Become a Social Worker in Tennessee

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 Tennessee, contact the Tennessee Social Work Licensing Board.

Tennessee law recognizes four classes of social workers: Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker (LAPSW), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW). 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

Tennessee LAPSW (Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker)

Tennessee LAPSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-accredited or candidate program

Tennessee LAPSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist Level Examination

Field Requirement: 3,000 hours of non-clinical practice hours and 100 supervision hours, mandatory practitioner profile questionnaire, six-hours of continuing education related to advanced generalist non-clinical supervision; 60 of the 100 hours must be under direct supervision and no more than 40 hours may be group supervision

Fee: $235 licensing and application fees, $260 ASWB examination fee, $32.65 in-state criminal background check fee

Additional Information: One professional reference from current or previous employer

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education annually, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of a $95 renewal fee.

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Tennessee LCSW

Tennessee LCSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-accredited or candidate program

Tennessee LCSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Advanced Generalist Level Examination

Field Requirement: 3,000 hours of clinical practice hours and 100 supervision hours, mandatory practitioner profile questionnaire, six hours of continuing education related to advanced generalist non-clinical

Fee: $235 licensing and application fees, $260 ASWB examination fee, $32.65 in-state criminal background check fee
Additional Information: Professional reference also required.

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 15 contact hours of continuing education, including 3 hours of ethics, annually and payment of a $95 renewal fee.

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Tennessee LMSW

Tennessee LMSW Education Requirement: Master of Social Work (MSW) from a CSWE-accredited or candidate program

Tennessee LMSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Master’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $160 licensing and application fees, $230 ASWB examination fee, $32.65 in-state criminal background check fee

Additional Information: Mandatory practitioner profile questionnaire

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal:Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of 12 contact hours of continuing education annually, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of a $95 renewal fee.

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Tennessee LBSW (Licensed Bachelor Social Worker)

Tennessee LBSW Education Requirement: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from a CSWE-accredited or candidate program

Tennessee LBSW Exam: Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Bachelor’s Level Examination

Field Requirement: None

Fee: $110 licensing and application fees, $230 ASWB examination fee, $32.65 in-state criminal background check fee

Additional Information: Mandatory practitioner profile questionnaire

Endorsement: Available upon board approval

License Renewal: Renewal is required every two years. Requirements for renewal are the successful completion of nine contact hours of continuing education annually, including 3 hours of ethics, and payment of an $45 renewal fee.

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In order to become a licensed social work practitioner in Tennessee, you will need to complete prerequisite coursework, examination requirements, and, in some cases, supervised work requirements. Also, certain levels of social work in Tennessee can only be reached after earning a Master of Social Work. We are committed to keeping updated information on Tennessee 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 09/06/2018.

Tennessee Social Work Salary

Tennessee Social Work Salary
Tennessee Social Work Career Average Social Work Salary
Child, Family and School Social Workers $40,670
Healthcare Social Workers $51,990
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers $36,370
All Other Social Workers $51,560
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 Tennessee is subject to change. Please confirm salary information with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 8/22/2018.

Tennessee Social Work Scholarships

National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. Graduate Scholarship Program

Type: Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Description: The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. (NAJA) was established in 1941 with the purpose of uniting members to render charitable services that are beneficial to the general public, with particular emphasis on children, and to cooperate with other organizations performing similar services. Today, the growing Association continues with the focus of meeting the needs of children and youth in keeping with the NAJA slogan: Care Today – Character Tomorrow.

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.