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What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Social Worker?

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The exact requirements for becoming a social worker vary based on state law for licensing, but social workers must become licensed in the state where they are practicing. Most positions do require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in social work for entry level positions.

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There are some positions for social workers that require a master's degree in social work. This is especially common for those who want to work as a clinical social worker. This type of role typically requires a master's degree in social work plus additional experience in a clinical setting while working under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker. Social work positions in a school or health care setting may also require a master's degree.

Students looking to obtain a master's degree in social work do not have to have an undergraduate degree in the same field. However, study in a closely related field such as psychology can be helpful. The master's degree program generally requires two years to complete, but students should also be prepared to complete a supervised practicum. This is often a requirement to become licensed. An internship could also meet the criteria for this requirement, depending on the specific state laws for becoming licensed.

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