Is becoming a health services manager right for me?
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How to become a Health Services Manager
Health services managers typically need at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration to enter the occupation. However, Bachelor's Degrees in Community Health, Public Health, Public Administration, or Business Administration are also common.
Undergraduate degree programs in healthcare administration prepare students for higher level management jobs. Courses often include hospital organization and management, accounting and budgeting, human resources administration, strategic planning, law and ethics, health economics, and health information systems.
Master's degrees are also available. Graduate programs often last between two and three years and may include up to one year of supervised experience. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular type of facility, such as a hospital, a nursing care home, a mental health facility, or a group medical practice.
Although bachelor’s and master’s degrees are the most common educational pathways to work in this field, some facilities may hire those with on-the-job experience instead of formal education. For example, managers of physical therapy may be experienced physical therapists who have administrative experience.
Most jurisdictions require nursing care facility administrators to be licensed; requirements vary by location. In most situations, these administrators must have a bachelor's degree, pass a licensing exam, and complete an approved training program. Some jurisdictions also require administrators in assisted-living facilities to be licensed. A license is not required in other areas of medical and health services management.
Health services managers advance by moving into more responsible and higher paying positions. In large hospitals, graduates of health administration programs usually begin as administrative assistants or assistant department heads. In small hospitals or nursing care facilities, they may begin as department heads or assistant administrators. Some experienced managers also may become consultants or professors of healthcare management.