How to become LCSW

So…what are the process to become a License Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Becoming a LCSW is a long and arduous process and it may or may not be some of you social workers out there.

Let’s start at the beginning…

First, obtain your Bachelors Degree in either Psychology or Social Work, or any field, with the pre-requisite classes to build a basic foundation.

Secondly, get your Master in Social Worker.

Ok, now you got your Master’s Degree…Now what???

Well sit back and eat a piece of cake (or brownie) because that was some crazy years you just committed yourself to!



I’m just going to add in here that you must be really organized!!! If you aren’t…your life may be havoc for a little bit or a lotta bit (don’t say  I didn’t warn you).

1.) Register with the Board of Behavioral to become an ASW (Associates of Clinical Social Worker)- you must renew this registration yearly (80.00/annually) and earn 3200 of supervised hours. You must complete a supervisory plan with whoever that is providing you supervision. Also keep track of all your W2s that you are claiming hours on. Also show proof of how you are tracking your hours (I used and for pricing click here).

Going back to documents:

Remember to have whoever it is that is providing your hours for you sign all the forms completely!!!

1.) The responsibility Statement for supervisors of an ACSW

2.) Supervisory Plan

3.) Clinical Social Worker Experience Verification

***Please have each of your supervisors sign all the forms above thoroughly!!! Keep in mind that #1 & #2 are to be signed before the start of the supervision!!!

2.) You must take additional classes if you have not taken them during your grad program. You can easily take these classes at I can’t recall exactly how much you have to pay to take these classes but it was not much, I think somewhere around 75.00 per year!

  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting
  • Human Sexuality
  • Alcoholism and Other Chemical Substance Dependency
  • Spousal or Partner Abuse Assessment Detection, and Intervention
  • Aging, Long Term Care, and Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse
  • California Law and Professional Ethics

3.) Register to take the California Law and Ethics exam (this is part 1 of the exam) at the BBS website. I believe the cost when I registered was 200.00.

***I highly recommend you to get study material and help you pass. I used the Therapist Development Center and passed on my first attempt! I highly recommend their program:

4.) Go register to apply for the clinical exam and gather all the required documents (this include, your tax returns for the years you are claiming your hours, include all the documents/forms that were noted in #1, proof of the classes you took, your official transcript, and proof that you passed the Law and Ethic and the official application).

5.) Upon approval via letter, you can register to take the Clinical Exam at; this will cost you 260.00.

6.) You will get an email saying you can go sign up to take the exam! For the record, I am finally at this part in the process…it has been 6 loooooonnnnnnggggg years in the making.

Please note, the board make changes all the time, prices may not be reflective of current prices, so I highly recommend you to check out the BBS webpage. This is just everything that I HAD TO DO!!! And it was stressful as heck…and I looked everywhere online to see if there were other bloggers out there that might be able to share their experience but was not able to get any or much.

I seriously am ready and excited to become licensed. Many people choose to not get their license…and that is perfectly ok. I, on the other hand, want options! Having your license opens soooooooo many doors!!! Private practice, hospital, school, ect…

Where I live, every major hospital (U.C Davis, Kaiser, Sutter, Mercy, ect.) require a license! Kaiser pays really well! Up to 90K!!!! And I can work with 90K! This is almost 30% than the national average pay for LCSW.

***Please note, I do know a few Child Protective Services worker (CPS) that makes 100k a year, but seriously, I can never work for CPS. I know my limit and  I can’t do CPS. I applaud those of you who can.

Disclaimer: All the links noted on this page are not affiliated, which mean I do not receive any commission what-so-ever.


2 thoughts on “How to become LCSW

  1. This is a great timeline for ASWs! I’ll be forwarding it to my interns. Curious, how long did it take you to receive approval from the BBS to take the exam?

    I also recommend TDC and Ce4less- great minds think alike. I agree, it’s a long road but how many people get to do what they love and actually make a decent living at it? Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, please share if you find it may help your interns. In terms how long it took for BBS to get back to me- it was no more than 2 months. I heard from colleagues, BBS can take anywhere up to 6 months.
      I will be taking my exam for LCSW this coming up weekend! Study mode on!


Leave a Reply to charlottevwj Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: