Social Work Degrees in Iowa – IA

In Iowa, social work licensure is issued by the Iowa Board of Social Work, a part of the Iowa Department of Public Health. A social work degree in Iowa requires at least a bachelor’s degree. There are different levels of licensing, LBSW, LMSW, and LISW, which depend largely on the educational level of the practitioner.

Those considering an Iowa social work credential should be aware that higher levels of certification allow a social worker greater autonomy and more challenging roles. For example, an LBSW (a social worker with a baccalaureate) is allowed to provide counseling, but not therapy -- a distinction that can seem puzzling to those who haven’t had social work training. In Iowa, unlike some other states, a bachelor’s level social worker can enter private practice. He is limited, however, in terms of the job functions he can perform.

The highest level of certification, Licensed Independent Social Worker, has post-masters requirements, which include 4,000 hours of experience, 150 of which must be under supervision of a professional with the appropriate level of certification.

Education does not end with certification. Social workers in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and other Iowa cities will need to take continuing education units in order to keep their certificates current. Some CEUs must be in ethics; others may be in areas of personal interest.

Disclaimer: Program outcomes vary according to each institution's specific curriculum, and employment opportunities are not guaranteed.

Social Worker Schools