Skip to content Skip to Live Chat


Patient Care Coordinator Career


What is a Patient Care Coordinator?


A patient care coordinator, also known as a care coordinator or patient navigator, helps manage a patient’s healthcare and treatment needs while also maintaining open lines of communication between a patient and their healthcare providers.

A patient care coordinator works in many different capacities on behalf of patients, including ensuring patients’ needs are met, handling administrative responsibilities, managing human resources and public relations duties, and assisting with a patient’s case management.

In this role, patient care coordinators can work for hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, nursing care facilities, and specialty care centers.


What Does a Patient Care Coordinator Do?

In a nutshell, a patient care coordinator acts as a liaison between patients and their healthcare providers while managing all the details of a patient’s care. As a result, some of the position’s typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Developing healthcare programs.
  • Helping patients complete paperwork.
  • Educating patients about their healthcare options.
  • Maintaining open lines of communication between patients, their families, and healthcare providers.
  • Managing each patient’s case while maintaining confidentiality.
  • Hiring and training staff.
  • Educating patients about their care.
  • Providing referrals to specialists.
  • Supporting concerns from parents, including communicating between a child’s primary care physician and other service providers.
  • Monitoring a patient’s progress toward their healthcare goals.
  • Making sure a patient receives high-quality care.
  • Solving a wide array of problems when they arise.
  • Recruiting and training staff.


How Do I Become a Patient Care Coordinator?

To become a patient care coordinator, you’ll likely need to obtain a bachelor's degree in health and human services or a related area of study. Care coordinators benefit greatly from practical experience in clinical settings, as well as an understanding of the business considerations of healthcare. Still, it’s important to emphasize that education needs largely depend on each employer’s requirements.

With these details in mind, 32.1% of patient care coordinators have a bachelor's degree, while 9.3% have master's degrees. Each of these programs helps students learn about medical coding, finance, office procedures, and transcription to prepare for their job as a patient care coordinator.

Best Degrees for a Patient Care Coordinator

Health & Nursing

Health and Human Services – B.S.

An online health degree program for students who are committed to making a...

An online health degree program for students who are committed to making a difference for patients in a variety of ways.

  • Time: 63% of students finish this program in 24 months
  • Tuition: $4,085 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 35 total courses in this program

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Epidemiology
  • Community and Public Health
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Pathophysiology
  • Healthcare Values and Ethics
  • Substance Abuse Support

This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also directly working with patients who need help.

How Much Does a Patient Care Coordinator Make?


According to ZipRecruiter, patient care coordinators in the United States earn an average of $42,641 per year. This number includes a low of $25,500 and a high of $60,000 annually. Location, level of experience, and level of education all influence how much a patient care coordinator is paid.

What is the Projected Job Growth?

8% reports: "While the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't report employment data for patient care coordinators, it does report data for medical records and health information technicians. These professionals share administrative roles with patient care coordinators. According to the BLS, medical records and health information technicians can expect an employment growth of 8% from 2022 to 2032."


What Skills Does a Patient Care Coordinator Need?

Patient care coordinators need a wide variety of skills to adequately perform their job duties and address patient’s needs. Some of the most common include:

  • Medical knowledge — Because patient care coordinators are tasked with communicating information between patients and providers while also answering questions about a patient’s concerns, they need to have a working familiarity with medical terminology, conditions, and treatment options. However, most positions don’t require patient care coordinators to maintain medical expertise, which is left in the hands of physicians.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills — Without solid verbal and written skills, patient care coordinators can’t effectively communicate between patients and their healthcare providers.
  • Computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office — Part of communicating effectively involves working with computers and the Microsoft Office suite, so patient care coordinators must be proficient.
  • Customer service — Care coordinators need to be able to address a patient’s concerns and determine the best solutions quickly, whether over the phone, through email, or in person.
  • Compassionate and empathetic nature  — Patient care coordinators need to understand what patients are going through, empathize with their needs, and respond compassionately. This helps ensure patients comply with their prescribed treatment plans while also creating a level of trust.
  • Above-average critical thinking skills — The outcomes of a patient’s treatment plans can largely hinge on a care coordinator’s decision-making skills since they can impact many different steps in the process, including the best ways for patients to continue their treatment or recover from their illnesses.
  • Organization and attention to detail — Patient care coordinators work with several patients at the same time, including their financial data, medical history, prescription medications, treatment plans, and multiple nurses and primary care providers. Thus, patient care coordinators need to remain organized and pay attention to details to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
  • Analytical skills — Patient care coordinators need to have strong analytical skills and the ability to handle multiple tasks concurrently.

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

Next Start Date

Interested in Becoming a Patient Care Coordinator?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.