What You Can Earn as a Healthcare Manager

Many factors can play a role in a healthcare manager’s salary, including education and experience.

medical professional giving presentation of screen showing bar graph

Healthcare management is a broad career category that covers a diverse range of positions and work environments. Healthcare managers with the necessary education and work experience can typically qualify for in-demand roles at competitive salaries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salary for health and medical services managers, a category that includes healthcare managers, is $104,280. With so many positions included in this occupation, the salary range is just as broad.

Professional certifications, an advanced education, and specialization can expand your skills and potentially increase your opportunities and salary as you grow in this career.

Healthcare managers work in positions that involve planning, directing, and coordinating medical and healthcare services. Specific responsibilities may relate to an entire facility, a specific department, or a group medical practice. Positions also exist in non-clinical work environments such as insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting groups.

The salary you earn can vary by factors including your position, workplace, education, experience, and geographic location. The BLS reports that the top 10% of healthcare managers earn $195,630.

While work experience is typically necessary to pursue positions in healthcare management, professional certifications, an advanced degree, and specialization can expand your skills and potentially increase your opportunities and salary as you grow in this career.

Salary Comparison

The career pathway to healthcare management isn’t unique to this profession. You can succeed in many fields with similar education and experience.

This chart, based on BLS figures, illustrates salaries for positions that require a level of education and experience similar to those of many healthcare management positions.

CareerAverage Salary
Medical and health services managers$104,280
Administrative services and facilities managers$98,890
Computer and information systems managers$151,150
Human resources managers$121,220

Job Outlook

With the right credentials, prospective healthcare managers can expect to find an increasing demand for their skills. The BLS projects employment of medical and health services managers to grow a staggering 32% through 2030.

“The healthcare management occupation is increasing at a rapid rate in the United States due to baby boomers retiring and individuals aging and living longer,” says career and leadership coach Christina G. Hall, MHA, ACC, LSSGB, improvement manager at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and founder of CGH Careers, LLC. “This leads to a greater demand of healthcare services for those in need.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age every day through 2030, at which time all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old.

Other factors are also contributing to growth in the field. The widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs), an expanding focus on risk management, and the emergence of new approaches to treatment and delivery of services have also increased the demand for healthcare managers.

What Factors Can Affect Your Salary?

Your professional credentials can play a role in the types of positions and salaries that you’ll be qualified to pursue. Consider how these factors can impact your earning potential:

Education:

The baseline requirement for entry-level positions in healthcare management is typically a bachelor’s degree. Work experience and an advanced degree are usually required to progress up the ladder, especially if your goal is to reach the highest levels of management in an organization.

Role/specialty:

While the entire field of healthcare management is growing, some specialties may be more in demand. Healthcare needs tech-savvy professionals knowledgeable in health informatics and digital health to manage telehealth services, as well as nursing home administrators to run facilities that care for the growing number of older Americans, Hall says.

Healthcare managers who can navigate ever-changing healthcare regulations are also valued. “Being a certified compliance officer would help your career tremendously,” says Coley Bennett, CMM, CHA, CMDP, COCAS, chairwoman of the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) National Advisory Board. “If you can wrap your mind around the regulations and keep your eye on the regulations that are coming, you become very valuable.”

Certification:

Professional certification demonstrates that you have skills and knowledge beyond the minimum educational requirements of your profession. While not typically required for healthcare managers, certifications can help you stand out in a field of applicants vying for competitive positions.

“Having a certification is formal proof that you’re a lifelong learner,” says Cathy Bartell, MHA,
associate director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration in the Cornell University School of Public Policy and chair of the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) Career Trajectory Group. “While it doesn’t mean that people without a professional certification aren’t lifelong learners, certification is proof that some people keep attaining different competencies in their area.”

Experience:

Becoming a healthcare manager requires a combination of education and industry knowledge. Experience can start in an internship and progress to an entry-level position as an assistant manager.

“It depends on the company and the role, but often organizations are looking for individuals with a certain amount of work experience before they are hired to manage a team,” Hall says.

Becoming a healthcare manager requires education and industry knowledge. Experience can start with an internship and progress to an entry-level position as an assistant manager.

Median Salary by State

Salaries for healthcare managers vary significantly by state. The highest salaries tend to be in states with a shortage of healthcare workers and increasing senior populations, a demographic that requires more healthcare services than younger groups.

Here’s how the BLS ranks healthcare management salaries in all 50 states.

Medical and Health Services Managers

National data

Median Salary: $104,280

Bottom 10%: $59,980

Top 10%: $195,630

Projected job growth: 32.5%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $82,610 $55,080 $143,710
Alaska $108,740 $64,110 $202,370
Arizona $105,970 $60,190 N/A
Arkansas $78,810 $52,620 $133,930
California $130,640 $63,600 N/A
Colorado $109,100 $65,940 $189,230
Connecticut $110,260 $73,650 N/A
Delaware $111,930 $74,070 N/A
District of Columbia $140,600 $89,220 N/A
Florida $95,810 $52,700 $181,280
Georgia $92,780 $43,590 $172,200
Hawaii $124,850 $78,360 N/A
Idaho $91,280 $48,580 $156,730
Illinois $106,880 $64,780 N/A
Indiana $92,220 $54,500 $160,150
Iowa $80,980 $56,490 $135,430
Kansas $89,090 $54,810 $151,930
Kentucky $84,390 $51,030 $148,740
Louisiana $94,800 $60,570 $162,350
Maine $92,630 $63,480 $140,250
Maryland $118,520 $77,960 $201,640
Massachusetts $118,750 $68,590 N/A
Michigan $95,640 $56,090 $169,770
Minnesota $101,560 $67,740 $163,530
Mississippi $87,960 $49,880 $158,980
Missouri $99,840 $61,260 $170,380
Montana $90,370 $61,720 $142,690
Nebraska $107,440 $66,530 N/A
Nevada $111,690 $66,610 $178,420
New Hampshire $103,310 $66,570 $195,700
New Jersey $116,630 $85,690 $183,010
New Mexico $108,870 $71,980 N/A
New York $134,310 $81,370 N/A
North Carolina $103,940 $69,710 $189,450
North Dakota $110,940 $68,950 N/A
Ohio $94,350 $57,310 $168,590
Oklahoma $83,040 $52,890 $151,080
Oregon $116,060 $68,850 N/A
Pennsylvania $96,110 $57,440 $165,300
Rhode Island $116,020 $72,630 N/A
South Carolina $94,600 $56,620 $165,370
South Dakota $101,320 $69,840 $149,330
Tennessee $93,270 $51,950 $165,360
Texas $100,320 $56,150 $171,790
Utah $90,950 $49,870 $183,610
Vermont $96,680 $60,750 $172,390
Virginia $109,790 $64,550 $176,240
Washington $119,380 $70,840 N/A
West Virginia $97,420 $58,020 $166,400
Wisconsin $106,020 $72,230 $177,960
Wyoming $95,980 $65,230 $150,360

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2020 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Salary by Workplace

Where you work can also affect your salary. For instance, the same role or title can include different responsibilities in different workplaces, and this can affect your pay. Here’s a look a some roles, potential responsibilities, and BLS salaries.

WorkplaceResponsibilitiesAnnual Median Salary
Pharmaceutical and Medicine ManufacturingWork in sales, marketing, research/development, and facility management$195,100
Insurance CarriersInvestigate claims, resolve billing discrepancies, manage provider and/or patient relations, and underwrite policies$131,730
Medical Supply CompaniesHandle sales, marketing, supply chain, and facility management$114,040
General Medical and Surgical HospitalsServe as a department or facility administrator, department manager, team lead, or at the highest level of an entire facility$113,220
Outpatient Care CentersServe as a facility or department manager, depending on the size and needs of a specific facility$100,690
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse HospitalsSupervise programs and staff, communicate with families, manage clinical services, and oversee facility operations$99,360
Offices of PhysiciansOversee revenue management, contracts, risk and compliance, finances, and other aspects of business management$94,240
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)Oversee staff and day-to-day operations of a nursing home, assisted living community, or memory care home$94,020

Salary by Metropolitan Area

A high cost of living and a shortage of qualified candidates can often boost salaries in a city or region. The BLS reports that of the 15 highest-paying metropolitan areas in the nation, 11 are in California.

Metropolitan AreaAnnual Median Wage
Vallejo-Fairfield, California$178,260
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California$155,200
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California$154,070
Madera, California$148,970
Salinas, California$148,930
Santa Rosa, California$146,670
Modesto, California$142,650
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California$140,280
Hanford-Corcoran, California$137,320
Corvallis, Oregon$135,370
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California$133,420
New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania$132,640
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California$130,050
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii$129,760
Urban Honolulu, Hawaii$126,780

How Can You Earn More as a Healthcare Manager?

The factors that can play a role in your salary are the same ones that can determine whether you advance. Here’s how.

Experience

The amount of experience necessary to move into healthcare management varies by employer and position. Positions at the highest levels of an organization are won by rising through the ranks.

“Anyone who is in top positions had to have started out as a manager or a director,” Bartell says. “They don’t just sail into those positions. Some people attain that level after five years [post-graduate degree], but you don’t launch up to the top. You have to pay your dues.”

Education

Industry experts agree that a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement for entry-level healthcare management positions like assistant managers. Moving past that level may require additional experience and education, depending on your goal and the organization.

“Your undergraduate will probably get you to a certain level,” Bartell says. “There are a lot of people in the healthcare ecosystem who have bachelor’s degrees and they may be out four or five years, and then they realize that they’re probably not going to get the next big job or accelerate without the master’s.”

Certification

While certifications aren’t required for positions in healthcare management, earning one or more of these credentials can demonstrate your commitment to your field.
There is a wide range of certifications related to general healthcare management and specialties.

For healthcare office managers, a Certified Medical Manager (CMM) credential can change the trajectory of your career and impact your earning potential, Bennett says. “A CMM can help you progress from an entry-level salary to a mid-level salary.”

Here are three certifications that healthcare managers can shoot for, depending where they are in their career.

Professional OrganizationCertification
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
The American Hospital Association’s Certification Center (AHA-CC)Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM)
Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM)Certified Medical Manager (CMM)
anna giorgi

Written and reported by:
Anna Giorgi
Contributing writer

coley bennett

With professional insight from:
Coley Bennett, CMM, CHA, CMDP, COCAS
Chairwoman, Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) National Advisory Board

cathy bartell

With professional insight from:
Cathy Bartell, MHA
Associate Director, Sloan Program in Health Administration in the Cornell University School of Public Policy and Chair, National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) Career Trajectory Group

christina hall

With professional insight from:
Christina G. Hall, MHA, ACC, LSSGB
Career and Leadership Coach, Founder of CGH Careers, LLC, and Improvement Manager at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia