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Health Services Manager Career

How to Become a Health Services Manager

What’s an orchestra without a conductor? Just as conductors are essential for keeping musicians together and in time, health services managers are crucial to any healthcare setting because they coordinate healthcare employees and help them work toward common goals and standards.

These healthcare management professionals are experts at tracking and managing the day-to-day functions of hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. This dynamic, fast-paced career is on the rise, with a staggering projected growth rate of 32% from 2020 to 2030. Hospitals need qualified individuals who are up to date on healthcare regulations and can juggle all the responsibilities associated with managing a bustling healthcare facility. A health services manager career allows you to leverage your leadership skills and business acumen in the healthcare sector.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to merge healthcare and business into one career, then keep reading. 

clinical director talking to a medical doctor

What Is a Health Services Manager?

Health services managers, sometimes referred to as medical services managers, plan, coordinate, and facilitate the business activities of healthcare service employees. These professionals are vital to overall organization and efficacy. They work primarily in hospitals with teams of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel. 

A health services manager acts as a liaison between hospital workers and insurance agents, patients, and medical staff to ensure that care is delivered accurately and promptly. Their major contributions are understanding the impacts of health policy and healthcare law on hospitals, understanding the cost and reimbursement for drugs and other products, building programs that can attract medical staff and patient referrals, and promoting research partnerships.  

What Does a Health Services Manager Do?

Health services managers work at the intersection of business and healthcare. Their role is to bridge the gap between the two worlds to assist healthcare professionals, patients, and insurance companies. Some of their major responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of a healthcare organization, a specific unit, or a service area.
  • Gathering and analyzing data, using it to plan and manage projects and systems.
  • Managing clinical, professional, clerical, and administrative staff as well as the recruitment, selection, appraisal, and development of staff.
  • Liaising and negotiating with medical and non-medical staff and with people in external organizations (e.g., social services, voluntary groups, or the private sector).
  • Implementing policies and ensuring that quality care is delivered to patients and government guidelines are followed.
  • Setting budgets and maintaining finances within tight constraints.
  • Managing contracts and service delivery agreements.
  • Planning and implementing strategic changes to improve service delivery, including new policies and directives.
  • Scheduling and attending meetings, writing reports, and delivering presentations.
  • Organizing clinical governance and audit.
  • Sitting on committees and representing the views of departments and teams.
  • Handling communications and corporate affairs.
  • Managing premises, catering, cleaning, transportation, and security.
  • Buying equipment and supplies and organizing stores.
  • Using computers to manage information and financial data, analyze and measure performance, and plan provision and development for major projects. 

How Do I Become a Health Services Manager?

There are some educational requirements on the path to becoming a health services manager. It is also recommended that you gain certification to make yourself more competitive in the job market. You’ll need experience in the field to progress to this managerial role. The following is a step-by-step guide to becoming a healthcare services manager:

Consider getting a certificate in the field:

  • Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)
  • Certified Medical Manager (CMM) 
  • Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP)
  • Certified Professional in Health Care Risk Management (CPHRM).

Best Degrees for a Health Services Manager

Health Services Coordination – B.S.

An online health degree program for students passionate about...

An online health degree program for students...

An online health degree program for students passionate about value-based care and dedicated to helping others.

  • Time: 60% of graduates of similar programs finish within 3 years.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,795 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.

Sample careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Care coordinator
  • Patient advocate
  • Health services coordinator
  • Patient educator
  • Community health educator

This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also directly working with patients who need help.

Healthcare Management – B.S. Business Administration

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:...

You can become a healthcare industry leader:

Compare with B.S. Health Information Management

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 35 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Health information manager
  • Community service manager
  • Clinical manager
  • Medical records manager
  • Social service manager

The online courses in this career-focused business degree program will prepare you with management-level skills and an up-to-date understanding of our healthcare delivery system.

Master of Health Leadership

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly in line with innovations in health and healthcare.

  • Time: 78% of grads finish within 24 months. 
  • Tuition and fees: $4,385 per 6-month term.

Examples of careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Managed care executive
  • Director of integrated care management
  • Health center manager/clinic manager
  • Director of integrated facilities

Your rich experience in a health-related field can mean more when you bring a master's level of understanding to the problems that organizations need to solve.

Compare degrees
This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

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male clinical director talking to a female doctor

What Skills Does a Health Services Manager Need?

These professionals have important and unique responsibilities, which is why it’s important that they hold the skills necessary to effectively meet the needs of a health services manager’s job description. Some of these essential skills include:

  • Verbal and written communication skills, as well as listening skills and the ability to cooperate and negotiate with others.
  • Motivation and an interest in the sector, identifying with the common values and aims of the organization.
  • The ability to handle responsibility, delegate effectively, and manage resources.
  • Prioritizing the achievement of results, maintaining the energy and enthusiasm needed to ensure that objectives are met.
  • Initiative and leadership skills and the ability to gain the trust, commitment, and cooperation of others.
  • Teamwork and the ability to collaborate effectively with others.
  • The ability to grasp clinical issues, including the understanding of treatments and evolving medical technologies.
  • Organizational skills to deal with a diverse range of challenges.,
  • Decision-making, particularly in sensitive areas such as the allocation of funds or organizing staff levels for a unit.
  • Numeracy and the ability to analyze complex issues, absorb information, understand data, and identify underlying trends.
  • Adaptability and readiness to challenge existing practices and find alternatives.
  • The ability to cope with pressure and ongoing change in the form of new medical technology and treatments, policies, practices, and reorganization.

How Much Does a Health Services Manager Make?


The health services manager salary range is an attractive attribute to this career path. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $101,340 in May 2021. The lowest 10% that year earned less than $60,780, while the highest 10% earned more than $205,620

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Imagine never struggling to find a job. That's a reality for health services managers. In fact, health services manager is one of the most in-demand positions in the healthcare industry.

The employment of health services managers is projected to rise by 32% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 51,800 openings for health services managers are projected each year, on average, over these 10 years.

Where Do Health Services Managers Work?


Health services managers most commonly work in offices in healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and group medical practices. 

FAQs about Health Service Managers

The first step to working in healthcare services management is to earn a bachelor’s degree in health services coordination. After earning your bachelor’s degree, you should gain some work experience as a healthcare coordinator or in another relevant role. At this point, you may want to consider earning your master’s degree in health leadership so that you can access more advanced roles. In addition to your degrees, you also have the option of seeking advanced training in healthcare administration or a relevant certification. 

Medical health services managers track and manage the day-to-day functions of hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.

Medical health services managers are responsible for understanding the impact of health policy and healthcare law on hospitals and patients. They also must have an expert knowledge of the cost and reimbursement for drugs and other products.

Interested in Becoming a Health Services Manager?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.

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