Why Medical and Health Services Managers Are in DemandAre you looking for a position in health care with a good job outlook? Becoming a medical and health services manager might be the perfect choice for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for this career option is growing faster than the national average for all industries, and it’s an exciting and high-paying job, too.

What Is a Medical and Health Services Manager?
Medical and health services managers plan, direct and coordinate medicine and health services. While most health care managers work in hospitals, you may find health care administrators in a variety of settings, including county or state mental health facilities, clinics, community health care systems, small practices and insurance companies.

Health service managers practice in a variety of settings and may have a particular focus:

  • Institutional managers. Hospital administrators are responsible for the operational business activities of medical centers.   
  • Clinical managers. These managers oversee the direct provision of patient services, generally at the departmental level.
  • Physician or dental practice managers. Smaller health care practices also need managers.
  • Health information technology managers. These people work with confidential patient medical records.

What Do Medical and Health Services Managers Do?
Health Services help their facilities run smoothly, but they also can enrich patient experiences. Above all, this career requires you to work well with people.

You might be working with vice presidents or low-level managers to oversee clinical operations, fundraising, business decisions and other administrative tasks. You’ll also need to work with boards and make difficult decisions about budgets, expansions and layoffs.

As the public face, you’ll represent and lead the institution. You may host events or meet with potential donors and patients. Overall, this means you need to be a big-picture person. You’ve got to develop a mission, convey that mission to your team and motivate them to reach their goals.

Why Is the Medical and Health Services Manager Profession Growing?

According to the Department of Labor, between 2010 and 2020, a 22-percent increase in hiring is expected for medical and health services managers. And by 2018, more than 45,000 individuals are expected to be employed as health care managers. Healthcare administration careers are growing faster than the national average, meaning you’ll have a good opportunity of finding a job and getting paid what you deserve.

Reasons why more of these managers will be needed:

  • Aging population. People are living longer, and the baby boomers are now becoming senior citizens.
  • People are no longer as active. Today, people are more sedentary, which impacts their health in a negative way.
  • Health care reform. Health care reform means people who were formerly uninsured will now be able to obtain care.
  • Larger, more complex hospitals. As demand grows, hospitals will grow as well.
  • Emphasis on electronic medical records. This will increase the demand for health information managers.
  • Increased pressure for more services. People want more services at lower costs, and health care professionals will be needed to give them what they want.

How Do You Become A Medical and Health Services Manager?
What type of education will you need to become a medical and health services manager? You’ll likely need a health care management degree. Some people get bachelor’s degrees, while others get a master’s in health services, public health, public policy or business administration. If you only have an undergraduate degree, you’ll probably start off as an administrative assistant or a similar position.

The types of classes you’ll need to take include: accounting, human resources administration, law and ethics, and hospital organization and management.

Most managers won’t require licensing and other certification; however, nursing care administrators are required to hold bachelor’s degrees and complete a state-approved licensing course.

Very often, medical and health services manager opportunities are not advertised on job sites. Employers work through recruiters, and they recruit people they know.

About the Author: Jim Soto is an instructor in health care administration. He worked as the chief executive officer of a hospital for 15 years before changing careers.