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Health Services Manager Career

I am interested in the business side of health care. Learn more about a career in health services management...

As America's medical industry continues to grow and change, it's important to have strong leadership at the top of our hospitals and other medical facilities. The men and women who serve as the coordinators of these advanced institutions are some of the brightest and most dedicated members of the field, known as Health Services Managers.

Become a Health Services Manager

Health Care Management Resources...

What is a health services manager?

While doctors and nurses spend their time on the front lines of the medical profession, Health Services Managers operate largely behind the closed doors of hospital offices and meeting rooms. Consequently, they may not garner as much attention as their more visible counterparts, but they are every bit as valuable to the overall running of an effective health care system. While these individuals are here referred to as Health Services Managers, they also go by several different names. Among these are health care administrators or executives along with some other variations which signify a slight difference in duties.

But what exactly are these duties? It depends on the size of the institution in which a professional finds themselves. At a small clinic with less that 20 physicians, a Health Services Manager will find themselves interacting very closely with their charges. The day to day duties will involve billing, budgeting, and coordination on the personnel and technology fronts. In larger hospital-type environments, they will more often be concerned with developing procedures and policies, employee evaluations, and other big-picture items such as community outreach.

No matter the size of their company, one of the most specific and significant duties of a good Health Services Manager is to increase the amount of time devoted to preventative care. This allows the doctors and nurses to focus on keeping patients healthy rather than simply treating problems as they appear.

Training and certification - Do I need a master's degree?

Unlike some other jobs in the medical field, the Health Services Management area usually requires students to sit through a few extra years of training. In some cases, a Bachelor's degree (combined with sufficient work experience) will be enough to earn employment at some smaller companies. But by and large, the prime positions will require a traditional Master's degree.

There are several fields of Master's study which can produce effective Health Services Managers. Among these are long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, and public or business administration. While these terms can take as long as six years to complete, the rewards (both financial and professional) are well worth the added investment. According to the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, there are currently more than 70 schools in the nation offering courses which will garner a Master's degree in the field.

Employment Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Services Managers draw, on average, an hourly wage of $43.74. When computed on a yearly basis, this works out to an incredible $90,970 per year. After completing their Master's degrees, recent graduates will earn more in the neighborhood of $63,700 per year, which breaks down to $30.62 on an hourly basis. Those who have spent several years in the field will see their dedication rewarded with wages approaching $140,000, or more than $67 per hour.

These figures were all calculated a while ago, dating back to May of 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that, at the time of their survey, there were more than 270,000 people employed as Health Services Managers in the United States. Of these, 38% where employed by hospitals, with another 19% making their living in nursing homes, physicians offices, and other residential care facilities. Considering the timing here, these numbers are nothing short of incredible. In the midst of an economic depression, these men and women were still in high demand all across the country. In fact, the aforementioned Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the field of Health Service Management will increase by 16% between 2008 and 2018. It's a rate of growth found rarely outside of the medical field, especially where such high compensation is concerned.

To learn more about becoming a health services manager, you can contact schools that offer health care management or related programs. If you have not decided if this is the right career choice for you, take some time to explore additional careers in health care.

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