How do I become a medical and health services manager? (2024)

A detailed primer on become a medical and health services manager. Here we explore the education and certification requirements to enter the profession.

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How do I become a medical and health services manager? (2024)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Medical services managers play a crucial role in ensuring efficient and effective delivery of health care services. They oversee various aspects of facilities, from budgeting to patient care and staff supervision. In this guide, we will explore how to become a medical services manager. Learn the steps and requirements for becoming a successful medical services manager. Discover the essential skills, education, certification, and tips for landing your dream job in this fast-paced and rewarding field.

What is a Medical Services Manager?

Medical services managers, also known as health care administrators or health care executives, are responsible for the planning, coordination, and supervision of various aspects of health care services. Their primary goal is to ensure that health care facilities run smoothly and efficiently while providing high-quality patient care. In general, medical services managers are responsible for:

  1. Planning and coordinating health care services: Medical services managers develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure the smooth functioning of health care facilities. They often collaborate with department heads and physicians to evaluate the performance of various services, identify areas for improvement, and implement new strategies to enhance patient care.
  2. Managing budgets and resources: Allocating financial resources is a significant part of a medical services manager's job. They are responsible for creating budgets, negotiating contracts with suppliers, and monitoring the spending to ensure that the health care facility remains financially viable.
  3. Ensuring compliance with regulations and laws: Health care facilities must adhere to a complex array of federal, state, and local regulations. Medical services managers are responsible for ensuring that their facilities comply with these rules to avoid penalties and maintain the quality of patient care.
  4. Supervising staff: Medical services managers oversee health care personnel, including hiring, training, and evaluating their performance. They must ensure that the staff is appropriately educated and certified to provide the best possible patient care.

Medical and Health Services Manager Specializations

There are different types of medical services managers, depending on the size and type of health care facility.

Some common specializations include:

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Clinical Manager
  • Medical Records Manager
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Health Information Manager
  • Nursing Home Administrator

Each of these positions requires specialized knowledge and skills to ensure that their specific health care services are managed effectively.

Education and Training Requirements

To become a medical services manager, candidates must typically have at least a bachelor's degree in health care administration or a related field. Relevant areas of study may include public health, business administration, or health services management. Coursework in these programs often covers topics such as health care management, health care finance, medical law and ethics, health information systems, and human resources management.

For higher-level positions, many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in health care administration or a related field. Graduate programs offer more advanced coursework and may also provide students with opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships and practicums.

Internships and work experience are essential for aspiring medical services managers. Gaining practical experience in a health care setting not only provides valuable skills but also offers networking opportunities and potential job offers upon graduation. Many health care administration programs require students to complete internships or practicum experiences, which can be a stepping stone to a full-time position after graduation.

Certification and Licensing

Several professional organizations offer certification for medical services managers. Some of the most common certifications include:

  1. American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE): The ACHE offers the Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) designation, which demonstrates expertise in health care management and commitment to the profession.
  2. Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM): PAHCOM offers the Certified Medical Manager (CMM) credential, which focuses on the administrative aspects of health care management.
  3. American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): AHIMA offers various certifications for health information managers, including Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) and Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) credentials.

Obtaining certification can enhance a medical services manager's credibility and recognition within the industry, leading to potential career advancement and higher salaries.

Some positions, such as nursing home administrators and assisted living administrators, require licensing. Licensing requirements vary by state and may include passing an examination, completing a training program, or meeting specific educational and experiential criteria.

Essential Skills and Qualities of a Successful Medical Services Manager

Medical services managers need a diverse set of skills and qualities to succeed in their roles:

  1. Communication skills: Effective verbal and written communication are vital for medical services managers. They must be able to convey complex information to various stakeholders, including staff, patients, and regulatory agencies. Active listening and empathy are also crucial, as these skills help build strong relationships and foster a positive work environment.
  2. Leadership and management skills: Medical services managers are responsible for leading teams of health care professionals. They must be able to inspire and motivate staff, make informed decisions, and solve problems effectively. Time management and organizational skills are also essential, as medical services managers often juggle multiple tasks and priorities.
  3. Analytical and critical thinking skills: Medical services managers must be able to analyze data and make informed decisions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care services. Attention to detail and accuracy are also essential in ensuring compliance with regulations, managing budgets, and evaluating staff performance.
  4. Adaptability and flexibility: The health care industry is continually changing, and medical services managers must be able to adapt and respond to new challenges. They should be willing to learn and stay current with industry trends and regulations to ensure that their health care facilities remain competitive and provide the highest quality patient care.

Work Environment and Hours

Medical services managers typically work full-time in office settings. Some may have to travel to other health care facilities or participate in meetings outside of normal working hours. Many medical service managers also work evenings and weekends to ensure that the health care facility is operating efficiently and meeting patient needs.

People who work as medical services managers sometimes work long hours and often face stressful and emotionally challenging situations. This can lead to burnout, and managers should develop coping strategies and take the necessary breaks to ensure that their mental and physical well-being are not compromised.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

The demand for medical services managers is expected to grow as the population ages, and advances in medical technology continue to drive the need for efficient health care services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical services managers is projected to grow 28% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Salaries for medical services managers can vary depending on factors such as education, experience, and geographic location. The median annual salary for medical services managers is around $101,340, with higher salaries for those with advanced degrees and certifications. The top 10% made more than $205,620. The bottom 10% made less than $60,780.

As medical services managers gain experience, they may have opportunities to advance in their careers by moving into higher-level management positions or specializing in a specific area of health care management.

Tips for Landing a Job as a Medical Services Manager

  1. Networking: Building professional relationships is essential for anyone looking to break into the field of medical services management. Attending industry events and conferences, joining professional organizations, and participating in online forums are all effective ways to network with others in the field and discover job opportunities.
  2. Creating a strong resume and cover letter: Your resume and cover letter must highlight your relevant education, experience, and skills. Tailor each document to the specific job opening to demonstrate how you are uniquely qualified for the position.
  3. Preparing for interviews: Research the company and industry before your interview, and practice common interview questions and scenarios. Demonstrating your enthusiasm and passion for the role during the interview will help set you apart from other candidates.

Professional Advancement and Growth

As medical services managers gain experience and take on more responsibilities, they will have the opportunity to advance in their careers and specialize in a particular area of health care management. Some potential avenues for advancement include:

  1. Becoming a department head: Medical services managers may have the opportunity to lead a department at a health care facility, such as finance, human resources, nursing, or IT. This position requires extensive experience and expertise in the specific department.
  2. Becoming a consultant: Experienced medical services managers often choose to become consultants and provide strategic guidance and advice to health care facilities.
  3. Opening a private practice: Medical services managers may choose to open their own private practice and provide executive management services to medical facilities.


Becoming a medical services manager requires a combination of education, experience, and essential skills. By following the steps outlined in this blog post and pursuing the appropriate education, certification, and hands-on experience, you can launch a successful career in medical services management. Not only will you have the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling and dynamic career, but you will also play a critical role in contributing to the health care industry's ongoing improvement and success.

More Resources

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