Clinical Coordinator: Salary and Career Facts

Clinical coordinators oversee specialized health service units and typically have backgrounds in the type of clinic or unit they supervise, such as an oncology or occupational therapy unit. Learn about job duties and salary projections for clinical coordinators. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Clinical Coordinator?

Clinical coordinators, sometimes called clinical managers, are responsible for the day-to-day functioning of a department, program or division in a hospital or other type of healthcare setting. They usually have a degree and several years of experience working in the type of clinic they oversee. There are clinical coordinators who work in radiology, occupational therapy and cardiology departments; wound care centers; residential drug treatment centers; hemodialysis clinics and many other areas.

While tasks do vary, clinical coordinators are usually responsible for hiring and scheduling, assigning patients to staff and providing staff support. They also often compute budgets, implement policies and procedures, evaluate personnel and prepare reports.

Positions can also be found within academic settings. For example, with a background as a radiologic technologist, you could work as a clinical coordinator in a radiologic technology program at a college. Your duties would typically include advising, lecturing and recruiting students. You might also be responsible for developing curriculum, supervising adjunct faculty, handling budget issues, overseeing fieldwork projects or coordinating the clinical component of a program.

What Are the Education and Experience Requirements?

The type of degree you'll need depends on the nature of your work as well as where you'll be employed. To become a clinical coordinator in a surgery department, for example, you will generally need a bachelor's degree in nursing and experience as a medical-surgical nurse. To be a clinical coordinator in a physical therapy department, you need to be a licensed physical therapist, which involves obtaining a doctorate in physical therapy. You'll generally need at least a master's degree for an academic position, though some schools may accept candidates who are still pursuing their master's.

An employer might also request any necessary certifications - for example, you might need to be a Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN) in order to work in a dialysis clinic. Many clinical coordinator positions also require several years of supervisory experience.

What Salary Might I Expect?

Your salary will vary depending on a number of factors, including your level of education and experience, the types of certifications you hold and where you work. For example, an August 2012 search on the website PayScale.com found that most clinical nursing coordinators made between approximately $41,000-$87,000, and most physical therapy managers made between $67,000-$92,000.

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