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Referral Coordinator: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for referral coordinators. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, salary, and job outlook to determine if this is the right career for you.

Career Information At a Glance

Referral coordinators provide much needed support in different various medical places. The table below provides an outline of the general requirements for this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's, master's degree
Education Field of Study Counseling, sociology
Training Required 1 year of supervised experience
Key Responsibilities Processing patient files, providing on-site care and health advisory information, organizing patient files
Job Growth (2018-2028) 11% for all medical records and health information technicians*
Median Salary (2018) $40,350 for medical records and health information technicians*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is a Referral Coordinator?

In general, referral coordinators provide clerical and administrative support within mental health and medical settings. Their main task is often to facilitate and coordinate patient referrals for mental health care. Providing referrals, however, may also be part of a social worker's duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that in addition to providing counseling and educational information, healthcare social workers handle referrals for additional services (www.bls.gov). They may also develop a specialty and hold positions such as hospice or public health social workers.

The BLS also indicates that medical records and health information technicians may work as cancer registrars. While this isn't the same position as a referral coordinator, you may want to further explore this area as it is involved with collecting, coding, analyzing and maintaining patient data.

What Tasks Might I Perform?

As a referral coordinator working within a medical group or healthcare facility, the bulk of your tasks might include processing and organizing patient referrals. You may also provide on-site care and health advisory information for an affiliated healthcare company, according to a July 2012 search at for referral coordinator positions at CareerBuilder.com. In other positions, such as that of a care coordinator, you would specialize in assisting Medicaid clients, as indicated by another July 2012 CareerBuilder.com search.

If you also have the duties of a healthcare social worker, your tasks may include assisting clients and their families with locating community-based services or advocating on their behalf when legal, financial and employment assistance is needed. You might choose to specialize in providing a specific type of medical or mental health referral. For example, O*Net OnLine states that healthcare social workers may hold position titles such as oncology or renal social workers (www.onetonline.org), and these workers specialize in one particular branch of the healthcare field.

According to a July 2012 search for referral and resource coordinator jobs at Monster.com, you may also be able to find a part-time position working at a university mental health and counseling center. Some positions may also require travel, such as those of referral coordinators who work for hospice centers.

What Requirements Do I Need to Fulfill?

The BLS indicates entry-level management positions in this field usually require a bachelor's degree, while other positions may require a combination of a master's degree and a minimum of a year of supervised experience. If you don't have prior administrative experience, but do have professional experience as a physical therapist, for example, you may be able to obtain an administrative position. Some bachelor's degree programs that may prepare you for the career include those in sociology, counseling or a related field.

If you're interested in becoming a social worker, the BLS indicates you'll need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in social work. A master's degree in social work would be required if you want to work in a clinical practice. Since licensing requirements differ, you'll want to refer to the specific requirements for the state within which you'd like to work. If you work for a government agency, however, you may be exempt.

What Salary Could I Expect?

In May 2018, the BLS reported that medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $99,730. Medical records and health information technicians, according to the same report, earned a median annual salary of $40,350. The BLS also reported the projected job growth for 2018-2028 for the same group is faster than average at 11%.

While the May 2018 BLS report stated that social workers earned a median annual salary of $63,140, the May 2018 report for healthcare social workers stated that professionals in this specialty earned a median annual wage of $56,200. The BLS also reported the projected job growth for 2018-2028 for social workers was faster than average at 11%.