Become a Social Worker in Massachusetts

Table of Contents

Disclaimer: Due to the rapidly changing nature of social work regulations, for the most up-to-date information on becoming a social worker in Massachusetts, contact the Massachusetts Social Work Licensing Board.

Massachusetts law recognizes four classes of social workers: Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Social Worker (LSW) and Licensed Social Worker Assistant (LSWA). The requirements are as follows:

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Massachusetts LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker)

Massachusetts LICSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW or PhD) in social work from a CSWE-accredited program

Massachusetts LICSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: 3,500 hours of post-master’s clinical social work experience under the supervision of an LICSW or an individual with equivalent licensure in another state. The 3,500 hours of experience must be accumulated within two years after the applicant obtained his or her MSW and must include 100 hours of face-to-face clinical supervision.

Fee: $173 application fee, $267 license fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: Applicants must be currently licensed as Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) and submit two professional references and one supervisory reference from an LICSW.

Endorsement: Available upon board approval with application fee of $267

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education and payment of an $82 renewal fee.

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Massachusetts LCSW

Massachusetts LCSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW or PhD ) in social work from a CSWE-accredited program

Massachusetts LCSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $173 application fee, license fee $241, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation (two professional references and one second-year field placement supervisory reference). 

Endorsement: Available through board approval with application fee of $241

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 20 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $68 renewal fee.

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Massachusetts LSW (Licensed Social Worker)

Massachusetts LSW Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited program; applicants may have the degree requirement waived if they complete additional field requirements

Massachusetts LSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: Applicants with unrelated bachelor’s degrees will need 3,500 hours (two years) of supervised practice. Applicants with two-and-one-half years of college experience will need 8,750 hours (five years) of supervised practice. Applicants with two years of college will need 10,500 hours (six years) of supervised practice. Applicants with one year of college will need 14,000 hours (eight years) of supervised practice. Applicants with a high school diploma will need 17,500 (10 years) of supervised practice.

Fee: $173 application fee, $213 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information : Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation (two professional references and one second-year field placement supervisory reference).

Endorsement: Available through board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $54 renewal fee.

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Massachusetts LSWA (Licensed Social Worker Assistant)

Massachusetts LSWA Education Requirement: Associate’s degree in human service field or high school diploma

Massachusetts LSWA Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Associate Level Examination

Field Requirement: For Applicants with a high school diploma, four years of documented experience is necessary

Fee: $173 application fee, $187 license fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: Applicants must submit three references, at least one reference must hold an LICSW or LCSW

Endorsement: Available through board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 10 contact hours of continuing education and payment of a $42 renewal fee.

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In order to become a licensed social work practitioner in Massachusetts, you will need to complete prerequisite coursework, examination requirements, and, in some cases, supervised work requirements. Also, certain levels of social work in Massachusetts can only be reached after completing an on-campus or online MSW program. We are committed to keeping updated information on Massachusetts social work licensure policies available to you.

Disclaimer: There may be additional methods of certification that have not been covered here. Please contact your state social work licensing department for more information. Last updated 10/01/2015.

Massachusetts Social Work Salary

Massachusetts Social Work Salary
Massachusetts Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $48,470
Healthcare Social Workers $57,440
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $44,740
All Other Social Workers $73,940
Salary Increase from BSW to MSW +$9,000

Disclaimer: Social Worker Salary information is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information about social worker salaries in Massachusetts is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 8/22/2018.

Massachusetts Social Work Scholarships

Massachusetts State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

Type: Loan Repayment

Amount: Up to $50,00 in two years

Description: The purpose of the State Loan Repayment Program is to assist qualified health care organizations in recruiting or retaining health professionals by funding repayment of educational loans incurred by the health professionals. In return, the health professional makes a commitment to work two years full time or equivalent extended commitment part time at an eligible healthcare organization located in a federally designated Health professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or other Medically Underserved Area. Social workers are eligible for up to $25,000 per year or $50,000 total over two years.

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Type: Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Description: Scholarships are awarded to residents of Western Massachusetts and Hartford County in Connecticut. Awards are made for fall and spring terms only. Arrighi Memorial Scholarship Awards of approximately $2,300. Established for students who are residents of Greenfield for education at the college level, post-graduate level, or any trade or professional school beyond high school.

Metro West Health Foundation

Type: Scholarships

Amount: Up to $2,000 per academic year

Description: The Metro West Community Health Care Foundation offers scholarships to students who live or work in the Massachusetts, Metro West area and are enrolled in a nursing, medical, or clinical program.

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Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs
School Program Description
University of Denver
  • Research-driven faculty dedicated to making an impact on social problems
  • Prepares you to apply social work skills across practice settings
Fordham University
  • Four areas of focus: Individuals and Families, Organizations and Community, Evaluation, and Policy Practice and Advocacy
Simmons University
  • Four Clinical Specializations: Child and Family, Trauma and Interpersonal Violence, Mental Health and Addictions, and Health and Aging
  • Three program tracks: Traditional, Accelerated, and Extended
Case Western Reserve University
  • From Case Western Reserve University’s top-10 ranked School of social work
  • Traditional and Advanced Standing tracks available
University of Southern California (USC)
  • Offered by USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a top-ranked graduate School by U.S. News and World Report
  • Features virtual and in-person field education in or near student’s own communities
Baylor University
  • Ethically integrates faith and social work practice
  • Specialize in clinical practice or community practice

Sponsored Online Social Work Programs

Licensure information including requirements, renewals, and fees were retrieved as of August 2018. Information may have changed since, check with the state’s board of licensing for more information.