What you'll do: As in every business, office managers are often the most important link in the chain of workers. It is no different in the health care business. Medical office managers plan, direct, support and enforce all of the administrative services in a health care facility, including maintenance of the office, inventory and supplies, and employee supervision. They also oversee insurance and HMO contracts, patient records and relations, and may prepare payroll for the staff.
Where you'll work: Hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, insurance companies.
Degree you'll need to practice: Bachelor's degree
Median annual salary: $76,870*
Medical office managers are often responsible for millions of dollars in facilities and equipment and hundreds of employees. To work effectively, they need to remain open to different viewpoints and be good at analyzing information. They must also possess strong leadership abilities to motivate others to implement their decisions.
Most office managers work long hours. Nursing care facilities and hospitals operate around the clock, and managers may be called at all hours to deal with problems. They may also travel to attend meetings or inspect satellite facilities and spend considerable time walking to consult with coworkers.
Moving up in a medical office manager career largely depends upon the size of the organization; advancement will be easier in a large facility that offers several levels and types of administrative roles, such as a hospital or insurance company. Earning a master's degree in business administration or health care administration is always a good idea as it may allow you to move into a director of administrative services role, or a regional manager position.
Getting certified is a good way to prove your professionalism to potential employers. The designation Certified Medical Manager (CMM) is available to those who pass an examination covering 18 areas of medical practice administration. A minimum of three years' experience in the health care field and 12 course hours in health care or business management are required to take the exam.
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Administrative Services Managers.
*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 a variety of 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.