Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements

Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree

1 Examination

No Experience Requirement

3 Hours of Continuing Education 

$75.00 Initial Fee

$95.00 Renewal Fee

A person who holds a current license and has received a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited school or program of social work or social welfare. A social worker has special knowledge of social resources, human personality and capabilities and therapeutic techniques and how to use them to help people to achieve adequate and productive personal, interpersonal and social adjustments in their individual lives, in their families and in their community.

Degree Requirement:

Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree

A candidate must hold a Master's degree in social work or social welfare from a school which was an accredited school on the date the degree was awarded or a doctoral degree in social work.

Examination Requirement: 

1 Examination
A candidate must pass the Association of Social Work Boards' (ASWB) master's level examination


No Experience Requirement for Licensure

Continuing Education:

3 Hours (for initial licensure): 

Applicants must complete 3 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting for initial licensure. 


30 Hours for Each Biennial Renewal Period (when renewing license):

Licensees must complete 30 hours of continuing education in acceptable courses and programs in social work offered by approved providers.  The 30 hours shall include 2 hours of the mandated Act 31 Child Abuse Reporter Training, 3 hours in ethics and 1 hour in suicide prevention.  

Initial Licensing Fee: 


Licensure Renewal Fee:

Biennial renewal of license.

Licensure by Act 41:

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction and who have been actively engaged in the practice for 2 of the last 5 years.