Health Services Manager: Job Description & Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a health services manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Health services managers ensure that the administrative functions of healthcare facilities run smoothly. They can work in hospitals, doctors offices, and nursing care facilities. Because this is a management position, many health services managers have master's degrees.

Essential Information

Health services managers oversee administrative functions of healthcare facilities. Their duties mainly are related to cost containment, regulatory compliance and personnel management. Some work in patient care positions, such as physical therapy or nursing.

Most of these managers hold master's degrees in health sciences or a related field, but some have bachelor's degrees and have worked their way up to management positions. Degree programs usually offer an option of health services or clinical research tracks, and generally include internships.

Required Education Master's degree in health sciences, business administration or related field; some managers have a combination of a bachelor's degree and experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 17% for medical and health services managers
Mean Salary (2015)* $106,070 for medical and health services managers

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Health Services Manager Job Description

Health services managers generally have backgrounds in business administration or other areas in the medical field. In smaller settings, such as group practices, they may work with physicians to create business strategies. In larger settings, such as hospitals, they may coordinate with department heads to improve cost efficiency and productivity.

Some medically trained health services managers specialize in areas such as nursing or physical therapy, and their duties may involve patient care, as well as management functions. Most are employed by hospitals, but some health services managers work for doctors' offices, nursing care facilities and healthcare management organizations.

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Educational requirements are typically a master's degree in health sciences, business administration or a related field, although some may possess only a bachelor's degree. Applicants with master's degrees may enter the job market at the supervisory level; however, applicants with a bachelor's degree may start out as administrative assistants and work their way up while gaining on-the-job training.

Health services management programs may offer two tracks: health services or clinical research. Courses often cover healthcare delivery systems, medical terminology, healthcare organizational management, health policy, health information technology, cost-effectiveness analysis and managerial accounting. Students complete internships under the supervision of a mentor or professional. These often involve projects and assignments in a career setting that matches the student's interests.

Certification and Licensure Requirements

Health services managers working in nursing homes must first obtain certification and earn a bachelor's degree in every state. Some states also require assisted living facilities managers to obtain certification. Those who work in other medical facilities don't need to be certified. Those who wish to work in information management can become a Registered Health Information Administrator by passing an exam through the American Health Information Management Association. This also requires earning a bachelor's or graduate degree from an approved school.

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that medical and health services management jobs were expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate of 17% from 2014-2024. Part of this growth was attributed to an aging U.S. population. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers earned a mean yearly salary of $106,070 in May 2015.

Health services managers help to improve the efficiency of healthcare facilities. They oversee administrative functions, contain costs, ensure regulatory compliance, and manage personnel. Job requirements may include industry experience, a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree.

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