Hospital manager on the phone

How to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager

Duties, Responsibilities, Schooling, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary

Hospital manager on the phone

From private clinics and hospital networks to government-sponsored public health programs, healthcare organizations are more capable and effective than ever before. However, they’re also much more complex than they’ve ever been. That’s why the most successful healthcare organizations rely heavily on the leadership skills of administrative professionals like medical and health services managers.

For people who are natural leaders and organizers and love the idea of helping departments, facilities, or even entire organizations provide better care, becoming a medical and health services manager could be your calling. It’s a versatile career path that comes with opportunities to specialize in many different areas, and it’s also an excellent way to earn a living. In fact, we recently featured medical and health services managers on our list of the highest-paying public health jobs in 2021.

This career guide will teach you everything you need to know about becoming a medical and health services manager, including the educational requirements, necessary certifications, and some of the daily responsibilities you can expect while on the job. You may also be pleasantly surprised at how long it takes to become a medical and health services manager—it’s a career that’s achievable in less time than you might think!

Not sure if becoming a medical and health services manager is the right career path for you? Click here to see our full list of the highest paying public health jobs.

Medical and Health Services Manager Definition

What is a Medical and Health Services Manager?

Medical and health services managers are public health professionals who specialize in administering and managing all different types of health resources. Depending on their specific role, medical and health services managers may be responsible for a certain department within a larger organization, their own clinic, or an entire network of healthcare facilities.

Medical and Health Services Manager: Job Description

What Does a Medical and Health Services Manager Do?

Medical and health services managers are involved in just about every aspect of running a successful healthcare program or facility. They’re often responsible for things like setting big-picture goals, recruiting and training employees, managing budgets, and ensuring their facility has sufficient supplies and resources to run smoothly and effectively. Medical and health services managers in some roles may also work with investors or directorship boards to provide updates on their performance or their progress toward specific goals.

Medical and Health Services Manager Duties

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of medical and health services managers include:

  • Developing goals and objectives for their department or facility
  • Evaluating processes and programs to improve quality and efficiency
  • Managing budgets, finances, and projections for required expenses
  • Recruiting, supervising, and training employees and staff members
  • Ensuring their department or facility stays compliant with relevant regulations
  • Communicating with organizational leadership or investors as necessary

Team of medical professionals at a table

Medical and Health Services Manager Skills

To succeed as a medical and health services manager, you’ll need to combine leadership and organizational skills with a strong sense of empathy and a desire to care for others. Helping your organization, department, or facility do the most good for the most people will sometimes require making difficult decisions when it comes to managing projects, budgets, and employees. Medical and health services managers will need polished interpersonal skills to be inspiring leaders and communicators. They will also need strong analytical and organizational instincts to get the most out of the programs under their supervision.

Where Do Medical and Health Services Managers Work?

The majority of medical and health services managers work in hospitals, private physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, or residential care facilities. You’ll also find a fair amount of medical and health services manager jobs within government health organizations. Medical and health services managers usually work full-time, 40-hour workweeks, though some positions may occasionally require longer hours. For example, facilities like hospitals that are open around the clock may require working nights or weekends, or occasionally responding to emergencies after hours.

Medical and Health Services Manager Schooling & Certification

How Long Does It Take to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager?

What Degree Do You Need to Be a Medical and Health Services Manager?

To build the organizational, leadership, and communication skills they need to excel in their jobs, medical and health services managers must earn at least a bachelor’s degree. While traditional bachelor’s degree programs require a full four years in school, some accelerated degree programs can be completed in just two and a half years. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, health and wellness, or another health-related field can give you a great head start toward a future career as a medical and health services manager.

The highest-paid medical and health services managers also frequently earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, which often provides more chances to advance into higher-level positions. Many master’s degree programs require another two to three years in school, but just like your bachelor’s degree, you can finish your MPH degree much faster with an accelerated degree program. Some MPH programs can even be completed entirely online in as few as 63 weeks!

Like any other long-term goal, becoming a medical and health services manager can be broken down into a series of smaller steps, which can keep you on track and make the final outcome feel much more attainable.

Healthcare symbols hovering over a laptop and stethoscope

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the education, experience, and certifications you’ll need to become a medical and health services manager:

1. Enroll in a Healthcare-Focused Bachelor’s Degree Program

The first step in your medical and health services manager training is enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program from an accredited college or university. To set yourself up for a career as a medical and health services manager, you may want to consider a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, or a B.S. program in an adjacent field like health and wellness. While earning your bachelor’s degree requires focus and dedication, it’s an achievable goal for just about anyone willing to put in the effort. For example, to enroll in any of the healthcare bachelor’s degree programs at Brookline College, all you’ll need is a high school diploma or GED, plus a passing score on a Scholastic Level Exam and a computer literacy exam.

2. Earn Your Bachelor of Science Degree

To effectively lead departments or facilities as a medical and health services manager, you’ll need to gain a fundamental knowledge of human health and the issues surrounding it, and learn how to become a great leader, organizer, and communicator. That means earning a healthcare-focused bachelor’s degree can give you a major head start over other degree programs as you work toward a career as a medical and health services manager.

Like any bachelor’s degree program, you should expect to study a number of general-education subjects like math, literature, statistics, psychology, and communications. There’s a reason these types of classes are required of all bachelor’s degree students—they’ll make you a more well-rounded person and professional and help you discover new interests and talents.

To thrive as a medical and health services manager, you’ll need plenty of contextual knowledge about human health and behavior, as well as how public health programs and initiatives work in the real world. Any bachelor’s degree program with a concentration in healthcare will likely include courses in everything from kinesiology to psychology to courses focused on health education and healthcare administration. Other classes will teach you leadership and management principles and how to use data and statistics in the context of public health issues. All these skills are vital for medical and health services managers, who must have a well-rounded knowledge of health and medicine in order to effectively manage their teams and plan for their facility’s future.

3. Earn Your Master of Public Health (MPH) Degree

While you can certainly get your foot in the door of some entry-level public health jobs with just a bachelor’s degree, earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree can make it much easier to land one of the highest paying jobs for medical and health services managers. An MPH program is where you’ll polish the advanced leadership and communication skills you’ll need to manage teams, improve processes, and steer your organization from a high level.

Your public health master’s program will build upon your bachelor’s degree with courses like epidemiology and biostatistics, as well as courses that will teach you about environmental and occupational health, clinical effectiveness, and how to analyze and improve healthcare programs and organizational structures.

At the end of your MPH program, you’ll need to complete a capstone course where you’ll apply the statistical methods you’ve learned to some aspect of public health. This capstone will demonstrate your ability to analyze and interpret the kind of data that medical and health services managers use to measure outcomes and help their organizations become more effective.

Hand holding healthcare building blocks

4. Stand Out By Earning Additional Certifications

While most medical and health services managers aren’t required to be licensed, there are a number of professional certifications that can make you more attractive to employers. Groups like the American Health Information Management Association and the American College of Health Care Administrators offer certifications that can demonstrate expertise in particular fields, once you’ve gained the necessary experience.

Some medical and health services managers with high-level administrative roles in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities may need to be licensed by the state in which they work. You can get details about state-by-state requirements from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

Medical and Health Services Manager Salary

How Much Do Medical and Health Services Managers Make?

Like all the other highest paying public health careers, the salary* range for medical and health services managers tends to be highest for those with the most education and experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary* for medical and health services managers across the country is over $118,000, which works out to over $57 per hour. Medical and health science manager salaries in the top 25% start at over $139,000 per year, while annual wages for the top 10% of earners can be as high as $195,000 and up.

Medical and Health Services Manager Job Outlook

What is the Job Outlook for Medical and Health Services Managers?

As the healthcare industry continues to grow in both scale and complexity, there will be an increasing need for administrative professionals like medical and health services managers who keep the trains running on time, so to speak. The BLS estimates overall employment of medical and health services managers will increase by a massive 32% by the year 2030. To put that in perspective, that’s four times higher than the average 8% growth rate for all jobs across all industries. By all accounts, medical and health services managers should have an excellent long-term job outlook for years to come.

Ready to Start Your Career as a Medical and Health Services Manager?

If you’re searching for a way to use your natural leadership and managerial skills to help healthcare organizations succeed from behind the scenes, becoming a medical and health services manager could be the best public health career for you. Putting in the time and effort to complete your education will pay off with a career that’s rewarding to your soul as well as your savings account. After all, medical and health services managers earn some of the highest salaries in all of public health!

Ready to begin your journey toward a long and rewarding career as a medical and health services manager? Click here to learn more about the MPH program at Brookline College, and start taking steps to achieve your new career in public health today!

Young medical students in a hallway