Becoming a Healthcare Manager: Job description & Salary Info

About this article
A healthcare manager's median annual salary is around $90,940. Is it worth the education requirements? Get real job descriptions and career outlook information to decide if a healthcare manager career is right for you.
View available schools

The Pros and Cons of a Healthcare Manager Career

Healthcare managers coordinate and oversee medical services in a range of healthcare settings. To learn a bit more about the pros and cons of a career in healthcare management, just keep reading.

Pros of a Healthcare Manager Career
Higher-than-average pay ($92,810 median annual salary in 2014)*
Healthy job outlook (23% growth from 2012-2022)*
Chance to use management skills to help people*
Good payoff for education requirements*

Cons of a Healthcare Manager Career
Stressful, fast-paced work**
Long hours may include nights, weekends or overnight shifts*
Graduate education may be required (31% of professionals have master's degrees)**
On-call duty may be necessary*
Setting work schedules may create conflicts**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **onetonline.org

Basic Career Information

Common Job Duties

Healthcare managers are involved in almost every aspect of the day-to-day operations of a medical facility. They manage a wide range of financial services, including planning budgets, authorizing expenditures and overseeing financial reporting. Responsibilities may also entail hiring, directing and supervising the work of medical and technical staff members. Training of personnel is also a key responsibility of healthcare managers.

Working as a healthcare manager will also require you to constantly evaluate the efficiency of facility activities. You'll need to make sure that your facility uses the most current and effective diagnostic tools and services. Supervising records management is another common duty shared by healthcare managers, and the increasing use of computerized medical records promises to make this an even more important part of the job in the future.

Salary and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects faster-than-average job growth for medical and health services managers in the coming years, with overall employment expected to increase by 23% from 2012-2022. This is due in part to the aging of the large baby-boom population and a concurrent increase in the need for medical services. As of May 2014, the BLS reported a median annual wage of $92,810 for medical and health services managers. Salaries may vary according to the size of facility and level of responsibility. For example, facilities with greater numbers of physicians will often award higher salaries to healthcare managers.

Education and Skills Requirements

When entering the healthcare management field, a bachelor's degree is usually required. Senior-level management positions often require a master's degree, and certain positions may also require experience as a healthcare practitioner. Prospective healthcare managers will find a bachelor's degree in health administration especially helpful. Advanced degrees in public health or business administration can aid career advancement in the healthcare management field.

You'll need to be organized and detail-oriented to succeed as a healthcare manager. Analytical skills will also come in handy when evaluating medical services and maintaining compliance with regulations. Since you'll also need to motivate and lead a medical staff, interpersonal skills will be of great benefit in your healthcare management career.

What Are Employers Looking For?

If you meet the requirements for a healthcare manager position and have some experience in the field, you might find work in many varied industries and/or medical settings. Many employers are looking for college-educated candidates with some experience and skill in overseeing large groups of people. Some job postings open as of mid-April 2012 shed some light on the opportunities available for jobseekers in the healthcare management field.

  • A large medical clinic in Oregon seeks a medical administrator to oversee corporate functions and daily operations. Responsibilities include supervising staff recruiting, human resource issues, regulation compliance and payroll concerns. A bachelor's degree is required for the position, and a master's degree in business or healthcare is preferred. Seven years of experience overseeing a large medical clinic is also a requirement.
  • A national healthcare company based in Houston, TX is looking for a manager for its Medicare service center. Responsibilities include performing data analysis and making recommendations for company programs and projects. Recruiting, developing and motivating staff will also be a necessary part of the job. A bachelor's degree and six years of experience in healthcare with management responsibility are requirements of the position.
  • A healthcare services network seeks a regional practice manager to oversee physician services in southern Florida. The position involves monitoring patient flow to ensure appropriate staff coverage and meeting with physicians to verify that their business needs are met. The successful candidate will also develop and monitor annual budgets for network-affiliated practices. A bachelor's degree and five or more years of supervisory experience in medical practice management are required. A master's degree in business administration or healthcare administration is preferred.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

An advanced degree in business administration or public health can help you get an edge on other jobseekers in the healthcare management field. Those degree programs that offer internships can be beneficial, as hands-on training can prepare you for entry-level employment in an administrative position. Certain specialized positions such as managers of physical therapy facilities may find that experience as healthcare practitioners can help them stand out from other jobseekers. Prior experience with work force scheduling could also help you set yourself apart in a competitive job market.

You might also benefit from joining a professional organization such as the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) or the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). Through membership in such organizations, you could gain industry certifications, stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field, and learn about new government regulations that affect healthcare facilities.

Alternative Career Options

If you want to apply the same type of broad administrative skills to a field other than healthcare, you may want to consider working as a social service manager. This administrative career option requires a bachelor's degree and involves coordinating administrative functions and wide-ranging programs. The BLS projects 27% job growth for social services managers in the coming years, and reported a median 2010 annual salary of $58,000.

A career in the administrative services management field may also be an option to consider. Occupations in this field generally require only a high school education, and the median annual salary in 2010 was $78,000. The BLS projects average job growth for administrative services managers, with overall employment expected to increase by 15% from 2010-2020.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
      • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Online Programs Available
    2. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Healthcare Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Health Care Management
      • Master of Healthcare Admin
      • Master: Management/Health Care Mgmt
      • Master of Health Informatics
      • Master of Health Information Management
      • Master: Nursing/Nurse Administrator
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
      • Health Information Management
      • Bachelor: Health Science
      • BS in Health Information Management
    Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Medical Billing and Coding Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA: Health Care Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgt. & Healthcare Mgt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Mgt. & Human Resources
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Public Safety Leadership
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Healthcare Management and Project Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting & Healthcare Mgmt.
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Health Information Management
    Associate's
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate of Science - Insurance Billing and Coding Specialist
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Health Care Admin
      • PhD in Business Admin - Health Care Admin
    Master's
      • MBA - Health Care Admin
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Healthcare Management - MBA (Master's)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
      • MS - Healthcare Admin and Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management
  • Campus Locations:
    8. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Diploma Program - Medical Office Specialist
      • Diploma Program - Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    Master's
      • MBA: Health Systems Management
      • MS in Health Care Administration
      • MS in Health Care Informatics
      • MS in Nursing: Health Care Informatics
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Health Care Administration
      • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
      • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Health Services Admin
    Associate's
      • Associate of Arts - Health Services Admin
      • Associate of Science - Medical Administrative Billing and Coding

Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Management

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • MBA: Health Care Management
  • Bachelor: Healthcare Admin
  • Medical Office Administration Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Herzing University

  • MBA: Health Care Management
  • Bachelor: Health Information Management
  • Associate: Healthcare Management
  • Diploma: Medical Office Admin

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Health Care Admin
  • PhD in Business Admin - Health Care Admin
  • MBA - Health Care Admin
  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Health Care Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Baker College Online

  • Healthcare Management - MBA (Master's)

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • Graduate Specialization - Healthcare Administration
  • MS - Healthcare Admin and Management
  • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Virginia College

  • Diploma Program - Medical Office Specialist
  • Diploma Program - Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

What is your highest level of education completed?