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Service Coordinators: Job Outlook & Career Info

Apr 21, 2019

Find out what service coordinators do. Learn about the required education and training. See what the career outlook is to decide if this job is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Service Coordinator

A service coordinator, also known as a case manager, works to help clients with disabilities, the elderly, people in need of at-home healthcare, recovering substance users, and low-income families to access the services they need. They advocate for their clients' care, explain all of the service options available, help plan services, and keep records of the choices made and services offered. Service coordinators are typically employed by government agencies and healthcare providers, as well as some non-profit organizations.

Education Associate's or bachelor's degree; certification is available
Job Skills Ethical, service-oriented, ability to keep up with policies and regulations
Median Salary (2018) $44,960
Job Growth (2016-2016) 18% (social and community service managers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most service coordinators have either associate's or bachelor's degrees in the fields of healthcare administration, psychology or social work. The American Association of Service Coordinators, www.servicecoordinator.org, offers a Professional Service Coordinator (PSC) certification program that includes coursework in communication, federal programs, documentation, standards and ethics, and elective courses depending on a service coordinator's areas of interest and specialty.

Skills Required

Service coordinators uphold a set of ethics that emphasize human dignity, social justice, and integrity. They are naturally service-oriented and capable of anticipating the needs of others. Working as a service coordinator requires keeping up with the changing policies and regulations that govern social service programs.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), expects that management jobs in the field of social services will grow much faster than average (18%) from 2016-2026. Increased life expectancy and the increased complexity of social service programs will generate demand for service coordinators to help navigate options for the populations they serve. The BLS reports that the median annual salary earned by community and social service professionals was $44,960 in May 2018. The highest paid service coordinators worked in the District of Columbia, California and Connecticut that year.

Alternate Career Options

Other career options within this field include:

Health Educators

Health educators teach people about relevant health issues and how to live healthier lives, connecting them with appropriate health care services as necessary. They develop and run outreach programs depending on the needs of their communities and then assess the success of those programs. Health educators, with at least a bachelor's degree in health education, can find employment in a variety of settings, such as colleges, health care facilities, and public health departments. Health educators can earn the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential; some employers require it. The BLS predicts that health educators will see faster-than-average job growth from 2016-2026 - an increase of 14%. According to the BLS, health educators earned median pay of $54,220 in 2018, with the highest levels of employment found in hospitals, local government agencies, and individual and family services agencies.

Rehabilitation Counselor

With the education and training received through a master's degree program in rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation counselors help people who have conditions that affect their ability to live independently, whether it's physical, mental, emotional or social in nature. Rehabilitation counselors assess their clients and help them determine what kinds of services would be most appropriate to meet their needs, such as job training. Rehabilitation counselors serve clients through schools, correctional facilities, and independent-living and rehabilitation agencies. Some states regulate the employment of rehabilitation counselors - licensure requirements typically include education, experience, and an exam. The Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credential may also be required by employers. The BLS predicts that jobs for rehabilitation counselors will increase 13% from 2016-2026. The agency also reports that this occupation paid a median salary of $35,630 in 2018; the top-paying industries, based on average salaries, were insurance hospitals and education support services.

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