What Qualifications Are Required to Pursue a Career in Social Work?

Requirements for becoming a social worker include attaining a bachelor's degree in social work and attaining a state license, if the individual desires to be a clinical social worker. Depending on the position, a social worker might need to attain a master's degree to qualify for employment.

With a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology or sociology, most social workers are able to qualify for entry-level work, but a focus in social work is the most common and widely accepted. Degree programs usually concentrate on social welfare policy, human behavior and diverse populations. Before finishing a program, students are required to complete an internship.

Clinical social workers and those who work in schools are often required to have a master's degree in social work and two years of experience. Master's programs often take two years to complete, but a student might be able to earn a master's degree in a single year if he has an undergraduate degree in social work. It's best that students enroll in programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Requirements for attaining a license vary from state to state, but it is usually required for candidates to have a master's degree in social work, pass a clinical exam and have either two years of supervised clinical experience or 3,000 hours of other supervised experience.