Disability Management Practitioners in Demand
In this time of heightened professional accountability, the emphasis on individuals having qualifications relevant to their employment has never been greater.
The rapidly expanding disability management field is also experiencing this trend, as more and more progressive workplaces are recognizing the need for knowledgeable, properly trained disability management professionals who demonstrate commitment to evidence-based professional standards held by leaders in the profession.
Positions in disability management programs are expanding rapidly in North America, Europe, Australia and elsewhere as employers realize the benefits of a professionally developed workplace-based program. Prospective places of employment include industrial work sites, corporate offices, insurance companies, service providers, human resources departments and workers’ compensation organizations. As disability management principles are embraced by small and medium-sized firms, there is an opportunity for experienced professionals to establish their own businesses, offering disability management contract services to local employers. Individuals trained in disability management may find positions as disability managers, disability management professionals, case managers, return to work coordinators and vocational rehabilitation consultants.
A recent survey of more than 1,000 employers, unions and service providers across Canada discovered the following:
- There is currently a shortage of qualified and competent return to work coordinators and disability management professionals.
- More than 75% of employers forecast an increased demand for these individuals in the next two to five years due to an aging workforce and increasing disability costs and return-to-work obligations. (for more information on factors influencing demand, click here.)
- Most employers meet their return-to-work needs through a combination of internal and external resources. Internal employees often have disability management responsibilities in combination with human resources management, occupational health, claims management and health and safety responsibilities.
- Most individuals currently working in the field have a background in occupational health or other health professions and have received direct training in disability management on the job or through workshops. Employers believe that enhanced education would improve disability management outcomes.
- More than 80% of employers believe that a demonstrated professional standard of practice will be very important or extremely important for disability management practitioners. Completion of educational programs at all levels, from certificate to master’s levels, will enhance one’s career prospects.
- Most employers expect to pay disability management practitioners salaries of between $55,000 and $75,000 a year, with those at the most senior levels being paid even more.
Finding Work Online
For additional disability management and return to work career opportunities listings, if you become a CSPDM member, you can benefit by having access to a members only section for such opportunities. These postings are from employers who have asked us to communicate these opportunities specifically to our members.