Getting Your Masters Level Social Work License (LMSW) in Texas

Getting Your Masters Level Social Work License (LMSW) in Texas

Social Work in Texas

As the second most populous state in the country, it’s no surprise that Texas is home to a large number of social workers. The Texas Department of State Health Services estimates that there are over 26,000 social workers currently practicing in the state. The demand for social workers in Texas has consistently grown in recent years and the field remains competitive, with only a small percentage of applicants ultimately passing the Masters Level Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam each year.

In 2022, a total of 26,139 social workers took the Masters Level ASWB exam and it’s estimated that close to 1,000 of those social workers were from the state of Texas, though this exact breakdown is not released by the ASWB.

Prerequisites for Masters-Level Licensure (LMSW) in Texas

Masters-Level Licensure candidates need:

  1. An MSW degree from a CSWE-accredited institution
  2. To complete 3,000 hours of supervised experience
  3. To pass the Masters Level ASWB exam
  4. To complete the LMSW application for the State of Texas
  5. 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 Texas for the LMSW license is $109.

Steps to Get Your Masters License in Texas

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. Complete 3,000 Hours of Supervised Experience

In Texas, 3,000 hours of supervised experience is required for obtaining Masters level licensure in the field of Social Work. This requirement is in place to ensure that individuals who are seeking licensure have the necessary level of practical experience to work effectively and competently as professional Social Workers.

Supervised experience provides an opportunity for individuals to apply the knowledge and skills learned in their Master’s degree program in a real-world setting. Additionally, it allows individuals to gain experience working with a diverse range of clients and develop the ability to use professional judgment in complex and challenging situations.

The supervisor’s role is to provide guidance and support, to help the individual to develop their professional judgment and to ensure that the work done is ethical and in line with professional standards. The 3,000 hours requirement is set to ensure that individuals have adequate supervised experience to meet the competencies required of a licensed Social worker in Texas.

3. 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

4. Complete the Application for Your Texas LMSW License

Learn more about how to apply for your Texas LMSW license here.

To apply for your Texas LMSW 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.  A user-guide for applying online can be found here.

5. Complete Your Background Check + Fingerprinting

Upon submission of your LMSW application, you will be sent information from the Texas Behavior Health Executive Council on fingerprint submission. The fingerprinting is done electronically and in locations throughout the state.

There is a fee paid to the fingerprinting facility. Typically, it takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the process of getting fingerprinted.

Sources: ASWB, Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council


► 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!

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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