10 Management Jobs for a Career in Healthcare
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- The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that healthcare occupations will grow by 16% between 2020 and 2030.
- Several healthcare management jobs offer six-figure salaries.
- Health management degrees exist at every level, making it easy to progress in your education.
Healthcare management careers can offer high-paying salaries, managerial experience, and the ability to help others. Individuals who enjoy fast-paced jobs that continually evolve may feel drawn towards these roles. Whether working more in administrative or clinical roles, healthcare management professionals are strong problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and effective communicators. Whether considering an entry-level role or wanting to advance your healthcare career, this guide helps you learn more about the healthcare management profession.
How to Enter the Healthcare Management Field
Prospective healthcare managers can enter the field through several different pathways. Most positions require at least a bachelor's in healthcare management or a relevant field. However, some data or informatics roles may accept candidates with an associate degree in a related subject.
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More senior-level roles focused more on clinical tasks, may require a master's degree or a doctorate. For instance, most rehabilitation managers must be licensed in physical therapy or occupational therapy, which requires a master's degree at a minimum.
Students should carefully consider whether a master's or even doctorate in healthcare management is required – or if it could help them stand out from competitors. More business-focused roles may require candidates with an MBA in healthcare management. Some roles may require certification or licensure, making it important for students to do careful research.
In addition to coursework, it's also common for students to apply for internships and take part in semester-long opportunities that provide real-world experience. Other programs may ask students to take part in a co-op experience.
10 Types of Healthcare Management Jobs
Healthcare Human Resources Manager
- Median Salary: $126,230
- Job Outlook: +9%
- Licenses/Certifications: Licensure is not required, though certification is sometimes mandated by employers.
Healthcare human resource managers oversee administrative functions within their clinics, hospitals, and other types of healthcare facilities. In addition to managing hiring and disciplinary practices, they develop employee benefit programs, address human resources issues such as complaints, and oversee staffing issues as needed. They must work with many different types of people, feel confident handling disputes, and possess an up-to-date knowledge of state and federal employment and equal opportunity laws. Some of these professionals have a bachelor's degree, while others decide to pursue a master's in human resources.
Healthcare Operations Manager
- Average Salary: $65,000 as of August 2022
Professionals in these roles work to ensure their facilities' day-to-day operations run smoothly. In addition to overseeing inventory for necessary supplies and equipment, operations managers frequently manage staffing schedules and keep up with insurance claims and reimbursements.Optimization also plays a key role in this profession. Healthcare operations managers continually look for ways to improve care outcomes while reducing running costs. They frequently report to C-level executives about operational outcomes and future plans.
Healthcare Finance Manager
- Average Salary: $96,045 as of August 2022
Healthcare finance managers ensure the financial health and integrity of their workplaces, including large hospitals or small assisted care facilities. In addition to directing long-term investment strategies, these professionals develop cash management strategies to help their businesses grow.Other common responsibilities include providing quarterly financial reports, creating financial objectives, and following any local, state, and federal requirements about taxes and legal mandates. They may also oversee other finance and accounting staff. Students often start with a bachelor's in finance before moving on to a master's in finance.
Physician Practice Manager
- Average Salary: $63,383 as of August 2022
Physician practice managers perform many of the same tasks as a healthcare operations manager. They oversee office staff, make decisions about hiring, and handle scheduling. They also work with patients to ensure appointments are scheduled and recorded properly and oversee medical assistants entering new information into electronic health records.These professionals need a strong understanding of technology to be effective in their roles. They must also learn various types of software and programs to keep up with all the operations within the practice. Most roles require a bachelor's degree in a business-related subject.
- Average Salary: $88,849 as of August 2022
- Licenses/Certifications: Must hold licensure in occupational therapy or physical therapy
Rehabilitation managers work in both public and private hospital settings and rehabilitation clinics to oversee clinical programming for physical and occupational therapies. In addition to overseeing administrative requirements and ensuring governmental regulations are closely followed, some rehabilitation managers may take on patients to aid in their rehabilitation.These roles require a bachelor's degree at a minimum, but many professionals hold a master's degree in occupational therapy or physical therapy. Most states also require rehabilitation managers to hold licensure in one of the two disciplines.
- Average Salary: $89,830 as of August 2022
- Licenses/Certifications: Some roles require an active nursing license.
Case managers working in healthcare settings typically oversee many clients to ensure they get the support they need. For instance, a case manager working in a hospital may manage post-operation patients to connect them with services such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, professional and personal support devices, and follow-up appointments with nurses and physicians.Many individuals in this field hold a bachelor's in social work, but others first pursue a bachelor's in nursing and work in the field for a few years before transitioning into case management positions. If you’re planning to continue providing nursing services, you must hold an active nursing license.
Health Clinic Manager
- Average Salary: $70,110 as of August 2022
- Licenses/Certifications: If working in a nursing home or assisted living facility, licensure is typically required.
Health clinic managers perform similar duties as physician practice managers. These professionals work diligently to ensure both patients and staff receive the care they need. On the staff and clinic side, this can involve ordering new equipment and supplies, overseeing schedule rotations, ensuring medical billing procedures are followed, and implementing policies that support overall staff wellbeing.On the patient side, common responsibilities include providing customer service to answer questions and resolve any issues, ensuring patients do not wait too long for appointments or meetings, and assisting with any questions around payments and insurance coverage.
Pharmaceutical Quality Manager
- Average Salary: $110,449 as of August 2022
- Licenses/Certifications: Requirements vary by state
Pharmaceutical quality managers perform vital roles by ensuring all drugs produced by their companies meet current good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations. In addition to overseeing the testing of drugs in production and those that are finished, they must report whether each drug meets quality standards.Pharmaceutical quality managers work with scientists to find ways of meeting regulations and continuing to move the drug towards production. They also oversee other quality control staff, providing training as needed when the FDA updates policies or regulations.
Healthcare Quality Improvement Manager
- Average Salary: $66,812 as of August 2022
Healthcare quality improvement managers spend much of their time updating and writing new policies to improve outcomes. These professionals develop systems for improving clinical and administrative functions alike, closely monitoring after each new policy implementation or rule to identify levels of effectiveness.
Improvement managers must stay up to date on industry data and carefully review benchmark assessments that identify best practices to improve quality and outcomes. Earning a bachelor's degree in healthcare or business administration may be a good place to start before pursuing a master's degree.
Health Information Manager
- Average Salary: $60,540 as of August 2022
Health information managers play vital roles in keeping patient data and medical records secure, training staff on new safety protocols and software systems, and reviewing databases to ensure accuracy and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.These professionals must stay updated on new electronic health record changes, especially when it comes to ethics and legality. They use data and insights to help inform better patient outcomes and care and services. Earning an associate degree in health information technology is a great place to start.
Healthcare Management Salary
Healthcare human resource managers earn the highest median annual salaries among healthcare managers, making approximately $126,230 as of 2021. Conversely, health information managers earn one of the lowest average salaries at $60,540 as of July 2022. Individuals looking to increase their salaries should consider completing a graduate degree or seeking out specialized certifications to pursue higher-paying roles.
How to Find Healthcare Management Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that healthcare occupations will grow by 16% between 2020 to 2030 or approximately 2.6 million new jobs, which is double the national average. Landing a job after college can seem intimidating, but students can take plenty of steps to help improve their chances.
While still in school, learners can take advantage of in-person and remote career services provided by their college. They can also attend virtual career fairs hosted by their school, professional associations, recruiters, or outside organizations. Some of the most popular job search sites include Indeed, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor. Creating a LinkedIn profile also offers the chance to network with other healthcare management professionals and seek mentorship opportunities.
Professional Healthcare Management Organizations
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare Management Jobs
What is the highest paid health management job?
As of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that healthcare human resources managers earn the highest annual wages at $126,230. Professionals in the top 10% earn salaries over $208,000, while those in the bottom 10% made less than $75,000 in the same year.Pharmaceutical quality managers also earn six-figure salaries. As of July 2022, Payscale reports that these professionals receive average salaries of $110,449. Some may also receive bonuses. Many of the highest paid health management jobs require applicants to have a mix of higher education and experience.
What health management career is the most popular?
According to the BLS, medical and health services manager jobs are projected to grow by 32% between 2020 and 2030, which is four times the national average. While nearly 430,000 positions exist, 140,000 will be added by the end of the decade. The BLS projects that 51,800 jobs will open each year due to current medical and health services managers moving on to other jobs or retiring from the field. With so many health management jobs projected to expand in the coming years, many of the roles outlined in this guide will remain popular. Individuals considering this path should carefully consider which option best aligns with their professional interests and salary expectations.
Can I go into health management with an online degree?
Entering the health management field with an online degree offers a route into the profession. In fact, many students who decide to pursue a master's degree do so through virtual learning as it makes it easier for them to continue working and balance personal responsibilities alongside schooling. In addition to master's and doctoral programs, students can also find associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and certificates online. Many of these programs offer asynchronous learning, meaning students can watch lectures when convenient.
How much money can I make with a health management job?
Health management salaries can vary substantially, with healthcare human resources managers earning more than double the average salary of a health information manager. That said, many factors affect salaries, including degree level, title, amount of experience, employer, and location. Given the wide spectrum of salaries available in this field, individuals considering this path should think carefully about what roles suit their interests and lifestyle. Some roles pay more than others, but they may also come with more responsibilities and higher levels of stress.
What degree is best to go into health management?
Choosing the best degree to get into the health management field depends on the type of career you aspire to. For instance, someone who wants to work as a healthcare finance manager may pursue a bachelor's or master's in finance rather than a degree in occupational or physical therapy, which suits the needs of a rehabilitation manager. In recent years, more schools have started offering bachelor's, master's, and doctorates in healthcare management and healthcare administration. While these programs have a general focus, they provide the training and credentials needed to work in a variety of healthcare management positions.