Case Manager: Career Summary, Occupational Outlook, and Educational Requirements

Research what it takes to become a case manager. Learn about degree requirements, career outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Case managers work in various industries to assist individuals in connecting with social services and coping with life dilemmas. Registered nurses and social workers, which can both be in case management roles, are profiled in the table below. Read about the education requirements, as well as career data.

Registered Nurses Social Workers
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Nursing Social work
Key Skills Attention to detail, emotional stability, physical stamina Problem-solving, listening, compassion, organization, interpersonal
Licensure/Certification Licensure is required in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; certification is optional Licensing requirements vary by state
Job Growth (2012-2022) 19%* 27% (for all healthcare social workers)*
Median Salary (2013) $66,220* $50,820 (for all healthcare social workers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Duties of a Case Manager?

As a case manager, you manage resources within a healthcare environment to ensure that services meet your clients' needs. You may also help identify goals and then develop a system that allows clients to achieve these goals. Case managers are usually nurses or social workers that have experience working within the healthcare and social services field. Case managers have to maintain constant communication with their clients by following up on their status, health services and goal outcome. They work in offices at clinics, hospitals, health facilities, and public and nonprofit sectors, and specialize in healthcare, mental health, addiction, aging, HIV/AIDS, child welfare, immigration and occupational services.

What Is My Occupational Outlook?

The Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) reports that the need for qualified case managers is expected to grow in order to address the increasing elderly population, a growing number of patients suffering from chronic illness, and the impact of managed care and additional regulation (www.ccmcertification.org). The median salary of case managers was $71,293 per year in October 2014, according to Salary.com.

What Education Do I Need?

Case managers must complete a 4-year undergraduate degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or Social Work, along with two to four years of clinical experience. They should consider earning certification in order to establish their career and ensure their clients that they have obtained the required training.

You may obtain certification from the CCMC or the Case Management Society of America (www.cmsa.org). The certification process usually includes courses, such as case studies, ethical issues, patient rights, outcome management and healthcare delivery systems. Certification classes are for licensed nurses or social workers with experience in the field. Case managers also should renew their certifications and increase their credentials as case management administrator, life care planner or disability management specialist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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