Health Services Manager Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Know more about the position of a health services manager, also called executive, or administrator—salary and all—to help you decide if it's right for you.

[Featured Image]:  Hospital Administrator, wearing a white lab coat and orange top, standing outside an office, preparing to meet with hospital employees.

If you're interested in a career as a health services manager, it's essential to have the latest salary information. Unlike doctors and nurses who treat patients, a health services manager tackles the administrative side of health care. Learning more about this job and your potential health services manager salary can help you decide if this career is right for you. 

What does a health services manager do?

As a health services manager, you would oversee the planning, coordination, and administration of health care services to patients and ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly. You might be responsible for an entire health care facility, a particular department, or a medical practice. As part of your job duties, you would work closely with medical personnel and keep abreast of changes in government regulations and laws regarding health care. You would also represent your employer at investor meetings and various public functions. 

Other names for health services managers 

Health services managers have many titles that generally mean the same thing. Some are labeled medical and health services managers, some are called health care administrators, and some are called health care executives. 

Read more: What Is Health Care Management? A Career Guide

Types of health services managers

Not all health services managers fit into one box. When pursuing this profession, you'll have a few different options for where you work and what you do:

  • Hospital administrator: As a hospital administrator, you would be responsible for the daily function of a hospital. Just a few of the operations you would oversee include admissions, billing, human resources, policy compliance, fundraising, and community outreach. You would also be in charge of the various department heads within the facility. 

  • Nursing home administrator: While employed as a nursing home administrator, you would oversee the day-to-day operations of a nursing home. Because these facilities are smaller than hospitals, nursing homes often require a more hands-on approach from administrators. You would be in charge of admissions, billing, managing staff, health care equipment, and supplies, ensuring patients and the building are well cared for. All states require that nursing home administrators get licensed, which involves passing of a national licensing exam. 

  • Clinical manager: As a clinical manager, you would be responsible for a particular hospital or outpatient center department, such as nursing or physical therapy. Job duties include setting department goals, creating and implementing department policies and budgets, recruiting and hiring staff, and setting staff schedules.

  • Medical practice manager: When working as a medical practice manager, you would oversee the daily operations of a medical practice. Your duties include hiring, supervising, and scheduling non-medical staff like administrative assistants, medical billers, coders, and cleaning personnel.

What does a health services manager earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a health services manager earns a median wage of $101,340 as of May 2021 [1]. 

Salary information and variations

Across all industries, your salaries may vary even if you have the same job title as another person. Reasons for this variation can include:

Location and salary

Due to the cost of living, the annual salary for a health services manager can be markedly different from state to state. Expenses like housing, groceries, entertainment, taxes, and education fluctuate by location. When the cost of living is high, annual salaries usually match and vice versa. 

Employment status and salary

While most health services managers work full-time, some people in this position work part-time. Employment status impacts salary and benefits, with part-time workers \ getting less pay and fewer benefits.

Job title variations and salary

Your salary as a health services manager depends on your job description. Here are various job titles in health services management and corresponding median salaries as of May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [1]. 

  • Hospital administrator: $119,450

  • Public health services manager: $117,000

  • Health services manager in an outpatient care center: $99,540

  • Health services manager in a physician's office: $98,230

  • Nursing home administrator: $83,550

Professional development

The more qualified you are for a job, the higher your salary.

You can boost your professional development (and pay) through job experience, education, and industry certifications. 


How do I qualify to become a health services manager?

Many health services management jobs require a master's degree, but some allow for a bachelor's degree combined with several years of work experience. The following fields of study make good master's degree options:

  • Business administration

  • Health administration

  • Health services

  • Long-term care administration

  • Public health

It usually takes two to three years to complete a master's degree. Depending on the type of health services manager you want to be, you may be required to complete a practicum, which involves a year or more of supervised practical experience. 

If you're leaning toward becoming a nursing home administrator, you'll be required to get licensed, and requirements for licensing vary from state to state. To get licensed in most states, you must:

  • Have a bachelor's degree in an appropriate field

  • Complete a training program approved by the state

  • Sit for and pass a national licensing exam

Read more: Health Care Management Degree: Picking the Right One For You

Do I need a certification to practice as a health services manager?

Many employers don't require certification for consideration as a health services manager position. However, extra credentials make you a more marketable employee and possibly bring you a higher salary. Consider these valuable certifications:

CMM (Certified Medical Manager): Offered by PAHCOM (the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management), the MCM certification is geared toward solo or small-group medical practice managers. To get certified, you'll be required to pass an exam that covers a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Patient billing and coding

  • Accounting

  • Communication

  • Conflict management

  • Staffing and payroll

  • Health care law

  • Managing and leading

  • Managed care

  • Risk management

  • Time management

To start this certification, you need at least 12 college credits related to business or health care and a minimum of two years of experience working with patients in the health field. 

CHFP (Certified Health Care Financial Professional): Offered by HFMA (the health care Financial Management Association), this certification focuses on knowledge of health care's finance and business side. It's an important credential to have if your job involves setting and maintaining budgets, patient billing, insurance coding, analyzing financial reports, and other finance-related tasks. To get this certification, you can expect about 20 hours of coursework and two exams—one 90 minutes in length and the other three hours in length. 

Special skills that benefit a health services manager

Managing a hospital, nursing home, clinic, or medical office requires various skills. Any or all of these skills can make you a more valuable manager. 

  • Good communication skills

  • Attention to detail

  • Business acumen

  • Critical thinking skills

  • Good ethical judgment

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Leadership skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Ability to collaborate with others

  • A knack for staying cool under pressure

  • Ability to stay on top of government regulations

  • Ability to keep up with the latest industry technology

First Steps

If you're considering a career as a health services manager or are already on the job, consider taking one of the health care management courses available on Coursera. Rutgers University offers Health Care Delivery in Health Care Organizations. It focuses on delivering health care as treatment or prevention with a format of readings and videos. You'll take quizzes and create a brief PowerPoint presentation at the end. 

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Article sources

  1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Medical and Health Services Managers," Accessed March 8, 2023.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.