If you have ever wanted to enter the healthcare field but weren’t sure that the challenges of a patient-centered position were right for you, maybe you would enjoy the more business-oriented duties involved in healthcare management. At its core, healthcare is a business.
This means that, like all other businesses, the healthcare field needs managers to take charge of the facilities’ daily needs. Learn more about the responsibilities and training needed to succeed in the field of healthcare management.
Medical and healthcare managers, also known as healthcare administrators, are responsible for the planning, direction, coordination and supervision of healthcare facilities large and small. Healthcare management specialists are in charge of specific clinical departments or services, while healthcare management generalists usually manage an entire facility or system.
Entry-level healthcare managers can choose to enter the field in many different facilities, including:
- Group practices
- Mental health facilities
- Nursing care corporations
- Consulting firms
- And more!
The larger of these facilities usually have several managers who share responsibilities and handle daily decisions. These assistant managers may direct activities in clinical areas such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records and health information.
In smaller practices, managers handle more details of the facility’s daily operations. For example, many managers at smaller practices are in charge of personnel, finances, facility operations and admissions and also have a role in resident care.
Salary Range and Growth Expectations
Across the nation, the healthcare industry continues to grow. This means that the healthcare management field, too, is projected to grow rapidly. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for healthcare management will be especially good in facilities like:
- Health practitioner offices
- General medical and surgical hospitals
- Home healthcare services
- Outpatient care centers
Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), median annual earnings for medical and health services managers were $88,580 in 2012. Although earnings are high, students wanting to enter the healthcare management field should be aware that due to the nature of the industry, long work hours are common.
Healthcare Management Schools and Degrees
There are many programs at many different schools that can lead you to a rewarding career in healthcare management. New graduates of healthcare management programs may start as department managers or as assistants.
These programs may include training in areas such as:
- Hospital organization and management
- Marketing, accounting and budgeting
- Human resources administration
- Strategic planning
- Biostatistics or epidemiology
- Health economics
- Health information systems
Some programs allow students to specialize in one type of healthcare management, while others may take a more general approach to the field.