What Qualifications do I need to become a Social Worker? 

Volunteers helping elderly people

Social workers play a pivotal role in the society while serving in various capacities. They could be professionals in different disciplines but have decided to dedicate their knowledge and expertise to the service of humanity and most of the time, they are found in the health sector in suburban areas with poor access to health workers. 

Conventionally, social workers are graduates of social work from the university or college. Social workers are needed in every society to assist individuals and communities lead better lives, provide therapies to those in need and help people with challenges especially challenges of a mental or psychological nature. Beyond attending to some of the needs of the society, social workers are life transformers and they are transforming the world in a unique way. 

If you want to be part of these set of people changing lives across the world, then this article is for you. Read on to find out more about what you need to become a social worker. 

Qualifications Needed to Become a Social Workers 

Social work like earlier mentioned has numerous career paths so before we go into the qualifications, you need to specialise on the area you want to involve yourself in changing lives. You could focus on child care, family counselling, mental health, care for the elderly, care for the less privileged and disabled persons and many other career prospects that you can find in social work. A research would solve this almost immediately. 

Minimum Qualification

If you’ve identified your area of specialty you can then proceed to obtain the minimum qualification which is a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Works or related fields like sociology and psychology. Obtaining this degree could take between three to four years depending on the country. Remember to enrol in a college or university that is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education to offer courses on social work and relevant fields. A Bachelor’s Degree essentially prepares you for a direct service as a psychologists or a caseworker. 



Beyond the walls of the classroom, having a field experience is a prerequisite for becoming a social worker. That can be achieved through an internship program in a local community health centre or counselling unit. This could involve you working for an NGO, clinic, hospital or a neuropsychiatric hospital. 

Obtaining a Licence 

After your Bachelor’s Degree, you could go a step ahead in obtaining a Masters in Social Work and proceed to have Doctorate Degree. This will then prepare you for advanced social work licensure. 

A licence gives you the ultimate liberty to operate anywhere around the country as a social worker uninterrupted. There are different kinds of licensures depending on your qualification. There is a licensure for Bachelor Degree holders in Social work known as Baccalaureate Social Workers (LBSW), Master’s Degree holders licensure often referred to as Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSW) and licensure for clinical social workers referred to as Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW). 


Beyond all the qualifications, some states may require you to take professional exams conducted by the Association of Social Work Boards