There's a lot of money on the health care system, and like any other business, health care needs managers to run the day-to-day operations of providing health services. Health care management is the field where executives, administrators and other workers provide managerial services to the health care industry. These workers can be found in hospitals, elder-care facilities, and any place where health services are provided and need to be managed.
Duties and Responsibilities
Health care managers spend much of their time dealing with the various business needs of the health care facility in which they work. Whether it's integrating new technology into the facility, managing specific departments within an organization or overseeing financial matters, they are intimately involved with the daily operations of the health care industry. Beginning managers will often supervise a department, such as accounting, physical therapy, information systems or other areas. More experienced managers can supervise multiple departments and manage an entire hospital, nursing home or even multiple facilities.
Most health care managers work in a comfortable office setting. Many work extended hours, especially in environments where round-the-clock operations are necessary. Some health care managers can spend a lot of time traveling, such as those who work for companies with numerous facilities located in different areas. Top level managers can often spend long hours, nights and weekends working.
Education and Training
Like other business managers, health care managers must be experienced and knowledgeable with the principles involved in managing people and organizations. Entry-level jobs in this area typically require at least a bachelor's degree in business management, health care administration, and similar fields. Upper level management typically requires a master's degree along with relevant work experience. Nursing home managers must be licensed by their state, while other managers may require additional certification and training.
Health care managers must not only have a broad knowledge base about the health care industry, but they must also be able to supervise and manage workers from broad backgrounds. Coordinating the activities of physicians, nurses, support staff, and anyone else involved in the health care process requires leadership and motivational skills, as well as the ability to plan and communicate effectively. Health care managers must have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills.
Jobs and Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates about 283,000 health services manager positions existed in 2008. Between 2008 and 2018, these jobs are expected to grow faster than average, with good job opportunities for those with relevant managerial work experience. These workers earned an average salary of about $80,000 in 2008, with the top 10 percent earning over $137,000 per year.