Bullying, abuse, neglect, grief, anxiety and depression are just a few of the challenges facing a case manager. Often used interchangeably with the term social worker, one of the main duties of this social services professional is case management. When given a "client," the case manager must assess the needs of the individual and come up with a plan to improve the person's life. Employers typically seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in social work, but a degree in psychology or sociology may also get you an interview. Other prerequisites may include a master’s degree in social work or a related field and a licensure to practice in the state. Salary varies by employer and location.
In 2012, social workers earned an average of $45,300 a year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10 percent of earners made more than $71,000 a year, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $26,720 a year. But none of these figures account for employer or location -- two factors with some bearing over earnings.
The largest sector of case managers works for the state government, but don’t earn the highest pay. As of 2012, the average salary was $44,270 a year. Those working for the local government averaged $50,600 a year, while those working for individual and family services made $38,520 a year.
As with any job, location affects salaries, and case managers are no exception. Of the states, those working in Connecticut earned the highest wages, at an average of $61,930 a year. Social workers in New Jersey were a close second, averaging $61,090, while those in Minnesota ranked third, earning an average of $57,770. The lowest wages were found in West Virginia, where salaries averaged at just $30,510 a year.
The BLS expects employment for social workers to grow by 25 percent through 2020. This is almost twice as fast as the average for all U.S. occupations, a project 14 percent. Being a relatively large field, the 25-percent growth rate should equate to the creation of over 161,000 new jobs -- the majority of which will be in child, family and school social work.