How Do I Become a Service Coordinator?

If you are a compassionate “people person” with the problem-solving and communication skills to help others, you may be wondering how to become a service coordinator. Service coordinators assist community members in finding access to the resources they need. Jobs in service coordination may fall into the job category of human services or social work. Specifically, service coordinators may work to help clients acquire and maintain housing, financial security and their independence.

Service coordinators match community members to services based on their needs. For example, they may help those without health insurance access the medical care they need, including preventive care. For the elderly and the disabled, service coordinators can refer home health aides to assist patients with their medical needs and homemakers to help with cooking meals, or help them register for a meals-on-wheels program. If community members need help maintaining and supporting mental and emotional health, the service coordinator can put them in touch with counselors. Service coordinators also identify community members in need of financial assistance and transportation.

To maximize their benefit to the community, service coordinators typically work with community members who most need their services. This may include senior citizens, low-income families and persons with disabilities. In every client group, service coordinators strive to assist clients in helping themselves by getting the right resources, according to the American Association of Service Coordinators.

To become a service coordinator, you should first earn a college degree. Aspiring service coordinators often pursue bachelor’s degrees in counseling, psychology or social work. Because service coordinators typically must have professional experience to secure a position, candidates should seek out a social services job after graduation. Many aspiring service coordinators spend two to three years working with families or elderly patients in preparation for their later careers. While gaining this professional experience, prospective service coordinators can begin collecting information and build a personal directory of resources and programs to which they may someday refer clients. In these preparatory positions, aspiring service coordinators can develop the organizational, time-management, problem-solving and advocacy skills they will later need.

Service coordinators earn a national average salary of $33,500, according to the American Association of Service Coordinators. This wage is comparable to the $33,840 median salary for all occupations. Though the pay is average, service coordinators may find that they enjoy a high level of satisfaction from helping others. They are the hard-working individuals who help families begin new, stable chapters of their lives. Their assistance allows elderly and disabled community members to get the care they need without having to move into an institution and lets them remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

Do you find it fulfilling to help others solve problems and have the listening skills, communication skills and compassion to make people feel understood and valued? If so, knowing how to become a service coordinator could be the start of a new career helping enhance the lives of community members around you.

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