Medical and Health Services Managers: Duties, Pay, and More

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Medical and health services managers ensure that health care facilities run smoothly and efficiently. Learn more about this impactful profession.

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Medical and health services managers oversee the planning and operations of health care facilities like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Rather than providing direct patient care, health care managers ensure that health care facilities operate efficiently so that other health care professionals can do their jobs.

If you’re interested in a career in health care and enjoy leadership roles that require business planning and organization, then a career in medical and health services management might be right for you. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about what health care managers actually do, how much they make, and the jobs that comprise the field. Finally, you’ll also find out what you need to do to join the profession yourself and find some suggested courses to help you get started. 

Medical and health services managers explained

Medical and health services managers run and operate health care services and facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, and medical departments. While their work often overlaps with that of health care administrators, medical and health services managers are often focused more on the logistical operations of health care systems and managers than overseeing the day-to-day work of health care staff. 

Health care managers manage a variety of health care work facilities – from large, university hospitals to small, local health clinics. As a result, their work environments can span from large, fast-paced hospitals to more personal, slow-paced doctor’s offices. 

Read more: What Is Health Care Administration?


Medical and health services managers is an umbrella term referring to a range of managerial and administrative health care positions. As a result, the exact duties you will perform in the field will be heavily dependent on the role that you occupy. 

Nonetheless, some common duties that you can expect to perform as a health care manager include: 

  • Planning the organization’s overarching goals

  • Overseeing facility finances and setting budgets

  • Ensuring the facility complies with all relevant legal regulations

  • Designing work schedules for employees

  • Communicating with medical staff   

Medical and health services managers jobs

There are many different managerial positions within health care that fall under the category of medical and health services managers. When looking for a job in the field, keep these different titles in mind. Some of the most common job titles within the medical and health services managers field include: 

  • Nursing home manager 

  • Clinical manager

  • Ambulatory care manager

  • Health information managers

  • Hospital administrator 

  • Health care human resources managers

  • Office managers

Medical and health services managers’ salary and job outlook 

Medical and health service managers can expect a higher-than-average salary alongside much faster-than-average job growth.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers in the US make an annual salary of $101,340 as of May 2021, more than two times the national average [1]. Furthermore, the BLS projects that between 2021 and 2031, the number of job openings for medical and health services managers will grow by 28 percent, adding approximately 56,600 new jobs each year during the decade [2]. 

How to become a medical and health services manager 

Managing medical and health services is a responsibility that requires the proper education, skills, and work experience. Here’s what you should do to join the profession yourself: 

1. Get your bachelor’s degree. 

Employers typically require applicants to health care management positions to possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as a B.S. in Health Care Management or in Health Care Administration. Other common degrees held by medical and health services managers include degrees in nursing, social services, health information management, and public health. If your health care degree does not include managerial or administrative training, then consider specializing or minoring in a related area such as business administration. 

Read more: What Is a Bachelor’s Degree? Requirements, Costs, and More

2. Gain the required skills. 

Working in a managerial or administrative capacity within a health care facility requires a unique combination of medical knowledge, leadership abilities, and business acumen. As a result, you should possess some of the following skills:

  • Communication 

  • Leadership

  • Teamwork and collaboration

  • Financial planning and budgeting 

  • Project management 

  • Knowledge of health care systems. 

  • Up-to-date knowledge of health care technology 

3. Get some experience. 

Employers prefer candidates to have relevant work experience. As a result, before you can manage an entire health care facility or even a department, you will likely need to gain prior experience in a related entry-level administrative, managerial, or health care position. 

Some common entry-level positions held by professionals in the field include registered nurse (RN), medical records technician, medical assistants, and accounting positions within health care facilities. 

4. Consider a master’s degree.

While employers often require that applicants possess at least a bachelor’s degree, some prefer – and others might even require – candidates to have a master’s degree in a related field. A graduate degree in a related field could also help you advance your career to more senior positions within health care management, such as executive positions. 

Some common master’s degrees for medical and health services managers include:

  • Master’s in Health Care Management  

  • Master’s in Health Care Administration (MHA)

  • Master’s in Public Health 

  • Master’s of Business Administration (MBA)

Read more: Master's Degrees Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Health care managers ensure that health care facilities run smoothly and efficiently, so physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals can do their jobs. Prepare for this impactful career with an online, flexible course through Coursera. 

Rutger’s Healthcare Organization Operations Specialization introduces critical health care administration concepts that will help course takers to better contribute to the effective administration of the healthcare organization’s operations. 

Imperial College London’s Health Systems Development Specialization provides insight into a range of disciplines including organizational behavior,  health policy, information systems, and human resources in order to strengthen course takers’ capacities to think as effective health leaders

Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Medical and Health Services Managers,” Accessed November 10, 2022. 

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