In any doctor’s office or hospital, there is always an office manager working behind the scenes to make sure business operations run smoothly. This individual is often the first to arrive and the last to leave, and serves as the point-person for inquiries. The office manager typically coordinates the hiring and managing of support staff, manages relationships with vendors and suppliers, and may even help make bank deposits or take care of other financial matters.
Job Outlook for Office Managers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of office managers should increase 7 to 13% through 2018. Competition can be tight for office manager positions in healthcare, as there are often more applicants than there are openings. Office managers with strong communications, leadership and team-building skills – and those with an understanding of the challenges of healthcare management – will have the upper hand in landing the most desirable jobs.
Office managers are generally in charge of ordering and maintaining business supplies and equipment, and managing the office budget. He or she may also coordinate the schedules of executives and assign departmental resources to projects. In many healthcare organizations, the office manager may take on additional duties such as conducting new-employee training and orientation, coordinating contracts and liaising with payroll.
Most office manager positions are 9-to-5 jobs; however, like many careers within the healthcare industry, they can also be fast-paced and hectic. If you’re in charge of a large practice or a hospital with facilities, the pressure can be significant. Keeping a cool head while being able to multi-task and manage different personalities is very important. Office managers generally have a structured work environment with clearly defined duties.
Individuals in this role need to stay on top of the various needs of the practice to ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. This means keeping track of others’ schedules and productivity and regularly communicating with management and support staff.
Office Manager Salary Potential
According to the BLS, office managers earned a median annual salary of $46,910 in May 2009. Yearly earnings ranged from a low of $28,400 to a high of $76,100, with the middle 50% of office management professionals earning between $36,270 and $60,590.
Those holding only an associate’s degree will typically start off at the lower end of the pay scale. However, experience and advanced education can lead to better job opportunities with higher incomes.
Education and Training
Most office managers have completed some post-secondary education and hold either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. For those looking to land an office manager job in a healthcare setting, the first step can be an associate’s degree in healthcare management.
Completion of a healthcare management education program shows that a graduate is able to:
- Communicate effectively with healthcare professionals, service providers and clients.
- Apply solid analytical and organizational skills to key office tasks.
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of employees throughout the healthcare organization.
- Exercise critical-thinking methods to identify problems and recommend solutions.
- Complete college-level coursework in a healthcare curriculum, with the potential to attain bachelor’s degree.
Is an Office Manager Job Right for You?
If you are organized, efficient and capable of overseeing the many tasks and support staff required to run an office, you may find a healthcare office manager job be the perfect career for you.