A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at CTU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.
Medical and health services management is a rapidly growing field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 18% growth in employment of these occupations from 2018 through 2028.1 Those who choose to pursue jobs in healthcare management may find themselves working in or with hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, and public health departments.
Although job growth in healthcare management occupations is currently strong, deciding whether or why to pursue a career path in healthcare administration and management can depend on many factors. You should be asking yourself what the different types of healthcare management positions entail as well as considering the various steps needed to adequately prepare for pursuing one of these career paths.
Below we provide an overview of the healthcare management field, some common healthcare services and administration positions, and typical minimum education and licensing requirements.
What Is Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management involves the planning, directing, and coordinating of medical and health services. Medical and health services managers, also commonly known as healthcare administrators, are responsible for overseeing operations at healthcare organizations and facilities. Those working in healthcare management positions often interact closely with physicians, nurses, and medical technicians in order to help ensure quality patient care, while others may find themselves interfacing with patients and insurance agents.1
Healthcare managers and administrators might oversee specific departments within a hospital or clinic or manage a single office in a larger medical group. Their roles are essential to the ongoing operations of healthcare facilities, enabling doctors and nurses to focus on providing medical care to patients. Healthcare manager responsibilities could include managing patient fees and billing, creating work schedules, ensuring facility compliance with laws and regulations, and communicating with medical staff and department heads.1
Types of Healthcare Management Positions
Those who possess a healthcare management bachelor’s degree might choose to pursue a number of healthcare management positions or career paths, including:
- Clinical Manager—Clinical managers oversee a specific department or area of specialization. Typical responsibilities include developing and implementing departmental objectives, conducting performance evaluations, and preparing and monitoring budgets and spending.1
- Health Information Managers—Health information managers ensure that patient records and data are properly maintained and secured. They are responsible for ensuring that medical databases are complete and accurate and that only authorized individuals can gain access to this information. Although all health services and administration managers are typically expected to stay abreast of and respond to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology, health information managers in particular must be keenly aware of these changes since they are directly responsible for the handling of this sensitive patient information.1
- Nursing Home Administrators—Nursing home administrators oversee all facets of running a nursing home facility, including staff, admissions, finances, building maintenance, and resident care. All states require licensure to act as a nursing home administrator (and most states require licensure for assisted-living facility administrators as well), but specific licensing requirements vary state to state.1
Education and Degree Requirements
A bachelor's degree in healthcare management, bachelor’s in healthcare administration, or similar degree is generally required to enter the field. These degree programs are designed to help students work to develop the skills needed to handle the types of healthcare manager responsibilities they are likely to perform. A healthcare management education typically combines business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems.1
Master’s degrees are commonly held by those in healthcare management positions, and these degrees are sometimes preferred by employers.1 Pursuing a Master of Science in Healthcare Management or a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management could provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to seek more advanced positions.
Licensure and Certification
Apart from nursing home administration, most types of medical and health services fields do not typically require licensure. While it is the case that most states require nursing home administrators to possess a bachelor’s degree, complete a state-approved training program, pass a national licensing exam (and sometimes a state-specific exam as well), and have prior relevant work experience, licensing requirements vary by state, which means that you should be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s unique requirements. Certification is generally optional for those who work in healthcare management jobs.1Interested in the field of health administration services? Learn more about CTU’s healthcare management bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Medical and Health Services Managers,” available at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (last visited 2/24/2020). Conditions in your area may vary.
CTU cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. The list of career paths related to CTU’s Healthcare Management programs is based on a subset from the Bureau of Labor Statistics CIP to SOC Crosswalk. Some career paths listed above may require further education or job experience. Not all programs are available to residents of all states.
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