Case Manager Career Information
Case managers collaborate with doctors and other healthcare officials as well as social service providers to help assess and plan the care of their clients. Case managers advocate on behalf of their clients and link them with appropriate care options and treatment plans. Case managers typically need a bachelor's degree or higher. Since certification can be optional, and completed after being extended an offer of employment, you should be readily able to complete the education requirements for this career using online resources.
|Required Skills||Communication skills, empathy, advocacy skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills|
|Job Growth||11% for 2018-2028 (for all social workers)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$49,470 (for all social workers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Steps for Becoming a Case Manager Online
Case managers typically have a bachelor's degree or master's degree. Certification is optional and is often completed by those already working professionally as case managers. With the exception of meeting work experience and testing requirements for certification, all of the following steps can utilize online resources.
Step 1: Earn Your Bachelor Degree
Having a bachelor degree can be considered the minimum requirement for working as a case manager. Some relevant bachelor's degrees programs include human services or social work. These online degree programs typically take four years to complete, although program duration can depend on a number of factors, mainly your status as either a full-time or part-time student. In addition to online courses, these programs can include extensive in-person field requirements.
Step 2: Complete a Master's Degree Program
Individuals wishing to become case managers might elect to complete a master's degree program. A master's degree isn't necessarily required for all case manager roles; however, it might be preferred by employers or required of individuals working in clinical settings. Degrees such as a Master of Social Work or Master of Science in Human Services can help you qualify to work as a case manager. These degree programs can likewise be completed through a combination of online coursework and on-site components, such as campus residencies to help develop your skills. These programs can typically be completed in two years and might allow you to concentrate on an area such as family and community services or organizational and social services.
Step 3: Consider Certification
Although not technically a requirement in general, certification can help you become better qualified for advancement, command compensation increases, or improve your employment prospects. The Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) offers not only certification, but also online preparation materials for the certification exam, including an official app to help you study the relevant terminology and concepts, practice exams, an online eligibility guide, and video guides about the certification process itself. CCMC also offers live webinar workshops that you can view over the internet. The certification exam itself, however, will need to be completed at an official testing center. Additionally, certification typically requires at least 12 months of experience, which will need to be completed in person.