Academic Requirements And Qualifications To Become A Healthcare Manager


Quick Facts: Medical and Health Services Managers
2015 Median Salary $94,500 per year

$45.43 per hour

Experience Less than 5 years
Typical Entry-Level EducationWork  Bachelor’s degree
On-the-job Training None
No. of Jobs in the Year 2014 333,000
Job Outlook, 2014-24 17% (Much faster than average)
Change in the Employment, 2014-24 56,300

Healthcare management is a specialization within general management focused on managing a healthcare facility or around providing healthcare. Specialized courses are available at various level whether that be baccalaureate, masters’ or doctoral. Various sites may be checked out to ascertain the best possible degree that would suit as also the school offering it. An on the job training along with a basic degree is essential and crucial to understand the nuances of the profession.

Educational requirement in the career

Typically a minimum of a general bachelor’s degree is required for entering this profession. However specialized degrees may be studied for on health services, public health, long term care administration, or simple business administration. Courses typically cover hospital organization and management, budgeting and accounting, strategic planning, law and ethics, health information systems and management, economics and staffing. They usually are of 2 to3 years and include a year of supervised administrative experience or internship. It may be noted that graduate programs irrespective of the undergraduate course do suffice. They vary from business to biology, sociology, policy etc. coursework in economics and statistics is of course helpful.

Qualities for a healthcare manager

A prospective healthcare manager is expected to hone the following skill sets to be successful in his profession

  • Analytics: understanding and compliance to changing regulations is a necessity for a manager. The ability to understand new regulations and analyze the repercussions and ideate effective compliance is crucial for his success
  • Communication: effective communication to various stake holders internal and external is the foundation of this job.
  • Eye for detail: they have to pay attention to detail especially when they have to devise out schedules and billing systems, which are comprehensive yet flexible
  • Interpersonal skills: the manager essentially has to liaise between various stake holders and this skill which enables him to take people along in a decision making and implementation process is critical to his armory
  • Problem solving: the jobs are high pressure situations which often require out of the box and lateral thinking. Thus a thought process which supports creative thinking goes a long way towards success.
  • Technical skills: keeping abreast with advances in healthcare technology is absolutely essential.
  • Pressure management. An administrator essentially handles a facility which might be functioning round the clock, thus the ability to manage a pressure situation calmly including emergencies is essential to the success of a healthcare manager.

Licensing requirements for professionals

All states require that nursing care administrators be licensed professionals. These professionals usually follow up a minimum of a graduate degree by clearing of a licensing agreement and then a further follow up with a state approved training program. Some states require licenses for administrators in assisted living facilities also. However other areas of health care management do not need any kind of licensing.

Certifications for professionals

Certification is not essential in this field, but like every other field, certification does help in further career advancements, and consequently managers do seek to get themselves appropriately certified. Certifications are available for various functions and areas of practice. The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management for example offers certifications on areas of health information systems management and medical management. The American College of Health Care Administrators on the other hand offers certifications or distinctions as certified nursing home administrators or certified assisted living home administrators. These distinctions are helpful in obtaining licenses in various states.

Applying for the right course

For a prospective healthcare manager the Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service maintains a centralized system for application to graduate programs in health care management, health administration and health policy. This allows the student to apply across universities and programs through a single web based application. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education may be referred to for a list of accredited healthcare management programs, before any decision. At a 23% increase in job opportunity in the near future, this indeed is a profession for tomorrow.


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