A State by State Licensure Guide

Becoming a Social Worker in Florida

You can be a generalist social worker with only a bachelor’s degree (BSW). In order to be a clinical social worker, you will need a master’s (MSW). You may begin your social work education in Florida as an undergraduate or graduate.

social work learning tree

If You Are in High School

Step 1:

Prepare for university admission. A general college prep curriculum is fine at this stage, but you may opt to take classes in psychology and sociology.

Step 2:

You can also begin volunteer service. Some social work schools consider volunteer service or relevant work experience even at the undergraduate level.

Click Here to find Social Work and Human Services undergraduate degrees.

Step 3:

If you plan to pursue social worker education in Florida at the undergraduate level, enroll in a school with a program that has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Step 4:

Begin taking general studies and foundation courses. Make an appointment with a program coordinator or advisor to prepare for admission to the social work program. You may take some social work foundation courses before formal admission.

Step 5:

Apply to the social work program. A solid GPA will help you get accepted. An application essay and references may also be required.

Step 6:

Maintaining a good GPA will be helpful if you plan to continue in a master's program. A GPA of 3.0 may be sufficient, but some master’s programs set the standard higher for awarding advanced placement credit.

Step 7:

You may take a position at the BSW level in Florida without applying for state licensing. Decide if you want to work full-time or continue for a higher degree. In order to be awarded advanced placement in a master’s program, you typically have to apply within five or six years of completing your degree.

Find more detailed Florida Social Work Licensure information here.

If You Have a College Degree

Step 1:

Take advanced steps to prepare for admission to the MSW program. How much preparation you will need to do will depend on your background as well as the particular program you opt for; some are highly selective.

Some schools like master's level applicants to have experience as employees in human services. However, alternative experiences, for example, significant volunteer service may suffice. If you want to devote some time to service before applying, you might look into Americorps. Many Florida counties make placements in human service settings; the Volunteer Florida website can be a good starting place.

Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work in as little as one year. CSWE-accredited. No GRE required. Learn more about this program today.

Earn your Master of Social Work online from Simmons College School of Social Work (SocialWork@Simmons) in as little as 15 months. CSWE-accredited. No GRE required Request information about the program.

Step 2:

Select a school that has a CSWE-accredited program that will prepare you for your intended practice area. If you are seeking a career as a clinical social worker, you must have 24 semester hours of clinical coursework. Some Florida MSW programs offer sub-concentrations or corresponding certificates in areas like children's services or elder services. Others offer dual majors in areas like maternal child health.

Your undergraduate degree will probably cover most prerequisites; however, there may be a class or two that you need to take -- for example, biology.

Step 3:

Complete the application process. This may entail an essay, personal statement, and interview.

Step 4:

If you do not have advanced standing, you will do the equivalent of two year of full-time study: one year of social work foundations courses and one year of coursework in your specialty.

Step 5:

To be licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW), you must work under supervision for two years following graduation. You will apply to the Florida Board for intern status.

Step 6:

Licensure as an LCSW also requires passing scores on the clinical examination offered by the Association of Social Work Boards.

Step 7:

You may need to take additional classes in HIV/AIDS, laws and rules, and medical errors before receiving your clinical license.

Find more detailed Florida Social Work Licensure information here.

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