What is a Health Services Manager

Career Information

Health Services Administrator
A health services administrator meets with two doctors. LWA / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

A health services manager plans, directs, coordinates and supervises the delivery of health care in an entire facility or a single department. People who work in this profession are sometimes called health care managers or administrators. They may also have job titles that reflect their areas of specialization. Nursing home administrator, medical records manager, or practice administrator are just a few examples.

Quick Facts

  • In 2015, health services managers earned a median annual salary of $94,500.
  • This field employed almost 333,000 people in 2014.
  • Most jobs are full time, and about a third of them include working more than 40 hours per week.
  • The job outlook for this field is excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment will grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024.

A Day in a Health Services Manager's Life

These are some typical job duties taken from online ads for health services managers positions found on Indeed.com:

  • "Plan, organize and manage the operations and activities of one or more health clinic(s) or health program(s) according to department and funding source requirements"
  • "Oversee and manage clinical team processes including the organization and development of high performing teams"
  • "Adapt departmental plans and priorities to address business and operational challenges"
  • "Set team direction, resolve problems and provide guidance to members of the team"
  • "Read, analyze and interpret laws, regulations, policies and procedures governing assigned clinic operations"

How to Become a Health Services Manager

One usually needs at least a bachelor's degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration.

Many employers prefer job candidates who have a master's degree. Clinical department heads often need work experience in their field of expertise, for example, nursing.f

For most places of employment, health services administrators don't have to meet any licensing requirements. Nursing care and related facilities are the exceptions. All states in the U.S., as well as the District of Columbia, require a license. Some states also require one for administrators who work in assisted living facilities. Specifications vary by state, but, in general, one must have a bachelor's degree and pass a licensing examination. He or she must also complete a state-approved training program and take continuing education courses. See the Licensed Occupations Tool from CareerOneStop for more information.

What Soft Skills Will You Need?

Health services administrators need certain​ soft skills, or personal qualities, in addition to their formal education. 

  • Communication Skills: Since you must communicate with other professionals, you will need excellent listening, speaking, and writing skills. 
  • Attention to Detail: This attribute will allow you to tend to job duties like scheduling and billing.
  • Analytical Skills: You will need this skill to help you understand and adapt to new laws and regulations.
  • Problem Solving: You must be able to identify problems and then effectively and efficiently solve them.

What Will Employers Expect From You?

In addition to skills and experience, what qualities do employers look for when they hire workers? Here are some requirements from actual job announcements found on Indeed.com:

  • "Ability to concentrate with many distractions"
  • "Capacity to develop effective relationships at all levels of the organization and to influence positive outcomes"
  • "Ability to follow company policies and procedures"
  • "Ability to display conduct which must be of the highest professional nature and which inspires respect of staff, residents, physicians and public"
  • "Ability to market and deal tactfully with customers and the community"
  • "Considerable ability to plan and direct subordinate staff in the execution of their activities 
    and prioritize workload"

Is This Occupation a Good Fit for You?

Occupations With Related Activities and Tasks

 DescriptionMedian Annual Wage (2015)Minimum Required Education/Training
Computer and Information Systems ManagerCoordinates an organization's computer-related activities

$131,600

Bachelor's degree in computer science or information science
PrincipalOversees all the activities in a school$88,580Master's degree in education leadership or administration 
Chief ExecutiveDirect all the activities of corporations and organizations$175,110

Bachelor's or Master's degree in business administration

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 (visited October 26, 2016 ).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online (visited October 26, 2016).

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