Become a Social Worker in North Carolina

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 North Carolina, contact the North Carolina Social Work Licensing Board.

North Carolina law recognizes four classes of social workers: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Certified Master Social Workers (CMSW), Certified Social Work Manager (CSWM) and Certified Social Worker (CSW). 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

North Carolina LCSW

North Carolina LCSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW or PhD) from a CSWE-accredited program

North Carolina LCSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical Level Examination

Field Requirement: Minimum of 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical practice accumulated in no less than two years and no more than six years; minimum of 100 hours of supervision from LCSW, MSW with additional two years post clinical work practice. At least one hour of supervision for every 30 hours of clinical practice is required; maximum of 25 hours may be group supervision

Fee: $115 application fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon committee approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including four hours in ethics, and payment of a $150 renewal fee

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North Carolina CMSW (Certfied Master Social Worker)

North Carolina CMSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) or Doctor of Social Work (DSW or PhD) degree from a CSWE-accredited program

North Carolina CMSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination or ACSW examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $115 application fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon committee approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including four hours in ethics, and payment of a $90 renewal fee.

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North Carolina CSWM (Certified Social Work Manager)

North Carolina CSWM Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Master of Social Work (MSW) or a Doctor of Social Work (DSW or PhD) degree from a CSWE-accredited program

North Carolina CSWM Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist Level Examination

Field Requirement: 3,000 hours of post-graduate paid employment accumulated in no less than two years and no more than six years; a minimum of 100 hours of supervision is required by a board certified Social Work Administrator on at least one level and who has a minimum of five years of administration experience in Social Work or Mental Health setting; a maximum of 50 hours may be through group supervision

Fee: $115 application fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon committee approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including four hours in ethics, and payment of a $150 renewal fee.

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North Carolina CSW (Certified Social Worker)

North Carolina CSW Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from CSWE-accredited program

North Carolina CSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: 115 application fee, $230 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: None

Endorsement: Available upon committee approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 40 contact hours of continuing education, including four hours in ethics, and payment of a $70 renewal fee.

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

North Carolina Social Work Salary

North Carolina Social Work Salary
North Carolina Social Work Career Average Social Worker Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $46,820
Healthcare Social Workers $53,330
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $47,660
All Other Social Workers $55,160
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 North Carolina is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 8/22/2018.

North Carolina Social Work Scholarships

NC Student Loan Program for Health, Science and Mathematics

Type: Loan Forgiveness

Amount: Students enrolled in Health Professional or Doctoral Programs can earn $8,500 per year. The maximum loan amount is $34,000 in programs requiring four years to completion.

Description: Applicants must have been accepted as full-time students in accredited associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral programs leading to degrees in specified health, science or a mathematics-related field.

NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative

Type: Fellowship

Amount: Varies

Description: Candidates for Child Welfare Scholar positions undergo a highly selective application process. Recipients receive a service award and/or other financial support in addition to a specialized course of study in child welfare. Graduates of the Collaborative’s augmented curriculum in child welfare are equipped to go beyond the fundamentals of social work. Their training not only prepares them for leadership roles but fosters excellence in child welfare practice.

After getting their degree, scholars provide six months of employment at a North Carolina department of social service for each semester of financial support received from the Collaborative. A minimum employment commitment of one year, in direct practice or supervision of direct practice, is required. Students completing the program receive a Scholar Completion Certificate.

Carolina Experience Enrichment Scholarship

Type: Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Description: Carolina students planning to study abroad or work as an unpaid intern for the first time are eligible to apply for a CEES Fellowship. A preference is granted for exceptional non-traditional, Carolina Covenant, student parent, and transfer students.

Additional scholarship information is available on the national page of social work scholarships.

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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.