In the fourth quarter of 2017, for the first time in history, healthcare surpassed manufacturing and retail to become the largest source of jobs in the United States, The Atlantic reports. Due to aging of the country’s population and unstoppable growth in medical spending, this was an expected milestone, but it was not expected to happen this soon.
The effect it has on healthcare careers is powerful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects healthcare support occupations (23.6 percent) and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (15.3 percent) to be among the fastest growing occupational groups during the 2016-2026 projection decade. They account for 13 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations and one-fifth of all new jobs by 2026.
Roles in healthcare management are no exception. This is an in-demand, lucrative career option.
What is Healthcare Management?
Healthcare management refers to overseeing, planning, directing and coordinating of medical and health services. Medical and health services managers, also referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, manage an entire facility, a specific area or department or a medical practice for a group of physicians.
According to the BLS, the largest employers of these professionals are:
- Hospitals (36 percent)
- Physicians’ offices of (11 percent)
- Nursing and residential care facilities (10 percent)
- Government (8 percent)
- Outpatient care centers (7 percent)
Specific tasks and responsibilities vary based on the actual role and the environment. For instance, a clinical manager overseeing a physical therapy department at an outpatient center will have different duties than a clinical manager overseeing nursing in a hospital. A different role entirely, such as health information manager, will entail fundamental changes in the job description. These are just a couple of specialties within healthcare management.
Generally, the following tasks are carried out by healthcare managers:
- Improve efficiency and quality in providing healthcare services
- Develop departmental goals and objectives
- Ensure facility is compliant with current laws and regulations
- Recruit, train and supervise staff members
- Manage finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing
- Create work schedules
- Represent the facility or department at investor meetings or on governing boards
- Oversee records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used
- Communicate with medical staff and department heads
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How to Launch a Healthcare Management Career
Healthcare managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field. The BLS notes that master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Requirements will vary by facility and the specific role of the manager.
Healthcare Management Salary
The median annual wage for medical and health services managers is $98,350, according to the BLS. The top industry for salary is also the most common – managers in state, local and private hospitals earn $107,230.
In addition to high salary figures, healthcare managers enjoy a strong job outlook. Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to increase 20 percent by 2026. Growth should be especially strong for offices of health practitioners, with some services provided in hospitals shifting to these settings. Demand for healthcare managers with knowledge of health information technology will increase as well, given the widespread use of electronic health records.
Pursue a Career in Healthcare Management
Avila University’s online Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management prepares you for one of many successful careers within this growing field. Enhance your knowledge of the healthcare industry and become an expert in management through courses focused on topics such as organizational behavior, proposal writing techniques, micro and macroeconomics, statistical analysis and more.
All courses in this program are available online, allowing you to complete your degree at your own pace from wherever it’s convenient for you. Pursue a lucrative, fast-growing career with a degree from Avila.