Now is an exciting time to be embarking on a career in healthcare management. Not only will at least 56,000 healthcare jobs be added to the economy by 2024, but the future of the industry looks dynamic in many ways.1
With the continued updates being made to healthcare policy in the U.S., the variety and volume of services will continue to grow. Additionally, many healthcare managers will retire in the coming years as the baby boomer population exits the workforce.1
Healthcare Management: Working Your Way Up
While a career in healthcare typically starts at entry level an advanced degree can help you rise faster. A solid knowledge of business administration and principles is useful even in entry-level roles.
Entry-level healthcare administrator jobs earn an average of $56,000 per year; gaining skills such as effective budget and operations management can put you on the higher end of the pay scale2. Most healthcare management jobs require real-world experience in an administrative or clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare setting. So, how do you gain experience when you’ve just graduated?9
Whether you’re currently enrolled in healthcare management courses or changing careers, there are many options to get your foot in the door. Listed below are five entry-level jobs that can put you on track for a management position.
1. Medical Office Administrator
In this role, you will take charge of a healthcare practice’s day-to-day duties, while getting a behind-the-scenes look at the healthcare profession. Expect to do tasks such as answering phones, accounts receivable, handling contracts, contacting insurance companies, and hiring and managing staff.3
2. Medical Executive Assistant
As a medical executive assistant, you may get the chance to work directly with C-suite executives or administrators. This is where you can get experience overseeing projects and managing them from idea to execution to completion.
Writing grant proposals is a common task of this position; it’s a valuable and underrated skill. There’s also a technical aspect, making sure people,phones and computers are communicating with each other.3
3. Healthcare Human Resources Manager
The job duties and skills associated with a human resources manager are similar to what’s required in hospital administration. Human resources managers direct many of the administrative functions of an organization, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring, consulting with management and serving as a link between the organization and its employees.5
Search for human resources opportunities in the healthcare industry such as in a physician or dentist office.
4. Health Information
A health informatics officer is in charge of maintaining the security of all patient medical records. The expectation of the job is that the person in the position will also find better or more efficient ways to process the high volume of records.
The job involves developing policies for accessing and updating patient records so that patient privacy is always protected.6 As electronic health records (EHRs) become more widely used, the need for health information technicians who can interpret data will be increasingly valuable to hospitals and healthcare providers. Technicians will also need to understand and adapt to ongoing changes in software, security and privacy practices.7,10
5. Social and Community Service Manager
These roles involve working with other healthcare professionals, social workers and members of the community to coordinate social service programs and community organizations. The goal is often helping people of a particular demographic, such as children, veterans or the homeless.
Job duties usually include collecting data and reporting the information to upper level management and stakeholders to show the effectiveness of a program.7
Where to Start in Healthcare Management
The above are just a few examples, but there are many entry-level healthcare jobs that can open doors for your career. Choose your first administrative healthcare job based on the skills you want to develop that will ultimately lead you to where you want to be.
According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, the following departments within the healthcare field are your first step toward achieving great things:
- Government relations
- Human resources
- Information systems
- Marketing and public affairs
- Material management
- Medical staff relations
- Nursing administration
- Patient care services
- Planning and development
As well as hospitals and clinics, places to begin your job search include nursing homes, healthcare associations, health insurance companies, behavioral health facilities, rehabilitation centers, universities and research institutions.4
Healthcare Management Education and Experience
Moving up into healthcare management requires the right amount of education and experience. A bachelor’s degree is only the minimum requirement, but an MBA in Healthcare Management shows a dedication to the field and your career making you a much more attractive job candidate.
Learn more about how you can advance in a healthcare management with our comprehensive free downloadable career guide.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Service Managers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-6.
7 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Social and Community Service Managers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-2.
9 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Medical and Health Service Managers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-4.