Social Work Careers, Licensure, and Salaries in Texas

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of Texas has high employment in all phases of social work specializations with over 37,000 workers in the popular sectors of child and family services, school systems, health care, mental health, and substance abuse. The biggest specialization is through youth and school services, where annual average salaries are estimated at $49,060 across the state.

The cities of Dallas and Houston employ the most social workers when compared to the rest of the state in all sectors. These are also locations where payment is slightly higher, but remain in proximity. Health care is the higher-paying sector when compared to others in the state with an annual mean wage of $58,430, which is equivalent to the national average.

Texas Social Work Licensure Requirements

Many variations exist with licensures in the state of Texas. For those that have completed a Master’s degree, they are eligible to become a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) or Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). The difference is the ability to practice in a clinical or non-clinical setting, and there is additional licensure to become an Advanced Practitioner and hold Independent Practice Recognition (IPR).

Hours of Experience Requirements

The LMSW requires the completion of the jurisprudence exam, Association of Social Work Board (ASWB) Master’s exam, and various paperwork required by the Texas state board. Those looking to become an LMSW-AP will need to complete 3,000 hours of postgraduate supervised work and the associated ASWB exam. This is similar to obtaining the LCSW, but the difference is supervised clinical practice and completing the clinical ASWB exam.

Professionals with licensures in other states may be able to waive certain requirements if they passed the ASWB examination in their process and complete the application allowing verification of licensure in other areas. Renewal takes place every two years and requires 30 continuing education credit hours – six credit hours must go toward ethical topics.