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Medical and Health Services Managers

Medical and health services managers often work closely with medical staff to plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of healthcare.

Medical and health services managers often work closely with medical staff to plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of healthcare.

It takes lots of planning and forethought to keep a large institution running smoothly. Hospitals and other medical facilities are some of the largest institutions in a community, and many operate around the clock. While the medical staff are busy focusing on their patients, specialized health services managers keep the hospital running efficiently. If you are more interested in the big picture of medical operations, and you enjoy working with others to achieve a larger goal, consider a career in health services management.

Fast Facts

Minimum Degree Required: Bachelor’s

Top 3 Skills: Critical Thinking, Communication, Attention to Detail

Average Starting Salary: $50,000/year

Job Description

The term “manager” is a rather broad one, and for good reason. There are many aspects to any medical facility, and each area is assigned an overseer or, as it were, manager. Positions are available at many levels, from specific departments and wards to entire health networks. The responsibilities vary from post to post, but generally involve:

  • Assigning staff to necessary tasks and/or patients
  • Reviewing the assigned shifts (for nurses, physicians, technicians, etc.) if necessary
  • Maintaining well staffed departments
  • Responding to widespread complaints or concerns
  • Representing the department/facility to outside investors

Education

A bachelor’s degree in health administration will prepare students to succeed in their careers. While other degrees, say in business, health sciences, general management, or public relations, may be valuable, most employers would then require a graduate course or degree specifically tailored to medical administration.

Health administration majors will likely study:

  • Business and economics
  • Medical ethics
  • Human resources and management
  • Medical information technology

Some programs may allow students to specialize in a particular environment, like nursing homes or children’s medical centers.

Certification/Licensing

To work in a nursing care home or assisted living facility, most states require a license, which can be obtained by receiving your bachelor’s degree from an approved school and passing the licensing exam. Health services managers working in other areas of medicine do not need to be licensed.

Job Outlook: Excellent

The BLS estimates a 22% increase in the health management field between the years 2010 and 2020, which is well above the national average. Additionally, the median salary in the field was over $84,270 as of 2010, with 10% of workers earning over $145,000 a year.

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