What you'll do: As a medical and health services manager (or health care administrator) you'll handle the overall business management of health care facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes. Whether you're responsible for an entire facility or a specific department, you'll create and implement policy and procedures, hire and supervise staff, control finances, order supplies, maintain records, and coordinate your plans with those of other health care managers.
Where you'll work: Hospitals, nursing homes, physicians' offices, home health care services, outpatient care centers and group medical practices.
Degree you'll need to practice: Bachelor's or master's degree
Median annual salary: $88,580*
Health care is a business and it requires effective management to keep things running smoothly. Health services administrators oversee the operations, human resources, records, financial and other functions of health care organizations. Whether in a clinic or in a hospital, the medical or health services administrator holds perhaps the most pivotal role in maintaining profitable operations and delivering top quality care.
Some job titles in the field may include:
- Nursing home administrator
- Clinical manager
- Health information manager
- Assistant administrator
In group medical practices, managers work closely with physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians and other health care employees.
To broaden your job opportunities and earn a higher salary, you'll need to complete a two-year master's degree program in health administration. These typically include a one-year residency in a health care center.
Earning your master's degree in health services administration will generally qualify you to start a job as a department manager in a health care facility. Some managers move into consultant positions or become academic professors in health care management.
Related careers, which you’ll learn about from interacting with them during your work as a health care manager, include physicians, nurses, and medical and clinical lab technologists and technicians.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Medical and Health Services Manager.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.