a copy of your ASWB passing score, “final official transcript," and proof of your compliance with the supervisors’ criteria, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:44G-8.1 (a) 5

  • You will receive information about fingerprinting in the mail after your application has been reviewed. Fingerprinting must be done even if you’ve been previously fingerprinted for employment purposes. There is a fingerprint rescan fee if you were originally fingerprinted for previous Division of Consumer Affairs credential.

  • Application packets are formally approved by the BSWE during the 2nd week of each month.

  • You will receive a letter advising you of the next steps including payment of the licensure fee. 

  • You will receive your license after you have paid your licensure fees and your payment has been processed.  This could take 8-10 weeks.

  • Please note: You may not practice as an LCSW until you receive your paper license in the mail. 

Licensed Social Worker Moving to NJ from Another State

There is no reciprocity between states for social work licensure. If your state's requirements meet or exceed those of New Jersey and you have already passed the ASWB Master's or Clinical exam in your state, you may apply for your New Jersey license at that level. If you have not passed the exam, then please follow instructions for MSW Degree above.

Please note: You may not practice in the state of New Jersey as a CSW/LSW/LCSW until you receive your paper license in the mail. 

Reinstatement of NJ License

Licenses are issued for a two-year biennial period. Any social worker who wishes to practice social work with a license must reinstate their license from inactive or suspended status.

For more information on Returning from Inactive Status, please see Subchapter 7, 13:44G-7.2 in the Regulations: NJ Statutes and Regulations

For more information on Reinstatement of Suspended License, please see Subchapter 7, 13:44G-7.3 in the Regulations: NJ Statutes and Regulations  

Social Work Exam Preparation Courses (LSW and LCSW exams)

NASW-NJ offers exam preparation courses (test prep) for the Master's level exam (LSW) and Clinical level exam (LCSW). The courses consist of instruction time as well as a manual. Please visit the NASW-NJ website for course offerings and upcoming dates: Education & Training 


 

 

Social Work Licensing in NJ

Licensing Board

Licensing Prep Courses

Licensing FAQs

New Jersey Statutes and Regulations

Licensing-New Social And Cultural Competence Requirement

 

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