Maryland Social Work License

Earn Your Maryland Social Work License

The Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners is the regulatory board in which social worker candidates must apply through in order to receive your Maryland Social Work License. Their website can be found by clicking here, or you can call them at 410-764-4788, to make sure you’re taking the right steps to becoming an Maryland LCSW-C. Of course, TDC is also here to provide you with a clear path on those steps as well.

One key difference we should point out for the state of Maryland, is that the clinical license is called an LCSW-C, not an LCSW. In Maryland, an LCSW stands for Licensed Certified Social Worker, not Clinical. Just wanted to point that out since in other states LCSW is the clinical license, and could be a source of confusion for some.

Okay, so you have your MSW, right? The next step is…

Maryland state map

STEP 2 - Apply for the LMSW exam and Pass with Confidence!

  • When you’re ready to take the Masters Level Exam (LMSW), contact the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to get approval to register for this exam.
    • The state application can be found here.
    • You will need to provide three (3) professional recommendations as part of this process.
  • Once you receive the approval, next contact the ASWB to register for the exam (click here) and then Pearson VUE to select your test location and date (click here).
  • Then once you have your text date, it’s time to start studying! TDC offers a comprehensive study program that can help you get 100% ready in 2-12 weeks or 50 hours. Check out TDC’s LMSW Exam Prep: ASWB Masters Level Exam prep program by clicking the link.

STEP 3 - Accrue Hours to become a Maryland LCSW-C!

  • Before you accrue hours, you must complete and submit a Contractual Agreement with the state of Maryland.
  • Prospective clinical social workers (LCSW-C) must have an LCSW-C as a supervisor.
  • Then, the applicant must provide proof to the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners of two (2) years of experience consisting of at least 104 weeks of not less than 3,000 hours of supervised social work in a professional setting.
    • Of these 3,000 hours, 1,500 hours shall consist of face-to-face clinical practice, including tasks such as forming diagnostic impressions and applying psychotherapy.
    • Also, the candidate must obtain 144 hours of periodic face-to-face supervision.

STEP 4 - Apply for the Clinical Licensing Exam, Schedule, Study and Pass!

  • Once you completed your experience requirements, you will need to apply for eligibility for the exam with the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners, by filling out the application here. Some of the things required in this application are (but not limited to):
    • Three (3) professional references
    • Supervision verification
    • $100 application fee
  • Your application was accepted? Great! Now contact the ASWB to register for the ASWB Clinical Level exam, and Pearson VUE to select your location and date/time.
  • And once you have your date selected, it’s time to utilize TDC’s LCSW Clinical Exam program to give you the right tools, knowledge and confidence to ace this exam! It’s a one stop program what will get your ready to pass in 4 - 8 weeks. Learn more about our program by clicking here.

Maryland Social Work License FAQ's

How do I get a social work license in Maryland?

There are a few educational routes that can be taken that require either a Bachelor’s Degree (BSW) and a Master’s Degree (MSW) in order to be titled as a “Social Worker.” You can also get a Doctoral degree, however, it is not required. Both the BSW and MSW degrees must be from an accredited program by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Apply for your LBSW or LMSW exam at the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners. Take the exam. Once you pass, you can set up a contractual agreement with the State of Maryland and start accruing hours. Once your experience requirements are met, you can apply for the Clinical Licensing Exam, pass it, and you are on your way to getting your Maryland Social Work License.

How long does it take to be a social worker in Maryland?

Earning your social work license in Maryland can take years of work experience and education with a minimum number of hours required. It typically takes 4 years to get your social worker licensure in the state of Maryland. Add another 2 years of education if you were to get a Master’s degree. Social workers should have at least 3,000 hours (104 weeks) of work experience working directly under a supervisor that is a licensed social worker. 100 hours of the 3,000 hours (Supervised Work Experience) should have face time that is under supervision and a contractual agreement. (Requirements may vary from state to state)

What are the different types of Licensure for Social Workers in Maryland?

To practice social work in the state of Maryland, the following types of social worker license types are recognized.

  • Licensed Bachelor Social Worker (LBSW) in Maryland
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) in Maryland
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) in Maryland
  • Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) in Maryland

Therapy Session with Kids and Mom


So did you pass? Wonderful news! Congratulations on receiving your Maryland social work license! And best of luck to you on your inspiring and impactful career.

The Therapist Development Center Team