As positions for nurses and other medical workers increase, so do jobs for those who oversee the staff and operations at hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices.
Health services managers have careers in these important positions. Some manage an entire operation. Others oversee large departments within an operation or a clinical area. In all cases, they need expertise in business as well as in healthcare finance and regulations.
It’s a growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 20% increase in the number of health service managers nationwide by 2026.*
What Is a Health Services Manager?
A health services manager may work under many different names. In some cases, they are called healthcare administrator or healthcare executive. Whatever the title, the job involves overseeing a healthcare operation.
The type of facility can include a chain of doctor’s offices, a hospital, a community clinic or a large department within a medical facility. Those departments can range from business-oriented areas such as healthcare records and accounting to clinical areas.
Health services managers need leadership and business skills, coupled with a deep understanding of how the healthcare system operates. That includes not only the costs of providing care, but also the often-shifting details of insurance policies and government regulations.
What Do Health Services Managers Do?
The job duties of a health services manager depend greatly on where they work and the exact nature of their job. However, according to the BLS, duties typically include:
- Developing a plan, often in coordination with other managers, for the goals of a department or facility
- Continuously working to make operations more effective and efficient
- Keeping up with laws and regulations that impact the healthcare industry and ensuring that the operation they oversee is in compliance
- Working with human resources to recruit, train and retain staff members
- Monitoring all the finances of a facility or department, making sure it stays profitable and within budget
- Identifying members of staff who are good candidates for management
- Creating work schedules for the team
- Representing the facility or department at meetings and conferences
- Using leadership skills to guide the organization
It’s a challenging career but a highly rewarding one.
How Much Do Health Services Managers Earn?
Many medical operations pay healthcare managers very well. Nationwide, medical and health service managers make a mean annual salary of $113,730, according to the BLS. Generally, hospitals and surgery centers pay the most, followed by doctors’ clinics, outpatient care centers and nursing facilities.
How Can You Become a Health Services Manager?
According to the BLS, health services managers generally need at least a bachelor’s degree; however, master’s degrees are common and can be preferred by employers. Degrees that combine healthcare and business and have courses on topics such as information management, healthcare organizations, medical ethics and healthcare planning.
Florida Tech’s MBA in Healthcare Management online provides students with a comprehensive understanding of business and healthcare. From the medical aspects of information management to legal responsibility, the degree program teaches students how to apply theories of leadership, management and negotiation in a healthcare setting.
Is Healthcare Services the Right Path For You?
Healthcare can prove as much a calling as a career for many who work in the profession. That’s because it’s a career built around helping others. That’s true even for those who work in administration. Their focus is on operating a facility that provides the best patient care possible.
Success in the field requires business acumen as well as leadership skills, such as the ability to communicate well. Health services managers need to be detail-oriented, dependable and reliable. Integrity is also essential in a job where people need to trust and respect you as a leader.
Healthcare management jobs require dedication, commitment and the development of expertise. But for those with the ambition and the commitment to obtain the education needed to excel in the job, it’s a rewarding career path.
Florida Tech offers associate, bachelor’s and graduate degrees in healthcare management online to prepare professionals to meet challenges and find opportunities in today’s healthcare industry. To learn about Florida Tech’s healthcare management degrees, click here.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited April 24, 2019).
National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth. Information provided is not intended to represent a complete list of hiring companies or job titles, and program options do not guarantee career or salary outcomes. Students should conduct independent research for specific employment information.