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Case Manager Career & Salary Outlook
A public health case manager is a person who helps others improve the quality of their lives. These highly desired professionals work to facilitate the unique care and services that individuals need. Many case managers work with the individual to deal with personal and family problems, and others will help people to deal with disability, disease, social problems, domestic problems and more. Still other case managers may do research, work to improve services in certain essential public health areas, or work in development of social policy.
A public health case manager may find work in government, human service organizations and agencies, social service centers, hospitals, mental health facilities and substance abuse centers.
Job Outlook for Case Managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has found that the employment of case managers in many fields, including public health, should grow much faster than average in the next 10 years. We should see expanding job growth because of the growing U.S. population, particularly in minority demographics. Also, the elderly population is growing, as the baby boomer generation enters retirement. This will cause a higher demand for many health and social services.
Public health social workers, and case managers, should see an increase in employment of about 22% in the next decade. Again, this is due to the spike in the elderly population. See more Public health careers.
Case Manager Job Duties
A case manager in public health tries to coordinate the health care, developmental and educational programs for needy children, adults and also families. A case manager often provides instructions and intervention services to assist people in avoiding various health and social problems. A case manager also will do screenings of applicants to determine if they are eligible for public assistance. Also, a case manager will do follow up work after the services have been provided to the family or individual.
Most case managers will spend most of their time in an office, a hospital or a government agency. There are occasions where case managers will need to travel to see clients, service providers or attend continuing education meetings. Most of these professionals will work a 40 hour week, but you should know that many case managers can be occasionally overwhelmed with case work. This is particularly the case recently, due to state budget cuts.
As a case manager, you will need to have excellent communications skills, as well as superior interpersonal skills. You will need to have a great amount of empathy and patience, as you are dealing with people usually who are in a difficult and stressful time of their lives. You also need to have a great attention to detail, as you must keep very accurate records of casework.
You also will need to have excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills, and to be able to work very well in a team setting.
Salary Potential of Case Managers
Median annual wages for case managers in the social service average around $39,000. The median annual salaries for social workers in the medical and public health fields is about $46,600. You will find that if you have a bachelor’s degree, you will earn from the mid 30s to low 40s per year. You can definitely improve your salary potential by obtaining a master’s degree in public health.
Case Manager Education and Training
Generally, a case manager position will require at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or in social work. You also can possibly qualify for a case manager position with a sociology degree or another liberal arts degree. You will probably need a master’s degree in social work or in masters in public health for you to be able to get a position in a school, a health institution, or to be able to do any clinical work.
A good educational path is to complete a degree in psychology, and focus on such courses as lifespan development, multiculturalism, learning/motivation, abnormal psychology and social psychology. Then, you can work on getting your MPH Degree or in social work to get into higher paying positions with more responsibility. See online mph degree programs.