Social workers that strive to provide their clients with the best quality of care should have the right type of certifications and licensing for the career they desire. One of the most sought after titles of social workers in the U.S. is the Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).

LICSW Licensure and Careers

Clinical Experience

The clinical experience requirement for licensure was implement in order to improve the quality of social work professionals in the field. Implementing what is learned in degree programs and learning about different types of interventions and services are available can assist you in becoming a more effective professional in the field.

Students in MSW programs can arrange their clinical experience through local mental health organizations or social services agencies with LICSWs on staff. Supervisors for your experience must hold a license in the same field you are working towards to be considered valid for this requirement.

Most states require that students complete 2 years of clinical experience before receiving their license as a LICSW. After completing your degree program and gaining experience, you must also complete an examination to receive your certification and be permitted to work freely in the field.

Different Types of LICSWs

The influence of the LICSW can be widespread within communities all across the country. You interest in this field partnered with your education and training can help you land positions in many distinct areas in need of trained professionals. If you would like to see a few of the most popular career options for LICSWs, browse through the list of options below.

  • Clinical Therapist
  • Social Services Management
  • Trauma Counselor
  • Crisis Intervention Therapist
  • Community Therapist
  • Clinical Social Worker

Employment and Salary for LICSWs

Since the employment setting for LICSWs can be so diverse, you should follow your intuition when choosing a specialization for your career. Some professionals choose to work with certain age groups during their career, while others wish to work in certain service areas within their community.

Another added benefit of receiving your certification as an independent social work professional is that you can also engage in private practice. Clinical therapy is one of the most popular services provided by professionals with this distinction, making it a great consideration for you as you move into your dream career.

What you earn as a LICSW can depend on many different factors, including the setting in which you work and the type of services you provide. Take a look below this section at some of the common earnings for professionals in this field. Consider the pay differences between each specialization as you browse through each.

Average Salary for LICSWs

  • Social Workers – all: $63,140 on average per year (BLS).
  • Social Workers: $49,470 on average per year (BLS).
  • Child, Family and School Social Workers: $46,270 on average per year (BLS).
  • Healthcare Social Workers: $56,200 on average per year (BLS).

Skills LICSWs Tend to Have

The LICSW can have many more tasks and responsibilities when compared to the LBSW. Since professionals at this level can conduct therapeutic services, it is necessary that professionals have extensive skills in communication, problem solving, and active listening.

Organizational skills and scheduling are some additional skills that could be helpful to professionals in this line of work, since a common work day often consists of several clients with different needs. Patience, understanding, and empathy can also be useful for upcoming social work specialists at this level.

Organizations to Know

NASW: National Association of Social Workers
If you are moving into the field of social work, you should get to know the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). This is the leading professional organization for social work professionals and can provide you with access to information about diverse specializations in your field, as well as networking opportunities for career success.

CSWA: Clinical Social Work Association
Additional organizations to consider becoming a member of include the Clinical Social Work Association, which is an agency that surrounds the need for additional learning and networking for professionals at this level. In this organization, you can gain access to literature about improvements in your field, learn new techniques, and be provided with advocacy when needed in your career.

The goal of social work professional organizations is to give professionals access to continuing education during their careers, bring together common professionals, and encourage improvements to the field as a whole. Membership in these organizations can provide you with a great source of security and support throughout the lifetime of your career.