Professionals who desire a career with plenty of job growth and high salaries are often choosing health services management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth in healthcare overall will be 18% by 2026, which is much faster than average. This bachelor’s or master’s degree can be the ticket to enjoying a very lucrative and rewarding career in the health services field.
If you think your calling is health services management, below are six careers and salaries that you may consider. Keep in mind that the highest-paying careers typically require a master’s degree in health services management or health administration.
1. Medical and Health Services Manager
A medical and health services manager is one of the most in-demand and highest paid professionals with a health services management degree. This position may be referred to as healthcare executive or healthcare administrator. They are responsible for the planning, direction and coordination of medical and health services.
Medical and health services managers may be responsible for the management of an entire facility, a certain clinical department or area or a medical practice with many doctors on staff. It is very important for medical and health services managers to stay up to date on healthcare regulations, laws and technology. The most common duties in this position are:
- Enhance the efficiency and quality in the delivery of healthcare services to patients
- Come up with the goals of the healthcare facility or department
- Make sure that the healthcare facility where they work is entirely up to date on laws, regulations and technology to ensure compliance
- Recruit, train and supervise everyone on staff in the healthcare facility
- Handle the finances of the healthcare facility
- Supervise and/or create work schedules for each department
- Create and oversee the budget for the healthcare facility. Ensure that spending is within the limits of the budget
Medical and health services managers are upper level managers for many healthcare facilities. They work with healthcare professionals such as doctors, registered nurses and others. Some of the most common types of medical and health services managers are:
- Nursing home administrator: Responsible for the management of admissions, staff, finances, building care and finances. Also is responsible for ensuring that all nursing home residents are well cared for.
- Clinical manager: Typically is responsible for the oversight of a certain department: nursing, physical therapy, radiology or surgery. Their responsibilities will be based upon that speciality area. The clinical manager sets and carries out policies, procedures and goals for the department.
- Health information manager (HIM): Responsible for ensuring that patient records and data is secure. It is very important to stay out to date with current IT structures, new laws about health information systems and trends in managing large amounts of private patient data. This is a thriving field; more information is provided later on this page about this job.
The median wage for medical and health services managers was $96,500 in 2016. The top 10% with a master’s degree and a high level of experience earned $172,000 per year. The best-paying positions for medical and health services managers are usually in hospitals with a median wage of $104,000 per year. Most higher level administrators with this job title have a master’s degree in health services management or health administration.
This career field will see strong career growth of 20% through 2026. As the baby boomers are entering retirement and living longer and more active lives, they are requiring more healthcare. More healthcare services means more need for doctors, medical procedures and facilities. In turn, there will be more need for medical management professionals and health service managers.
2. Health Information Manager
A health information manager is skilled in the acquisition, analysis and protection of digital and traditional medical information that is critical to provide the best patient care. This profession is a combination of science, business and information technology – all harnessed to manage patient data to provide better care and higher profits for the healthcare facility.
HIM professionals have a high level of training in new information management technology software. They understand the workflow in any healthcare facility or provider. Whether they are working in a major hospital system, or a doctor’s office, the health information manager will know how to control and protect patient health information in the most efficient manner.
Health information managers often work in a bridge type of role – connecting administrative, clinical and operational functions. They information management professionals have a strong effect on patient information quality and patient care at every part of the healthcare delivery cycle. For example, HIM professionals help to properly classify treatments and diseases to ensure that they are fully standardized for financial, legal and clinical purposes.
Health information managers are responsible for the safeguarding of the integrity, quality and protection of patient data that includes:
- Physical exams and medical histories
- Laboratory results, such as blood tests, urine tests and biopsies
- Clinical information
- X-rays and various other radiology records
Payscale.com reports that the median salary for a health information manager is $69,500. It is expected that job growth in the field will be in the 20% range in the next several years, which is far above average.
3. Administrative Services Manager
Administrative services managers are responsible for the planning, direction and coordination of support services for various types of organizations. Many administrative services managers are employed by healthcare organizations. Therefore, a degree in health services management can be a solid background for this profession.
The specific job duties in this job will vary, but usually this manager will maintain the healthcare facility and provide supervisory roles. These can include recordkeeping, office upkeep and mail distribution. In a smaller healthcare facility, this manager may be the director and supervisor of all support services in the facility; this role is often known as the business office manager. Larger healthcare organizations may have several administrative managers who are specialists in various areas.
Administrative services managers typically have the following roles in healthcare-related facilities:
- Provide supervision of administrative and clerical workers for a hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office
- Manage, monitor and develop healthcare facility records
- Offer changes to healthcare procedures and policies to increase profits and streamline operations, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care
- Monitor the healthcare facility to ensure that it is clean, safe and properly maintained
- Oversee maintenance needs for any mechanical or electrical systems
- Make certain that the healthcare facility meets all security, health and environmental standards per state and federal regulations
Administrative services managers can be either facilities managers or records and information managers. Facilities managers are responsible for the oversight of buildings, grounds, supplies and equipment. Records and information managers are in charge of maintaining and developing the records of the organization. This is especially important regarding patient information; patient health information is critical to keep private and secure, while ensuring that it can be shared with other healthcare providers.
Administrative services managers earned a median salary of $90,050 in 2016, with healthcare and social assistance managers earning a typical salary of $83,800. Job demand in this field is on the rise, with an above average 10% growth expected by 2026.
4. Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Medical records and health information technicians are responsible for the organization and management of health information data. They ensure that the information maintains accuracy, quality, accessibility and security. This goes for both electronic and paper files. These technicians use several types of classification systems to categorize and code information belonging to patients. The primary purposes of managing this information is for insurance reimbursement and to keep an accurate record of medical treatments for patients.
The common duties of medical records and health information technicians are:
- Review the records of patients to ensure they are complete, timely, accurate and appropriate
- Perform organization of data for clinical registries and databases
- Track quality assessment to ensure good patient outcomes
- Utilize classification software to make clinical codes for each entry to ensure proper insurance reimbursement
Health information technicians are not involved in direct patient care. Instead, they work with healthcare professionals, including nurses, to help them to clarify the diagnosis and to ensure that patient records are completely accurate.
The much greater use today of electronic health records (EHRs) is leading to higher job demand for health information technicians. EHR prevalence also is evolving their job responsibilities. Today, technicians have to understand EHR computer software, be able to follow privacy and security protocols for EHRs, and also be able to perform analysis of electronic data to enhance healthcare data and patient information.
The median salary for medical records and health information technicians was $38,000 in May 2016. Strong growth of 13% through 2026 is expected, BLS reports.
5. Compensation and Benefits Managers
Compensation and benefits managers are responsible for planning, developing and overseeing compensation and benefits for employees. A significant number of these managers work in healthcare and social assistance organizations, making a health services management degree a suitable educational background for employment.
In many healthcare organizations, compensation and benefits managers will do most of the following:
- Supervise and coordinate work of support staff and specialists in the healthcare facility
- Set the pay and benefits structure for the organization so that the best healthcare administrative staff are hired
- Determine what the competitive wage rates are for the industry
- Select the best outside vendors and brokers are for the healthcare facility
- Oversee how pay and benefits information is distributed to the employees of the organization
- Ensure that benefits and pay for healthcare workers are in compliance with state and federal regulations
Some managers may administer compensation and benefits in smaller healthcare organizations, but at a large hospital system, there will usually be separate compensation and benefits managers. All of these managers will need to meet with senior healthcare facility staff, HR managers and financial officers to complete their job duties. They will be called upon to offer benefits and compensation expertise and to provide senior managers with well researched recommendations.
The median salary for compensation and benefits managers was $116,200 in 2016. The top 10% for the largest organizations earned nearly $200,000 per year. For compensation and benefits managers in healthcare and social assistance organizations, the median salary was $104,800.
The job outlook for this field overall is average; BLS anticipates growth to be 5% by 2026. But it is thought that compensation and benefits managers will see possibly stronger growth in healthcare facilities. The best career options could be in HR consulting firms that offer compensation and benefits services to healthcare companies and organizations.
6. Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists
Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists in the healthcare services field assist compensation and benefits managers in running these programs for healthcare organizations of various sizes. They also are responsible for evaluating job descriptions about such information as salary and classification. Some of their most common duties are:
- Research policies and plans for compensation and benefits, and provide findings to managers
- Utilize cost and data analyses to compare various compensation and benefits plans
- Evaluate healthcare position descriptions to determine salary and classification
- Make sure that the healthcare organization is in compliance with state and federal laws
- Prepare and design reports for managers that summarize analysis and research performed
- Offer recommendations to compensation and benefits managers
The median salary for these workers was $62,080 in 2016, and healthcare and social assistance workers earned a median salary of $57,290. Job demand will increase by 9% by 2026, which is faster than average. It is expected that demand in healthcare related facilities could be considerably higher, however.
- Healthcare Occupations. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
- Medical Records and Health Information Technicians. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015, Dec. 18). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm