Become a Social Worker in Ohio

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 Ohio, contact the Ohio Social Work Licensing Board.

Ohio law recognizes three classes of social worker: Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW), Licensed Social Worker (LSW), and Social Worker Assistant (SWA). The requirements are as follows:

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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

Ohio LISW (Licensed Independent Social Worker)

Ohio LISW Education Requirement: A master’s degree or doctorate in social work from a CSWE-accredited institution

Ohio LISW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical or Advanced Generalist Level Examination and board’s online laws and rules exam

Field Requirement: 3,000 hours of post-master’s paid supervised experience over no less than two years, with 150 hours of individual or group supervision by an LISW-S

Fee: $100 application fee, $260 ASWB examination fee

Additional Information: No applicant can receive credit for more than 1,500 hours of experience in less than 12-months. If in your first 12 months, you accrue more than 1,500 hours, you cannot carry over hours to your next period of 12 months. BCI and FBI criminal records check required

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of a $100 renewal fee.

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Ohio LSW (Licensed Social Worker)

Ohio LSW Education Requirement: A bachelor’s, masters or doctorate degree from a CSWE-accredited educational institution

Ohio LSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination; Master’s-level graduates may choose either the Bachelor’s or Master’s exam; as of 1/1/2018, Master’s-level graduates will only be able to select the Master’s exam; all applicants must take the board’s online laws and rules exam

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $80 application fee, $230 or $260 ASWB examination fee, $10 laws and rules exam

Additional Information: BCI and FBI criminal records check

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of a $80 renewal fee.

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Ohio SWA (Social Worker Assistant)

Ohio SWA Education Requirement: Associate’s degree in “social service technology,” defined as 45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours of core social work skills, theory and systems courses including a social service practicum and 21 quarter hours or 14 semester hours of related courses such as psychology, sociology and economics with a minimum of a C- average in coursework

Ohio SWA Exam: Online laws and rules exam

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $60 application fee, $10 laws and rules exam

Additional Information: BCI and FBI criminal record checks

Endorsement: None

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of a $60 renewal fee.

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

Ohio Social Work Salary

Ohio Social Work Salary
Ohio Social Work Career Average Social Work Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $43,180
Healthcare Social Workers $54,170
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $42,940
All Other Social Workers $48,680
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 Ohio is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 8/22/2018.

Ohio Social Work Scholarships

For social work financial aid options, check out our social work scholarships page.

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.