What is the difference between LSW and LCSW?

What is the difference between LSW and LCSW? Topic: What is a research question psychology
July 17, 2019 / By Jude
Question: I am currently enrolled in the Psychology program in undergraduate studies. As I am entering my junior year, I have been researching the different (and numerous) career options so that I may acquire any necessary experience I will need to get into the graduate level program I would like. I know the technical differences between the LSW and LCSW (such as the LCSW requirement that you complete 3000 hrs, etc.) My question, however, is how those differences demonstrate themselves in the real world. I would like to be a counselor or therapist or some sort, most likely working with adolescents and mental illness, working with substance abuse in adults and adolescents, or working with victims of sexual abuse. While I know my interests and can picture my "ideal job", I am still trying figure out, with so many different routes to take, which route will get me to the job that I am picturing. So, what will LCSW allow me to do that a LSW would not? Does it boil down to salary/being more marketable or does it affect what kind of therapist I could be as well? I'm not very concerned with salary, but want to know that I am on the right track. Please feel free to expand and cover other "degrees" as well; any knowledge you can share would be most appreciated. In response to the first answer, if you don't even know what LSW and LCSW mean, don't answer. Duh?
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Best Answers: What is the difference between LSW and LCSW?

Harper Harper | 10 days ago
Depends on which state you come from. Frequently, the difference is that LSW has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, whereas the LCSW has a Master's degree -- going by that definition, LCSWs would be more in demand and are paid more -- but, regulations vary by state. The ASWB offers a nice table listing the definition of state licensing credentials: https://www.datapathdesign.com/ASWB/Laws... Peruse the licensing basics for more info: http://www.aswb.org/SWL/licensingbasics.... Either way, becoming an adolescent therapist generally means obtaining a Master's degree after you're done with college. Social Work is a fine field to go into, but in most states you can also become licensed with a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Counseling Psychology, or Clinical Psychology. You'd need to check the courses and practicum experience (clinical training during grad school) offered in each program (school) to make sure that you can be trained to work with adolescents or substance abuse. All programs will address mental illness, but not all programs will offer concentrated training with adolescents or with substance abuse.
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I disagree with the idea that an LSW is a bachelors license. I think LSW is an MSW without the 3000 hours of clinical experience you usually get while doing your MSW (fieldwork). So, LSWs need to be supervised by LCSWs in order to do counseling. As many MSWs can be gotten online, the fieldwork is not included, so the clinical hours must be gotten later during a first paid job in the field.
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If you're studying psychology then you're not getting an anything "SW"... That stands for Social Work... Which, from my understanding, you get from a fully CSWE accredited school. Also, "Most MSWs are online"??? I think not... not real ones anyways... not accredited ones. More BSWs are being offered online but I believe only one school in Southern California provides an accredited MSW online degree at the moment...
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