What does a Career in Health Services Management Involve?

Health services management careers involve directing, coordinating, and supervising the delivery of healthcare. Generalists in health services management will manage a whole medical facility. A specialist in the industry will manage a specific department.

Educational Requirements

In order to work as a generalist in healthcare management, most places will require you to obtain a masterís degree in a field such as health services administration, health sciences, public administration, long-term care administration, or business administration. Some entry-level positions at smaller facilities may hire an individual that only has a bachelorís degree in the field. However, many times along with the bachelorís degree, a number of years of experience in the field will be necessary as well.

Job Description

The healthcare industry is a business and as such needs a good management team in order to keep it running smoothly. The job of the health services manager will be to directly supervise the way healthcare is delivered within the facility. Health services managers are increasingly called upon to increase the efficiency of the healthcare facility in which they work. The health services manager will be in charge of increasing the quality of care provided to each patient.

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Types of Jobs

Working in a large facility, a health services manager may have several assistants that direct the activities within different areas such as nursing, surgery, clinical, and health information. As a health services manager in a small facility, you can expect to handle more of the daily operation details. Another job in the health services management industry is clinical managers. Clinical managers have experience in a certain clinical area and will have specific responsibilities related to that area.

Work Environment

Depending on the facility in which the health services manager works, they may have a nice private office or have to share space with other people on staff. Working in the health care industry requires long hours, as the facilities all operate 24 hours a day. The hours put in as a health services manager will vary, as you can be called at any time to deal with problems that may arise. Travel may be involved to attend meetings or visit other healthcare facilities.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health service managers held 283,500 jobs in 2008. These jobs were in hospitals, physicianís offices, nursing care facilities, and home health care. From 2008 to 2018 the number of jobs available in the industry is expected to grow 16 percent, which is faster than the average job growth rate among other jobs. Overall, the job prospects for health services management positions should be quite good as the healthcare industry continues to expand.

As with most jobs in the healthcare industry, management positions should grow at a fairly rapid pace in the next few years. This is due to several factors, including the increasing number of elderly people requiring medical care.

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