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HEALTHCARE CAREER GUIDES

Rehabilitation Services Manager Career

OVERVIEW

What Is a Rehabilitation Services Manager?


 

Rehabilitation services managers work in high-level administrative roles, overseeing the daily operation of rehabilitation centers that provide care for many types of recovery. They supervise staff members who work one-on-one with patients. Rehab services managers usually have a background in both healthcare and business so that they can run a clinic with an understanding of what their therapists do.

Since they inhabit a management role, rehabilitation managers should exhibit good leadership and communication skills. Additionally, many—if not all—managers in this field acquire years of experience so they can effectively handle the many responsibilities of leading a rehabilitation center.

RESPONSIBILITIES

What Does a Rehabilitation Services Manager Do?

A rehabilitation services manager usually performs the following tasks on a daily or weekly basis:

  • Developing and evaluating rehabilitation therapy services and programs. Rehab managers determine the main forms of treatment administered in rehabilitation centers.
  • Facilitating department policies and procedures. These policies govern how patients are treated and how therapists and other staff members perform their jobs.
  • Overseeing finances. This includes estimating the number of staff, equipment, and supplies needed as well as preparing the department budget.
  • Conducting ongoing program reviews. Regular reviews are crucial to meeting or exceeding department goals and compliance standards.
  • Updating treatment methods to maintain quality of care. Maintaining a high quality of service means adjusting treatment plans as needed and keeping up with changing healthcare technology.
  • Adjusting work assignments and schedules. Managers must maintain adequate staffing levels to respond to fluctuating workloads.
  • Onboarding, training, and supporting staff. Proper management includes imparting to staff members the knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs well.
  • Fostering good customer relations. Rehabilitation managers and their staff should ensure patient satisfaction.

Where Does a Rehabilitation Services Manager Work?     

The largest employers of rehabilitation services managers are inpatient hospitals. However, many rehab services managers also work in doctors’ offices, nursing and residential care facilities, and outpatient care centers.

EDUCATION & BEST DEGREES

How Do I Become a Rehabilitation Services Manager?

To become a rehab services manager, you should determine how far you’d like to go with your education and professional experience. Many managers in this field go beyond completing a bachelor’s program—they typically earn a master’s degree, certification, or both. Below are some steps for becoming a rehabilitation services manager.

  1.  Complete a bachelor’s degree in an allied health field. Common degree programs include healthcare administration, health and human services, physical therapy, and psychology.
  2. Complete a master’s degree in a health- or business-related field. Common graduate programs include health administration and an MBA in healthcare management.
  3. Get certified in rehabilitation management. To gain a deeper understanding of managing therapy and treatment plans, consider becoming a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) or a Certified Vocational Evaluation Specialist (CVE). Certification could also lead to career advancement opportunities along with an increased salary.
  4. Take courses in grant writing. It can be useful to learn how to write grants to apply for and secure funding. These funds could help improve rehab center operations and treatments.
  5. Gain relevant work experience. To be better prepared for the responsibilities of a management role, you might consider gaining foundational experience in an entry- or mid-level healthcare administration job.
  6. Apply for rehabilitation services manager jobs. Of course, to be considered for a role in the field, you need to job search and complete applications. Remember to update or polish your résumé and cover letter and prepare yourself for answering interview questions.

Best Degrees for a Rehabilitation Services Manager

Nursing (Prelicensure) – B.S.

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a...

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a baccalaureate-prepared nurse:

  • Locations: Due to in-person clinical requirements, students must be full time residents of FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT to enroll in this program. The coursework in this program is offered online, but there are in-person requirements.
  • Tuition: $6,430 per 6-month term for the first 4 terms of pre-nursing coursework and $8,755 per 6-month term for the remaining 4 terms of clinical nursing coursework.
  • Time: This program has a set pace and an expected completion time of 4 years. Certain coursework may be accelerated to finish faster.
  • WGU offers the prelicensure program in areas where we have partnerships with healthcare employers to provide practice sites and clinical coaches to help teach you and inspire you on your path to becoming a nurse.
  • If you don't live in one of our prelicensure states or don't qualify to apply, consider getting our Bachelor's in Health and Human Services instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also working directly with patients who need help.

Nursing (RN-to-BSN Online) – B.S.

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking the added...

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking the added theoretical depth, employability, and respect that a bachelor's degree brings:

  • Time: 77% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition: $4,685 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 23 total courses in this program.
  • Transfers: Students can transfer up to 90 credits.

With over 35,000 BSN alumni, this is one of WGU's most popular online degree programs. View our RN to BSN degree guide. If you are an RN ready to earn your BSN, this program will help you accelerate to earn your degree.

If you don't currently have an RN and don't qualify for your nursing prelicensure program, consider getting our Bachelor's in Health and Human Services instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry in a unique way.

Nursing – Leadership & Management (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a substantial leap...

This program for RNs includes a BSN component and is a substantial leap toward becoming a nurse leader.

  • Time: 75% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition: $4,685 per 6-month term during undergraduate portion and $4,795 per 6-month term during graduate portion.
  • Courses: 32 total courses in this program.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Quality Director
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Project Manager

If you're driven to lead, this online nursing degree will provide you everything needed to make that career a reality. This program is ideal for current RNs who are interested in earning both their BSn and MSN in an accelerated program.

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.

Nursing – Leadership & Management (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.

For registered nurses with a bachelor's degree who are ready for...

For registered nurses with a bachelor's degree who are ready for additional career opportunities.

  • Time: 68% of grads finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition: $4,795 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 15 total courses in this program.

This program is ideal for current RNs who have a BSN and are ready for the next step in their education.

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

  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Quality Director
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Project Manager

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical and health services managers to grow 17% by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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.

Nursing Leadership and Management – Post-Master's Certificate

A certificate for registered nurses with a master's degree in nursing who...

A certificate for registered nurses with a master's degree in nursing who are ready for greater responsibility in a leadership and management role.

  • Time: 12 months.
  • Tuition: $4,795 per 6-month term. The cost to sit for the NAHQ Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) exam is included in tuition.
  • Courses: 8 total courses in this program.

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

  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Quality Director
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Project Manager

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of medical and health services managers to grow 17% by 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

How Much Does a Rehabilitation Service Manager Make?

$122,500

According to Salary.com, the average salary of rehabilitation services managers in the U.S. is about $122,500 as of May 2023. The salary range typically falls between $115,000 and $129,000. The bottom 10% earn about $109,000 per year while the top 10% earn around $134,500 per year.
 

What Is the Job Outlook for a Rehabilitation Services Manager?

28%

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), jobs in medical and health services management are projected to grow by 28% from 2021 to 2031. About 56,600 openings for medical and health services managers are projected each year on average.
 

SKILLS

What Skills Does a Rehabilitation Services Manager Need?

Since this job sits at an intersection of healthcare and business, rehabilitation managers should develop a well-rounded set of skills in both disciplines. Common skills for the role include:

  • General knowledge of rehabilitative treatment methods in therapeutic recreation, art, and music.
  • General knowledge of potential hazards to patients during treatment and precautionary and remedial measures to prevent hazards.
  • Basic knowledge of human development and developmental disorders to apply appropriate therapies.
  • Basic knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
  • Supervision and leadership skills.
  • Knowledge of applying techniques, principles, and practices of rehabilitation therapy.
  • Skill in communicating with staff members, patients, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Skill in documenting treatment responses in patient records.
  • Knowledge of financial budgeting.

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

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 Rehabilitation Services Manager?

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