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5 Fast-Growing Healthcare Management Jobs

5 Fast-Growing Healthcare Management JobsHealthcare service and administration is a fast-growing field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 17% growth in healthcare management jobs through 2024 (an increase of 56,300 positions).1 As a fairly open field, those who choose to pursue a healthcare administration job may have the opportunity to work with hospitals, doctors' offices, nursing homes, public health departments, and even universities and research centers.

What do some of these healthcare management positions look like, though, and how can students prepare themselves for a job in the field? Below we provide a quick look at the healthcare management field, some common healthcare services and administration positions, and the education levels some of these jobs may require.

What Is Healthcare Management?

Healthcare management refers to the field of medical and health services executives—often called healthcare managers or administrators—who oversee operations at various healthcare facilities and organizations. Those working in healthcare management positions typically work closely with physicians, nurses, and medical technicians to help ensure they can provide quality patient care, while some may act as liaisons between hospitals and clinics and the communities in which they're located to help inform the public about important health issues.

Healthcare managers and administrators can oversee specific departments within a hospital or clinic, or they may manage a single office in a larger medical group. These roles are essential to the ongoing operations of healthcare facilities and enable doctors and nurses to focus on providing medical care to patients. Responsibilities in a healthcare management position may range from maintaining financial records and ordering supplies for a single physician's office to creating work schedules and overseeing a group of assistant administrators in larger facilities.2

Common Healthcare Management Jobs

Some common positions in healthcare management include:

  • Clinical Manager – Clinical managers oversee a specific department or area of specialization within a practice, and use their expertise in that area to create policies and procedures for their staff. This role also requires managers to evaluate performance, find ways of increasing efficiency and quality of care, and compiling regular reports on their department.3
  • Medical Director – The medical director of a facility is responsible for overseeing all aspects of patient care, from managing the staff of doctors and nurses to setting standards for ongoing education and internal policies and practices. Medical directors may also be tasked with creating plans for achieving certain goals and benchmarks in the quality of care provided by their facility.4
  • Health Information Managers – Health information managers ensure that patient records are properly maintained and organized, including staying up-to-date on information technology and database systems as well as requirements for staying compliant with privacy laws and regulations.5
  • Nursing Home Administrators – Nursing home administrators ensure that all aspects of patient care meet required quality standards, as well as managing facility operations, finances, and admissions.6
  • Assistant Administrators – In larger facilities, assistant administrators may help clinical managers or the medical director by running daily operations within a specific department. These roles typically involve finding ways to carry out the plans and directives set by higher-level administrators on a day-to-day basis.7

Education and Degree Requirements

Those looking to pursue a career in healthcare services and administration should plan to get a bachelor's degree in healthcare management, as this is the minimum education level required for most positions. This type of degree is designed to prepare students for the types of administrative and organizational tasks required in healthcare management jobs.8

While different jobs and facilities each have their own unique requirements, many people choose to pursue a graduate degree such as an MBA or Master of Science in Management with a concentration in healthcare management or administration in the hopes of moving into a higher position more quickly. Others may choose to build their resume with several years of experience in entry-level assistant positions before trying to advance to the level of department or facility director.

It is also essential in any healthcare management role to stay up-to-date on the most recent medical laws and regulations in order to ensure compliance for all offices and practices one oversees. Depending on state and facility guidelines, some healthcare administrators may need to hold licenses or certifications. Nursing home administrators, for example, must be licensed by the state in which they practice, while others may opt for certification with the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management or the American College of Health Care Administrators in order to help advance their careers.

Interested in a career in healthcare management? Learn more about some of the factors motivating recent growth in the field.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
3Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
4 AMDA: The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, "What is a Medical Director?" on the Internet at https://www.amda.com/consumers/MedicalDirector.cfm (visited February 10, 2016).
5Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
6Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
7Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).
8Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (visited 3/8/16).

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