Career paths in the field of licensed clinical social work require more than just a graduate degree, and at times it can be confusing to navigate the requirements for licensure as they vary by state. Florida State University's online MSW degree wants to ensure that students feel confident as they approach graduation, both in their academic development through traditional and fast-tracked paths and also in their preparation for these additional requirements. To that end, in this article, we cover the key questions asked regarding the landmarks necessary to achieve the Licensed Master’s Social Worker-Clinical (LMSW-C) credential in the state of Michigan.
What does an LMSW-C license mean for the holder?
Achieving the LMSW-C license in Michigan, the equivalent of the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential in other states, means that the holder is qualified to operate an independent clinical social work practice. This can be a great perk for those who want to run their own clinic. This level of licensure also often garners a satisfying salary- in the state of Michigan, licensed clinical social workers typically earn an average annual salary between $63,000 an $70,000.
Does it matter what program I attend to complete my MSW?
In a word: yes. When researching MSW programs, it is important to seek out programs that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This accreditation, which Florida State’s MSW program holds, is a requirement of those who hope to apply for LMSW-C licensure in Michigan because it ensures the curriculum is covering necessary clinical content.
Once I graduate, what is next in the application process?
With your online MSW degree in hand, your next task is to seek out a social work setting to gain supervised experience. The state of Michigan mandates that LMSW-C applicants complete a minimum of 4,000 hours of supervised experience in a clinical social work setting. You cannot start working toward these hours until after you graduate from an accredited MSW program, and the state requires that you devote a minimum of two years to this practicum period.
Do I need to take any tests to achieve LMSW-C licensure?
Once your work experience hours are logged appropriately, you can then register for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Clinical exam. This exam, which is offered electronically, covers a wide range of social work concepts across 170 questions and costs $260 each time you take it. If you do not pass the ASWB exam, you will be provided with information outlining your performance and can retake the test after 90 days. There is a waiver to try to take the test sooner, however not all social work boards permit waivers and not all candidates qualify. Some jurisdictions also limit the number of times the ASWB examination can be retaken.
Are there other expenses associated with the LMSW-C license application?
With a passing score submitted to the Michigan state agency, all that remains is for you to send official transcripts verifying your graduation from a CWSE-accredited program, records capturing your supervised clinical hours, and the paperwork to complete a background check. There might be fees associated with the request for transcripts or with the background check, and you will have to pay the LMSW-C licensing fee of $42.40 required by the state.
Florida State is ready to support your pursuit of LMSW-C licensure in the state of Michigan by providing a clinically-focused CWSE-accredited program with rigorous training in the field. Students are equipped with core competency skills and the clinical preparation necessary to pursue licensure in their home state. Experienced faculty and staff are available to answer questions as graduates prepare for clinical hours and the ASWB exam. Offering robust coursework, Florida State’s online MSW program prepares the next generation of licensed social workers with real-world application.