Florida Social Work Licensure

The future looks bright for social workers in the sunshine state. Social workers considering licensure in Florida can find plenty of job opportunities. According to the state's projection data, the demand for social workers will increase by almost 20% between now and 2029.  

It is becoming increasingly common in Florida for social workers to need a graduate degree and licensure, although it is not yet required for all social work jobs. To maintain a competitive employment advantage, those in the helping profession should know the details of social work licensure in Florida.

Consider an online counseling program: Syracuse University’s CSWE-accredited online Master of Social Work program is preparing the next generation of social work leaders. Learn more.
MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine

Florida Licensed Social Worker Job Outlook

What's it like being a licensed social worker in Florida? Take a look at where the profession stands compared to other areas of the country.

Florida Social Work Employment Demand

Florida has the 5th highest employment demand for healthcare social workers in the United States. The Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach metropolitan area has the 4th highest concentration of social workers of any metro area in the country. 

In Florida, there are more medical facilities than average, and the population is older than average. This likely explains Florida's strong social work demand. As long as retirees swarm to Florida's warm climate and beaches, there will be a demand for social workers to take care of them.

Florida Social Work Salary Information

Healthcare social workers in Florida make around $54,000 a year, on average. That puts it slightly lower than the average wage in Florida, which is $64,000 per year. No one goes into the helping profession for the money, though – and licensed social workers in Florida make well over the living wage in Florida, which is around $30,000 per year.

Here are a few schools in with CACREP-accredited counseling programs:
  • Barry University: M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling M.S. in School Counseling Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Florida Atlantic University: M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling M.Ed. in School Counseling Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • Florida Gulf Coast University: M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
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Snapshot: Online CACREP Accredited Programs

☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
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Types of Social Work Licensure in Florida

Florida's social work licensure is regulated by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. This regulatory body offers three types of licensure to those with a Master's in Social Worker degree.

Certified Master Social Worker

Certified Master Social Worker is a form of social work licensure in Florida that is not commonly sought. CMSW licensure does not allow you to practice clinical social work. Instead, this license is used by those in social work administration and teaching roles to maintain officially licensed status.

Educational Requirements

To be eligible for social work licensure in Florida as a CMSW, you must have your Master's degree from an accredited school of Social Work. In the social work world, "accredited" means approved by the Council on Social Work Education. Typically, an MSW program takes 1-2 years to complete, depending on previous education and program type.

Experience Requirements

The Florida social work licensure requirements state that an applicant who wants to become a Certified Master Social Worker must have three years of experience in the Social Work field. Two of those years must be post-master's degree completion and under the supervision of a licensed social worker.

Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern

The second type of Florida social work licensure is a Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern. The RCSWI designates mental health professionals working in the field under the supervision of another while gaining experience to earn their license.

Educational Requirements

RCSWI applicants must also have their MSW degrees. Florida rules specify that RCSWI applicants must complete a certain amount of coursework related to clinical social work (as opposed to community or administrative social work) within the degree program.

Experience Requirements

Because the RCSWI licensure is required to begin gaining experience towards full licensure, no prerequisite work experience is required. 

Before being approved, RCSWI applicants must obtain a letter from a qualified social work supervisor stating that they have agreed to provide the supervision hours necessary for Florida social work licensure. 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The final and highest social work licensure in Florida is the Licensed Clinical Social Worker. LCSWs can independently provide clinical social work services, such as psychotherapy, and bill insurance for these treatments.

Educational Requirements

Since candidates for LCSW must first be Registered Clinical Social Work Interns, it follows that they must also have a master’s degree.

Social work licensure in Florida requires the completion of additional coursework, if not completed during an MSW program. Those courses include topics like Florida Law & Rules, HIV/Aids, and Domestic Violence.

Experience Requirements

To move from RCSWI to LCSW status, a social worker must complete 1,500 hours of supervised work experience. Only actual time spent with clients in psychotherapy counts towards this total. RCSWI to LCSW applicants must also prove that they have spent 100 hours one-on-one with their supervisor, discussing clients and practice. These 100 hours must occur over at least 100 weeks, with at least 1 hour of supervision every two weeks.

Applicants can document supervision hours towards Florida’s social work licensure on a form provided online by the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling.

Examination Requirements

LCSW applicants in Florida must pass the Association of Social Work Board’s Advanced Clinical Social Work Exam. This exam consists of 170 questions, 120 of which count towards the final score. The test must be completed at an approved testing facility and takes around 4 hours to finish. Test prep materials are available online. Social workers are permitted to take the test once they have completed all MSW coursework and practicum requirements, but they don’t have to take it immediately. A copy of the exam results does not need to be submitted until social workers apply for full licensure.

Out of State Florida Social Work Licensure

Social workers moving to Florida don’t have to follow all the steps above if they are already licensed in another state – but they still need to apply for licensure in Florida. The law calls this process applying for licensure “by endorsement.”

To get Florida social work licensure “by endorsement,” out-of-state social workers must submit:

Florida MSW Programs

You may have noticed that all three forms of Florida social work licensure require a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Social work licensure in Florida is not available to anyone other than Master’s-level social workers. That means an MSW is an essential step on the journey to social work licensure in Florida. Fortunately, Florida offers many opportunities for social workers interested in going to graduate school.

 

Florida On-Campus MSW Programs

There are six MSW programs in the state of Florida that offer only on-campus MSW programs. Each is adequate for the requirements for social work licensure in Florida. They are:

1. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Program Length: Florida A&M offers both full-time and part-time MSW schedules, which are 2 years and 3.5 years, respectively.

Program Cost: Out-of-state students can expect to pay about 24k per year for tuition, while tuition for in-state students costs around 10k per year.

2. Florida Gulf Coast University

Program Length: FGCU offers full-time and part-time programs to both regular and advanced-standing students (advanced standing status is granted to students with a recent Bachelor’s in Social Work degree). Depending on the program, students at FGCU can complete their degree in 1-4 years.

Program Cost: Depending on residency and student status, tuition for the entire FGCU MSW program can cost anywhere from around 9k to about 36k.

3. Florida International University

Program Length: Florida International University has a 2 year, 60-credit-hour MSW program.

Program Cost: According to FIU’s tuition calculator, an out-of-state student can expect to pay 30k per year for their MSW, while an in-state student will pay about 14k.  

4. Florida Atlantic University

Program Length: FAU also offers both standard and advanced standing MSW programs. The standard MSW can be completed in 2-4 years for regular students and 2-5 semesters for advanced standing students.

Program Cost: This program estimates an out-of-state cost per student of 20k in tuition per year, which goes down to just 7k for students who are Florida residents.

5. Southeastern University

Program Length: SEU’s advanced standing MSW program can be completed in 2 semesters, which is around 9 months. Their regular program takes 5 semesters to complete.

Program Cost: Advanced standing students at SEU will pay around 16k in tuition, while regular MSW students will pay closer to 30k.

6. University of North Florida

Program Length: UNC has an advanced standing MSW program that takes a year to complete. They also offer a traditional MSW option that can be finished in 2 years full-time or 4 years part-time.

Program Cost: Florida residents enrolling in the two-year program can expect to pay about 36k in tuition for the entire program. Advanced standing students will pay closer to 19k. Those enrolling from out-of-state will be charged a little more than twice the rate of in-state students.

Florida-based MSW Programs With Online Options

An MSW program doesn’t have to be physically located in Florida to provide MSW education there, so long as they have an online MSW program. However, there are six universities in the sunshine state that offer both online and on-campus MSW program options. Those programs are:

1. Barry University

Program Length: The traditional MSW program can be completed in 16-28 months, depending on whether the student is full-time or part-time. The advanced standing version takes 7-16 months, again depending on the number of hours taken.

Program Cost: A regular MSW student taking classes in-person at BU will pay about 43k in tuition. Their online program is cheaper, costing only 37k. Advanced standing students in in-person and online courses will pay around 22k and 19k, respectively.

2. Florida State University

Program Length: FSU’s full-time MSW program can be completed in 2 years by traditional students and 1 year by advanced standing students. They also offer part-time versions of the MSW program, whose completion time may vary.

Program Cost: The advanced standing option runs between 17k & 24k, depending on residency status. The traditional MSW program costs between 27 & 38k.

3. St. Leo University

Program Length: The MSW program at St. Leo’s can take between 1 & 4 years to complete. St. Leo, while located in Florida, only offers an online format for its MSW degree program.

Program Cost: 18k for advanced standing students and 35k for traditional MSW students.

4. University of Central Florida

Program Length: UCF offers both on-campus and online part-time programs for traditional and advanced standing MSW students. Traditional students can graduate from the part-time MSW in about 3 years, with advanced standing students finishing in less than two years. For full-time, on-campus students, degrees can be completed within 1-2 years.

Program Cost: Traditional students from Florida will pay about 23k in tuition total. Out-of-state students pay closer to 74k. For advanced standing, the tuition costs will be around 12k and 38k, respectively. 

5. University of South Florida

Program Length: USF’s MSW program takes one to three years to complete, with a shorter duration for students who are full-time and/or advanced standing.   

Program Cost: Traditional MSW students could pay around 26k if they’re Florida residents and 52k if they’re not. Advanced standing students can expect to pay around half that amount for tuition.

6. University of West Florida

Program Length: The on-campus MSW takes one to two years to complete. The online version length varies, though their site states it can take up to 10 semesters to complete.

Program Cost: UWF states that the tuition cost for their Online Traditional MSW program is around 27k, while the advanced standing version costs about 13k.  

Florida only offers three licensure options to social workers, and the path to all three goes by way of a Master’s degree in social work. After graduation, social workers can complete additional courses, log work hours spent with clients, and meet regularly with an approved social work supervisor. Upon final completion of the ASWB Advanced Clinical Social Worker exam, they will be ready for full social work licensure in Florida.

Counselor Salaries & Employment by Metro Area in

City / Metro AreaAverage SalaryTotal EmployedSalary Range
Lowest 25% to Highest 90%
Cape Coral-Fort Myers
$71,670
40
$65,050 to $82,060
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach
$46,700
**
$23,300 to $77,650
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach
$73,340
310
$57,370 to $111,780
Jacksonville
$78,840
240
$68,470 to $125,790
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
$60,160
**
$54,200 to $85,180
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
$66,530
360
$50,950 to $125,230
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville
$66,560
40
$58,480 to $81,570
Port St. Lucie
$62,340
100
$56,100 to $89,190
Tallahassee
$60,710
80
$55,170 to $79,250
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
$69,220
530
$54,320 to $97,940

Counseling Licensure: Counseling Licensing Boards

Counseling Licensure

School Counseling Licensure

If you are looking for Marriage and Family Therapy programs, go to our guide on MFT programs in .

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Schools With Campus-Based CACREP Accredited Counseling Degrees

CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs) is the top accrediting board for counseling programs. Below, you will find a list of all of the CACREP accredited counseling programs in . Keep scrolling or jump to all programs for all programs or view online CACREP accredited counseling programs.

Barry University

Miami Shores
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/1/1994 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/1/1999 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/1/1994 to 3/31/2022
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year (Interim Report Required)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/16/2008 to 3/31/2022

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton
M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/5/2004 to 10/31/2023
M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/7/2015 to 10/31/2023
M.Ed. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/5/2004 to 10/31/2023
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/10/2008 to 10/31/2023

Florida Gulf Coast University

Ft. Myers
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/1/2004 to 10/31/2021
M.A. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/1/2004 to 10/31/2021

Florida International University

Miami
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/1/2003 to 10/31/2020
M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 2 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/1/2017 to 10/31/2020
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/1/2003 to 10/31/2020

Florida State University

Tallahassee
M.S./Ed.S. in Career Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/1/1994 to 3/31/2020
M.S./Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 4/12/1994 to 3/31/2020

Hodges University

Ft. Myers
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/11/2012 to 3/31/2022

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 12/1/2017 to 10/31/2027

Lynn University

Boca Raton
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/13/2018 to 10/31/2027

Rollins College

Winter Park
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 10/1/1992 to 10/31/2024

South University, West Palm Beach

Royal Palm Beach
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/9/2013 to 3/31/2023

Stetson University

DeLand
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/2000 to 10/31/2026
M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/2000 to 10/31/2026
M.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 3/1/2002 to 5/31/2019

University of Central Florida

Orlando
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 5/1/1996 to 3/31/2021
M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 7/8/2008 to 3/31/2021
M.A./M.Ed. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 5/1/1996 to 3/31/2021
Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 9/1/2000 to 3/31/2021

University of Florida

Gainesville
Ed.D./Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 10/1/1979 to 8/31/2020
M.S./Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 3/1/1995 to 8/31/2020
M.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 3/1/1995 to 8/31/2020
M.S./Ed.S. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year (Re-Accreditation In-Process)
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 10/1/1979 to 8/31/2020

University of North Florida

Jacksonville
M.Ed. in School Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 5/1/1997 to 3/31/2022
M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 5/1/1997 to 3/31/2022

University of South Florida

Tampa
M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
CACREP Accredited
  • CACREP Status: Accredited, 8 Year
  • CACREP Accreditation Runs: 1/7/2015 to 10/31/2023

All Accredited Schools with Counseling Degrees in

View all programs in below, or jump to all CACREP accredited counseling programs.
Barry University Miami
  • Doctorate - Clinical Counseling
  • Doctorate - Counseling Psychology
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • M.S. in School Counseling
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
City College-Gainesville Gainesville
  • Associates - Mental Health Counseling
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton
  • Doctorate - School Counseling
  • M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.Ed. in School Counseling
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
Florida Gulf Coast University Ft. Myers
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in School Counseling
Florida International University Miami
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • M.S. in School Counseling
Florida State University Tallahassee
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Doctorate - School Counseling
  • M.S./Ed.S. in Career Counseling
  • M.S./Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Hobe Sound Bible College Hobe Sound
  • Associates - Counseling Psychology
  • Bachelors - Counseling Psychology
Hodges University Ft. Myers
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Jacksonville University Jacksonville
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Lynn University Boca Raton
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
Rollins College Winter Park
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary Deerfield Beach
  • Bachelors - Counseling Psychology
South University, West Palm Beach Royal Palm Beach
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Stetson University DeLand
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • M.S. in School Counseling
Trinity Baptist College Jacksonville
  • Bachelors - Counseling Psychology
University of Central Florida Orlando
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • M.A./M.Ed. in School Counseling
  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
University of Florida Gainesville
  • Doctorate - Counseling Psychology
  • Doctorate - Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Doctorate - Mental Health Counseling
  • Doctorate - School Counseling
  • Ed.D./Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • M.S./Ed.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • M.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling
  • M.S./Ed.S. in School Counseling
University of Miami Coral Gables
  • Doctorate - Counseling Psychology
University of North Florida Jacksonville
  • M.Ed. in School Counseling
  • M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
University of South Florida Tampa
  • M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
Counseling Career Guide

Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.