Medical and Health Services Managers Career Guide

by TBS Staff

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Medical and health services managers coordinate administrative and executive services in healthcare organizations.

Essential Career Information for Medical and Health Services Managers
Median Annual Salary $99,730 per year
Employment Growth Forecast from 2018-2028 18% (Much faster than average)
Number of New Jobs from 2018-2028 +71,600
Average Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
Annual Salary of the Highest 10% $182,600
Annual Salary of the Lowest 10% $58,680

Source: BLS

What  Are Medical and Health Services Managers?

Medical and health services managers coordinate administrative and executive services in healthcare organizations. Also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, these professionals help to ensure that their department or facility meets budgetary, compliance, and human resources goals. Health services managers need acute knowledge of adaptive technology and healthcare laws and regulations.

Alternate Job Titles

  • Clinic Director
  • Clinical Services Director
  • Emergency Medical Service Coordinator
  • Health Care Manager
  • Health Services Administrator
  • Health Services Director
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Healthcare Manager
  • Hospice Director
  • Hospice Plan Administrator
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Hospital Director
  • Medical Director
  • Medical Records Administrator
  • Medical and Health Information Manager
  • Mental Health Program Manager
  • Nursing Home Manager
  • Nursing Service Director
  • Occupational Therapy Director
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Respiratory Therapy Director
  • Speech and Hearing Therapy Director
  • Wellness Director
  • Wellness Manager

What Do Medical and Health Services Managers Do?

Medical and health services managers oversee the executive functions of a medical facility, department, or group practice. They must stay abreast of the latest laws and regulations in the healthcare field, as well as new technological developments affecting medical records management and healthcare service providers. Many medical services managers begin as administrative assistants or clinical technicians in healthcare facilities.

Healthcare executives routinely perform the following job duties:

  • Recruit and train staff

  • Manage patient billing and accounting systems

  • Maintain compliance regarding healthcare laws and regulations

  • Speak on behalf of their organization to benefactors and board members

  • Draft and monitor budgets and spending

  • Supervise department managers

  • Maintain and organize service records

Healthcare administrators may specialize in nursing home, clinical, or health information management. They frequently collaborate with healthcare professionals, including nurses, physicians, and laboratory technicians, as well as patients and insurance agents. Therefore, these professionals need advanced communication, interpersonal, analytical, and leadership skills.

Become a Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical services managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree; however, many employers prefer, if not require, a master's degree. While all states require nursing home administrators to hold a license, state requirements vary for other health services management professionals.

Prospective medical and health services managers benefit from gaining experience relevant to their intended specialty.

Prospective medical and health services managers benefit from gaining experience relevant to their intended specialty. For instance, prospective clinical managers may first work as administrative assistants to gain related experience, while professionals seeking careers in health information management may initially work as medical records technicians.

Associate Degree Programs

While an associate degree does not meet the field's minimum education requirement, students can gain relevant foundational training before transferring to a bachelor's in healthcare administration or healthcare management. Graduates can also pursue roles such as administrative assistant and financial clerk to build experience for a medical and health services management career.

An associate degree in healthcare management typically comprises 60 credits and takes two years of full-time study to complete, though some online programs offer faster completion times. In addition to general education courses, students take healthcare management courses on topics such as medical office procedures, accounting, and medical coding. Many associate programs require a capstone project or project management course to culminate the degree.

Graduates of an associate program can often seamlessly transfer to a bachelor's program in healthcare administration or management, earning the four-year degree with just two additional years of study.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Most healthcare executives, including nursing home administrators, health information managers, and clinical managers, need at least a bachelor's degree to qualify for employment. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or management or a bachelor's in business administration with a healthcare management concentration.

Most bachelor's degrees comprise 120 credits and span four years of full-time study, though many schools offer faster completion times through online programs. Students take general education and major courses. Major courses cover topics like healthcare technology applications, healthcare operations management, and financial resource management in healthcare. Students typically culminate the degree with a capstone course.

Graduates can pursue medical and health services management jobs or advanced training through a master's degree.

Master's Degree Programs

Many employers prefer medical and health services managers to hold a master's degree, particularly for senior positions. Aspiring medical and health services managers may pursue a master's in healthcare administration or management, or an MBA with a concentration in healthcare management.

Most master's degrees comprise 30-40 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete, though many schools offer online healthcare management degrees with accelerated completion times. Courses explore topics like health information technology, care delivery and payment models, and U.S. healthcare standards and systems. Students typically culminate the degree with a capstone project.

Graduates may qualify for advanced supervisory or managerial roles in hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, or residential care facilities.

Doctoral Degree Programs

A Ph.D. in healthcare administration qualifies graduates for the top positions in the field. Graduates may also work as postsecondary instructors or research scientists focused on healthcare policy. Students take advanced courses in healthcare administration before proposing, researching, writing, and defending a dissertation in their chosen specialty. Doctoral degrees require a significant time investment, typically taking 3-7 years to complete, though online programs may offer accelerated completion times.

Students may complete a Ph.D. in healthcare administration or a doctor of healthcare administration (DHA). Many Ph.D. graduates work as college professors in healthcare administration and management programs, while DHA graduates often work as administrative leaders in healthcare.

Professional Licenses and Certification

Generally, states do not require licensure for medical and health services managers; however, nursing home administrators need a license to practice. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree from a state-approved program and pass a national credentialing exam administered through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

Medical services managers may pursue voluntary certification in areas like health information management or medical management to advance their careers and demonstrate their expertise to potential employers. In the competitive healthcare sector, healthcare managers and administrators with an advanced degree and professional certification enjoy the most career opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a degree in health services management?

Graduates with health services management degrees often work as nursing home administrators, clinical managers, and health information managers.

Is health services management a good career?

Among the fastest-growing employment sectors, jobs for medical and health services managers are projected to grow by 18% through 2028.

How much do health service managers make?

Medical and health services managers earned an annual average salary of nearly $100,000 in 2018, with the top earners working for the government.

How do you become a health service manager?

Many entry-level health services management positions require a bachelor's degree, though employers increasingly prefer candidates with a master's degree and professional experience.

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