Medical and health services managers held about 480,700 jobs in 2021. The largest employers of medical and health services managers were as follows:
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||30%|
|Offices of physicians||12|
|Nursing and residential care facilities||9|
|Outpatient care centers||7|
Most medical and health services managers work in offices.
Most medical and health services managers work full time. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week. Work during evenings or weekends may be required in healthcare settings that are open at all hours, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Medical and health services managers may need to be on call in case of emergencies.
Most medical and health services managers have at least a bachelor’s degree before entering the field. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Educational requirements vary by facility and specific function.
Medical and health services managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree to enter the occupation. However, master’s degrees are common and sometimes preferred by employers. Graduate programs often last between 2 and 3 years and may include up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience in a hospital or healthcare consulting setting.
Common majors for medical and health services managers include healthcare and related fields, such as health administration, nursing, or public policy and social services. Degrees that focus on both management and healthcare combine business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems. For example, a degree in health administration or health information management often includes courses in health services management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems.
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Many employers require prospective medical and health services managers to have some work experience in either an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare facility. For example, nursing home administrators usually have years of experience working as a registered nurse.
Others may begin their careers as medical records and health information technicians, administrative assistants, or financial clerks within a healthcare office.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
All states require licensure for nursing home administrators; requirements vary by state. In most states, these administrators must have a bachelor’s degree, complete a state-approved training program, and pass a national licensing exam. Some states also require applicants to pass a state-specific exam; others may require applicants to have previous work experience in a healthcare facility. Some states also require licensure for administrators in assisted-living facilities. For information on specific state-by-state licensure requirements, visit the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.
A license is typically not required in other areas of medical and health services management. However, some positions may require applicants to have a registered nurse or social worker license.
Although certification is not required, some managers choose to become certified. Certification is available in many areas of practice. For example, the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers certification in medical management, the American Health Information Management Association offers health information management certification, and the American College of Health Care Administrators offers the Certified Nursing Home Administrator and Certified Assisted Living Administrator distinctions.
Medical and health services managers advance by moving into higher paying positions with more responsibility. Some health information managers, for example, can advance to become responsible for the entire hospital’s information systems. Other managers may advance to top executive positions within the organization. Advancement to top level executive positions usually requires a master’s degree.
Medical and health services managers typically have an interest in the Helping, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.
If you are not sure whether you have a Helping or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as a medical and health services manager, you can take a career test to measure your interests.
Medical and health services managers should also possess the following specific qualities:
Analytical skills. Medical and health services managers must be able to understand and follow current regulations and be able to adapt to new laws.
Communication skills. These managers must be able to communicate effectively with other health professionals.
Detail oriented. Medical and health services managers must pay attention to detail. They might be required to organize and maintain scheduling and billing information for very large facilities, such as hospitals.
Interpersonal skills. Medical and health services managers need to be able to discuss staffing problems and patient information with other professionals, such as physicians and health insurance representatives. They must be able to motivate and lead staff.
Problem-solving skills. These managers are often responsible for finding creative solutions to staffing or other administrative problems.
Technical skills. Medical and health services managers must be able to follow advances in healthcare technology. For example, they may need to use coding and classification software and electronic health record (EHR) systems as their facility adopts these technologies.
The median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $101,340 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $60,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $205,620.
In May 2021, the median annual wages for medical and health services managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||$119,450|
|Outpatient care centers||99,540|
|Offices of physicians||98,230|
|Nursing and residential care facilities||83,550|
Most medical and health services managers work full time. Some managers work more than 40 hours per week. Work during evenings or weekends may be required in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes, which are open at all hours. Medical and health services managers may need to be on call in case of emergencies.
Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 56,600 openings for medical and health services managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
As the large baby-boom population enters older age groups, which typically experience more health problems, there should be increased demand for healthcare services. This means there will be greater need for physicians and other healthcare workers, medical procedures, and healthcare facilities, and therefore greater need for managers to organize and oversee medical information and healthcare staff. These managers are important for improving care coordination, which is key in team-based care.
In addition, widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs) will continue to create demand for managers with knowledge of health information technology (IT) and informatics systems. Medical and health services managers will be needed to organize, oversee, and integrate these records across areas of the healthcare industry.
For more information about medical and healthcare management, visit
Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
American Health Information Management Association
American College of Health Care Administrators
For more information about academic programs in this field, visit
Association of University Programs in Health Administration
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
For information about career opportunities in healthcare management, visit
American College of Healthcare Executives
For information about career opportunities in medical group practices and ambulatory care management, visit
Medical Group Management Association
For more information about licensure and training requirements for nursing home and assisted-living facility administrators, visit
National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards