This area was originally called Ban Sawang Chaeng Sabai Chai. In a Thai-Burmese war of Ayutthaya era, the troops began fighting in the Lat Yao District area at night and finished at the village in the morning. To commemorate this battle the government renamed the village Sawang Arom in 1961.
The Sawang Arom minor district (king amphoe) was established in 1960 as a subordinate of Thap Than District by splitting off four sub-districts from Thap Than. It was upgraded to a full district in 1963.
The district is divided into five sub-districts (tambons), which are further subdivided into 64 villages (mubans). Sawang Arom is a sub-district municipality (thesaban tambon) which covers parts of tambon Sawang Arom. There are a further five tambon administrative organizations (TAO).