what is a case manager?

As a case manager, your role is to collaborate with the medical team to provide patients with specialised care by coordinating the required services and professionals. Essentially, you are a healthcare professional and specialised social worker who manages and coordinates ongoing care for clinical patients, especially those with chronic illnesses who require long-term care.

Although you are not responsible for providing clinical care, you oversee that the treatment plan meets the patient's needs. You work with other healthcare professionals to enhance the patients' well-being, and you require in-depth knowledge of each case to advocate for the patients. You also collaborate with social services to manage care administration and coordinate with financial services and insurance companies to organise payments for patient treatments.

Apart from working in clinical settings, you may also work in communities. As a case manager, you assist individuals in accessing government and community services to enhance their quality of life. You can work in mining communities and with vulnerable people to ensure they receive the necessary support.

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average case manager salary

If you work as a case manager, your annual salary is typically around $73,000. Starting in a junior position, your initial salary is $60,000 per year for entry-level tasks that require minimal qualifications. As you gain more skills and experience, your earnings increase due to the valuable knowledge you bring to the table. With a few years of experience, case managers can earn up to $75,000 per year.

how to increase your salary as a case manager

The compensation package for case managers is dependent on their qualifications and expertise. Although it is possible to pursue this career without formal education, your earnings may be lower compared to those with academic credentials. By taking social work and community services courses, you can enhance your knowledge of the role and increase your earning potential.

During the initial years of your career, you will be acquiring new skills and gaining experience in the role. As a result, your salary may be lower than that of a case manager with several years of experience. Additionally, the specialisation area may also impact your remuneration. For example, a home case manager may earn less than a clinical or health insurance case manager who handles multiple patients daily.

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types of case managers

Your job depends on your patient's needs, and some of the specialisation options available include:

  • hospital case manager: as a case manager, you ensure patients receive the appropriate healthcare services. Some case managers are nurses who assess patient conditions and perform discharge planning. You also speak with the insurer to ensure the treatment options are cost-effective.
  • health insurance case manager: as a case manager, you receive patient information from hospital case managers, social workers or healthcare providers. Your job is to evaluate the health insurance needs of a patient and ensure they receive the best and most affordable care.
  • home health case manager: as a community or home case manager, you provide hands-on care to patients by coordinating teams and communicating with insurance companies to provide the best care. You also supervise nurses in patients’ homes and implement care plans with various service providers.
Female sitting in a green chair looking up
Female sitting in a green chair looking up

working as a case manager

As a case manager, you work with patients and their families to evaluate and coordinate care needs. Let's explore the specific responsibilities, work schedules and career outlooks of case managers.


education and skills

Educational qualifications are not compulsory for case managers, but knowledge of community services gives you an added advantage in the job market. Some of the qualifications include:

  • educational qualifications: to become a case manager, pursue a certificate in community services at a TAFE or college. There are no admission requirements for community courses. Alternatively, complete a diploma in community services. To broaden your career prospects, complete a bachelor's degree in social science, social work or community services. The degree courses take up to four years to complete.
  • relevant checks: to work as a case manager, you require up-to-date immunisations. You should also meet all the relevant checks, such as the Working with Children Check or National Police Check.

case manager skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a case manager include:

  • clinical skills: as a case manager, you act as the bridge between patients and doctors. Hence, you require knowledge of medical procedures to explain them accurately to patients and their families. Clinical skills also help you understand a patient’s health conditions and recommend the best care team.
  • empathy: as a case manager, you benefit from understanding a patient's feelings and background. Empathy helps you relate with patients and advocate for their needs. With empathy, you can build relationships with patients since they trust and know you have their best interests at heart.
  • communication skills: as a case manager, having strong communication skills is essential. Active listening is crucial in understanding patients' needs, while clear communication helps in transmitting important information to doctors, patients, and insurance companies. With excellent communication skills, you can explain complex medical information in simple terms that patients and their families can understand.
  • organisation skills: as a case manager, it is important to be organised to provide the best care to patients. Organisation skills help you address patient concerns and meet all your appointments with patients and insurance companies.
  • collaboration skills: as a case manager, you work with various professionals to improve the quality of life for your patients. Collaboration skills help you work with family members and insurance companies.

FAQs about working as a case manager

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a case manager.

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