Michigan Social Work License

Michigan Social Work License

Earn Your Michigan Social Work License

In the state of Michigan, it is the Michigan Board of Social Worker that social work candidates must apply through in order to become a Michigan LMSW (note: LMSW is an LCSW in other states). You should check out their website here to access the various application forms, or you can always call 517-373-1820 and speak to someone at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (whom MBSW is under). We’ll provide the necessary steps you need to take to become a Michigan LMSW, but it’s always good to connect with the board as well to make sure you’re on the right path. Another great resource is NASW-Michigan which can be found here.

In Michigan, if you do not have your MSW you can still work in the field of social work either as a Registered Social Services Technician or a Licensed Bachelor’s Social Work (LBSW).

  • A Registered Social Services Technician (RSST) is an entry level license in Michigan. To obtain this license you must have one of the following:
    • Associates Degree in Social Work from an accredited college or university.
    • Completed 2 years of college (60 semester hours) with at least 4 courses relevant to human services, and GPA of at least 2.0
    • Complete at least 2,000 hours of social work experience accrued in not less than one (1) year’s time. This experience must be under the supervision of a LMSW or LBSW, as well as current employment in human services or social services during which social work values, ethics, principles and skills were applied.
  • A Licensed Bachelor’s Social Work (LBSW) must have earned their degree from a CSWE accredited school, as well as...
    • Applied for and received a Limited BSW license (LLBSW).
    • Completed at least 4,000 hours (two years of full-time, or the equivalent in part-time) of post bachelor’s degree experience in the practice of social work at the bachelor’s level under the supervision of a fully licensed master level social worker. Experience cannot be accrued in no less than two years.
    • Passed the ASWB Bachelors exam with a score of 75% or higher.

But if you have completed your MSW, and are ready to take the next steps towards your state of Michigan social work license, here’s what must happen next…

STEP 2 - Apply for Limited License Master’s Social Work (LLMSW) and Accrue Hours

  • Once you’ve graduated with your MSW, click here to find and fill out the application for limited licensure as a clinical social worker.
  • Next find a job in your intended practice area (clinical or marco), and a supervisor with that same area to accrue at least 4,000 hours
    • Applicants may work between no less than 16 hours per week and no more than 40 hours per week.
    • No more than 2,000 hours of experience may be accrued in one calendar year.
    • The applicant must meet individually and in person with his or her supervisor, or in a group modality that provided for 50% of the supervision to include individual contact, during which active work functions and records of the applicant were reviewed.
    • In cases of extreme hardship where an approved supervisor is not available, the Board of Social Work may approve an alternative supervision arrangement by a related health practitioner. Before using an alternate supervisor, the applicant must submit a request with a proposed plan and documented willingness by the alternate supervisor. The Board must approve the alternative supervision arrangement before the arrangement is implemented.
  • Once the hours are complete, the supervisor will fill out and submit the verification forms.

STEP 3 - Register for the ASWB LCSW Exam and Pass!

  • IMPORTANT: In Michigan, the Clinical Social Work license is called the LMSW, however, the exam you will be taking is the LCSW. In some other states, there is an exam required for recent MSW graduates to take called the LMSW, but this is not the one you want to register for. Confusing right? Just make sure when you register with the ASWB, and when you purchase a study program, it’s for the ASWB Clinical.
  • And on that note… Therapist Development Center has this exact program ready to help you pass on your first attempt. It’s an “all-you-need” online program, designed to get you ready in 4 to 8 weeks. Click here to check it out.

CONGRATULATIONS! You passed your exam and earned your state of Michigan social work licence. You’re an Michigan LMSW!