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Health Administration

Healthcare is a business and, like every business, it needs good management to keep the business running smoothly. Medical and health services managers, also referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare. These workers are either specialists in charge of a specific clinical department or generalists who manage an entire facility or system.

Education and Training

Medical and health services managers must be familiar with management principles and practices. A master's degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration is the standard credential for most generalist positions in this field. However, a bachelor's degree is adequate for some entry-level positions in smaller facilities, at the departmental level within healthcare organizations, and in health information management. Physicians' offices and some other facilities hire those with on-the-job experience instead of formal education.

How much does this job pay?

Median annual wages of wage and salary medical and health services managers were $80,240 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $62,170 and $104,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $137,800.

How many jobs are there?

Medical and health services managers held about 283,500 jobs in 2008. About 38 percent worked in hospitals, and another 19 percent worked in offices of physicians or in nursing and residential care facilities. Many of the remainder worked in home healthcare services, Federal Government healthcare facilities, outpatient care centers, insurance carriers, and community care facilities for the elderly.

What about the future?

Employment is projected to grow faster than the average. Job opportunities should be good, especially for applicants with work experience in healthcare and strong business management skills. Employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 16 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. The healthcare industry will continue to expand and diversify, requiring managers to help ensure smooth business operations.

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