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Healthcare Manager

Education and Training: College (required), graduate school (preferred)
Average Salary: $80,040.
Job Outlook: Good

Also referred to as medical and health services managers or healthcare administrators, healthcare managers oversee most of the day to day operations of healthcare facilities. They may be responsible for specific departments or for entire facilities or systems. Healthcare managers are expected to control budgets; direct admissions or patient reception; create and carry out business policies; and manage the staff. They may also choose to specialize in areas such as health information management or healthcare financial management. Clinical managers also develop budgets, write reports, and evaluate the quality of the care provided. Some managers also do community outreach and preventive care.

Education and Training Requirements

A master’s degree is preferred for most generalist positions as a healthcare manager. Managers with bachelor’s degrees may be able to find entry-level positions in smaller facilities. Relevant majors include Health Sciences, Health Services Administration, Public Health, Long-term Care Administration, Public Administration, and Business Administration. In physicians’ offices and some other smaller facilities, applicants may be able to substitute on-the-job experience for formal education. Qualified experience in a healthcare field is also required for healthcare managers. Most employers require a minimum of three years of experience in a clinical environment or nursing facility and one year of administrative experience. Clinical managers usually need to have training and experience in the clinical area in which they are interested. All of the states and the District of Columbia require nursing facility managers to have a bachelor’s degree, successfully complete an approved training program, pass a licensing exam, and pursue continuing education. Some States also require licenses for administrators in assisted-living facilities. A license is not required to work in other areas of healthcare management.

Getting the Job

There are numerous employment websites and job boards that feature listings for healthcare managers. Membership in one of the numerous professional organizations for healthcare managers can also provide access to employment opportunities. Healthcare managers can also contact local healthcare facilities to inquire about vacant positions. Another excellent resource for managers is their college or graduate school’s career center.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

The job outlook for healthcare managers is good as healthcare reform increases access to care, stimulating demand for healthcare professionals. Healthcare managers can work in hospitals, clinics, community care centers, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, insurance companies, public health departments, consulting firms, and schools.

Healthcare managers can advance in their careers by moving into higher paying positions, such as associate administrator, department head, or chief executive officer, or by moving to larger facilities. Some healthcare managers pursue careers in teaching or consulting.

Working Conditions and Environment

Working conditions for healthcare managers depend on the type of setting. Some managers work in private offices, while other managers share space with other staff. The majority of healthcare managers work long hours, because most large healthcare facilities and hospitals are open 24 hours a day. As a result, healthcare managers can be called to resolve problems outside of normal work hours.

Salary and Benefits

The median annual salary for healthcare managers is $80,240. The middle half of healthcare managers earn between $62,170 and $104,120. The highest ten percent earns more than $137,800.

Where to Go for More Information:

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
11240 Waples Mill Rd., Ste. 200
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 281-4043

American College of Healthcare Executives
1 N Franklin, Ste. 1700
Chicago, Illinois 60606-3529
(312) 424-2800

Healthcare Financial Management Association
2 Westbrook Corporate Center, Ste. 700
Westchester, IL 60154
(800) 252-4362

Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
1576 Bella Cruz Dr.
Lady Lake, FL 32159
(800) 451-9311

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine