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

Case managers work in the healthcare system to ensure that resources are efficiently utilized to help patients. Find out about the typical duties of the job, see what education is required, and learn what the predictions are for future job growth in this occupation. Schools offering Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

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 middle half of case managers earned from $61,925-$73,936 per year in 2011, 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.

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