Getting Your Masters Level Social Work License (LSW) in Pennsylvania

Getting Your Masters Level Social Work License (LSW) in Pennsylvania

Social Work in Pennsylvania

Social Work is an essential profession in the state of Pennsylvania, as it plays a critical role in helping individuals, families, and communities in need. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 22,000 Social Workers in the state of Pennsylvania as of 2020. The majority of these professionals work in the areas of child, family, and school social work, while others specialize in healthcare, mental health, and substance abuse.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Work in Pennsylvania has remained a vital and growing field, with a strong demand for qualified professionals who are dedicated to serving the needs of their communities.

In 2022, a total of 26,139 Social Workers took the Masters Level ASWB exam and it’s estimated that close to 800 of those Social Workers were from the state of Pennsylvania, though this exact breakdown is not released by the ASWB.

Prerequisites for Masters-Level Licensure (LSW) in Pennsylvania

Masters-Level Licensure candidates need:

  1. An MSW or DSW degree from a CSWE-accredited institution
  2. To pass the Masters Level ASWB exam
  3. To complete the LSW application for the State of Pennsylvania
  4. To complete fingerprinting and a background check

Additional information about licensing requirements and rules for licensure can be found on the ASWB website. The fee in Pennsylvania for the LSW license is $75.

Steps to Get Your Masters License in Pennsylvania

1. Complete Your Masters Degree in Social Work

Your Masters Degree in Social Work must be from a CSWE-accredited institution. See a list of accredited institutions here.

A master’s degree in Social Work is required because it provides the necessary education and training including coursework in areas such as human behavior and the social environment, social welfare policy and services, and research methods.

Additionally, many programs often include a supervised field placement, where students can apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting and gain hands-on experience. This combination of classroom education and practical experience is necessary to prepare individuals for the complex and challenging work of being a licensed Social Worker.

2. Register for and Pass the Masters Level ASWB Exam

Before you take your exam, make sure to review our Pre-Test Checklist and ensure that you are ready to take your Masters Level exam!

Register for your exam here with the ASWB

3. Complete the Application for Your Pennsylvania LSW License

Learn more about how to apply for your Pennsylvania LSW license here.

To apply for your Pennsylvania LSW license, you will use the state’s online licensing system.  This system allows the user to apply for the license and upload any required first-person documentation.

4. Complete Your Background Check + Fingerprinting

Upon submission of your LSW application, you will be sent information from the Pennsylvania Department of State on fingerprint submission. The fingerprinting is done electronically and in locations throughout the state.

Sources: ASWB, Pennsylvania Department of State


► Learn more about the Agents of Change course here:

About the Instructor, Meagan Mitchell: Meagan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been providing individualized and group test prep for the ASWB for over five years. From all of this experience helping others pass their exams, she created the Agents of Change course to help you prepare for and pass the ASWB exam!

Find more from Agents of Change here:

► Facebook Group:

► Podcast:

#socialwork #testprep #aswb #socialworker #socialwork #socialworktest #socialworkexam #exam #socialworktestprep #socialworklicense #socialworklicensing #licsw #lmsw #lcsw #aswbexam #aswb #lcswexam #lmswexam #aswbtestprep #aswbtest #lcswtestprep #lcswtest #lmswtestprep #lmswtest #aswbcourse #learningstyles #learningstyle

Disclaimer: This content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment