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Healthcare Program Manager Career


What is a Healthcare Program Manager?


A healthcare program manager is an individual who manages programs across an entire healthcare organization. Sometimes working in tandem with other healthcare managers, they help healthcare employees complete tasks, eliminate roadblocks, and achieve program success. 

As a specialized career option, the role of a healthcare program manager typically requires both an undergraduate and a master’s degree. In addition, you’ll likely need to gain at least a few years of experience in a relevant healthcare field.


What Does a Healthcare Program Manager Do?

Healthcare program managers fulfill a wide variety of job responsibilities. On some days, you’ll likely spend time communicating with healthcare employees to determine where they stand on current programs. On other days, you’ll need to update healthcare executives on program details, estimated completion dates, and other important aspects of ongoing organizational processes.

The exact responsibilities of a healthcare program manager include:

  • Assigning program tasks to specific healthcare employees
  • Connecting with healthcare staff members to gauge their progress on program tasks
  • Ensuring program tasks are completed ahead of deadlines
  • Helping healthcare organizations eliminate roadblocks that could prevent on-time task completion dates
  • Reporting program progress details to company executives, management boards, and other organizational representatives
  • Collaborating with other members of the program management team
  • Informing a healthcare organization’s understanding of current program details
  • Leading healthcare departments toward on-time program completion dates

These and other responsibilities allow healthcare program managers to serve as the glue that holds a healthcare organization's programs together.These are only some of the tasks carried out by health information managers. Depending on the specific sub-field you end up in, you may have more specialized duties.


What Education Does a Healthcare Program Manager Need?

Before you can begin employment as a healthcare program manager, you’ll need to complete a few educational requirements. After you successfully obtain your undergraduate degree, you’ll also need to complete a Master of Healthcare Administration or MBA healthcare management program in order to be qualified for this advanced leadership role. When determining the right healthcare leadership degree for you, consider your desired role. 

A master’s program helps to develop skills like risk management, data analysis, and healthcare information technology (IT). These abilities contribute to immediate success once you begin a professional healthcare career. You’ll be able to use the knowledge and skills you gain in your program to manage teams, drive strategy, enhance communication, and more.

What Degrees are Best for a Healthcare Program Manager?

Health & Nursing

Master of Healthcare Administration

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

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

  • Time: 60% of grads finish within 21 months. 
  • Tuition: $4,995 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 12 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Healthcare Models and Systems
  • Healthcare Financial Management
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Healthcare Information Technology

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.


MBA Healthcare Management

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare organizations....

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare organizations.

  • Time: WGU lets you set a schedule so you can finish your MBA in just one year.
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé you will learn in this program include: 

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Patient care improvement
  • Service line development
  • Healthcare trends
  • Health policy and legislation

Healthcare is big business in today's complex economy.  Steer your career with this specialty MBA.

Compare online business degrees

This program is not the only online business degree WGU offers that is designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees.

How Much Does a Healthcare Program Manager Make?


The exact income of a healthcare program manager varies based on many factors, including your employer, employer’s location, employer’s size, employer’s public or private healthcare funding, your years of experience, and your education.

In general, the annual salary of a healthcare program manager averages $82,558, with a range of roughly $62,519 to $105,404.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The job outlook for healthcare program managers is expected to remain positive in future years. From 2019 to 2029, employment for all medical and health service managers is expected to grow by 32%. This growth rate is well above the programmed average across all occupations.


What Skills Does a Healthcare Program Manager Need?

A healthcare program manager relies on a well-developed skillset to ensure success. Whether you’re eliminating program roadblocks or updating company executives on program progress, you’ll depend on key skills each day.

The skills a healthcare program manager needs can include:

  • Program management. The ability to successfully manage each of a healthcare organization’s programs, ensuring deadlines are met and motivating the employees responsible for program completion.
  • Delegation. The ability to assign tasks to appropriate healthcare employees.
  • Data reporting. The ability to report on the performance of a single employee or group of employees, as it relates specifically to program completion standards.
  • Training. The ability to train any new employees regarding a healthcare organization’s current and ongoing programs, as well as program-completion best practices.
  • Staffing. The ability to hire and fire employees in a way that creates a cohesive workforce.
  • Interpersonal communication. The ability to correspond effectively with all healthcare employees, organizational representatives, and executives.
  • Problem-solving. The ability to identify and solve problems that a healthcare organization or its programs might face.

These and other skills help healthcare program managers fulfill their duties as they motivate healthcare organizations toward success.

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No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Healthcare Program Manager?

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