Biotech In-Demand Job: Medical and Health Service Managers

Health Manager

When you think of a career in the biopharma industry, you probably think of a position that requires extensive technical skills. Although it is true that biopharma careers require the development of highly technical skills, there are some positions that combine technical skills and unique leadership traits.

For the 5th of six articles discussing biopharma careers, let’s take a closer look at what it takes to become a successful medical and health service manager.

Overview of a Medical and Health Service Manager Career

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides the most succinct and accurate overview of a medical and health service manager career. Medical and health service manager professionals “plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.” These professionals work in a wide variety of healthcare facilities that include hospitals, nursing homes and group medical practices. A medical and health service manager might oversee the operation of an entire facility or manage the highly-skilled professionals that work in a department or a clinical area.

As of May 2018, the median salary for this position was nearly $100,000 per year, with job growth expected to climb by 18% from 2018 until the end of 2028.

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Job Description

Medical and health service managers work hard to improve the quality and efficiency required to deliver first rate healthcare services. These professionals must remain current on every new law passed and every regulation implemented by the appropriate government agencies to ensure full compliance. Supervision of assistant administrators is a vital component of the job description, as is monitoring and managing the finances of a healthcare facility. Some of the critical finances that medical and health service managers monitor and manage include billing and patient accounts.

They also must adjust patient payment schedules to account for insurance claims. Most medical and health service managers write weekly or bi-monthly work schedules, as well as represent the medical facility where they work at investor meetings and on the boards that govern medical facilities. Perhaps the most important function is to organize and maintain the detailed records kept at the facility.

Here is a list of some of the most popular jobs:

  • Clinical Manager
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Health Information Manager
  • Assistant Administrator

How to Become a Medical and Health Service Manager

As it is with every other career in the biopharma industry, education plays a significant role in determining the success of a medical and health service manager. These professionals usually require at the bare minimum a bachelor’s degree just to gain an entry level position. In most cases, a master’s degree in any of the following specialties is highly recommended.

  • Health Services
  • Public Health
  • Public Administration
  • Business Administration
  • Long Term-Care Administration

A bachelor’s degree in health administration prepares students for entering higher level management careers. Courses taken for the typical health administration student include health economics, health information systems, strategic planning, and hospital organization and management.

Some medical facilities hire graduates that have acquired experience in specialized healthcare occupations that involved taking on a considerable amount of administrative responsibilities. Every state requires nursing care facility managers to have a license, although the requirements for obtaining a license vary by state. Some states also require administrators working at assisted living facilities to have a license. Certification in a specialized medical and health service manager position is not mandatory, but certification does enhance the career prospects for anyone working in this position.

Skills Needed to Become a Medical and Health Service Manager

Education and work experience alone are not enough to help someone thrive in a medical and health service manager career. You also need to possess several skills.

  • Communication
  • Analytical
  • Attention to Detail
  • Interpersonal
  • Technical
  • Problem Solving

A professional in this career must be able to communicate with other healthcare professionals, especially when it comes to coordinating research projects. Medical and health service managers are responsible for solving complex problems by establishing creative solutions. The gaining of technical skills is an essential part of this career, as you must be able to understand rapid advances in healthcare technology.

Compensation and Job Outlook

The nearly $100,000 median salary of a medical and health service manager as of 2018 includes a generous benefits package. Professionals that pursue this career can expect to receive healthcare benefits, as well as enjoy retirement savings plans that employers match. The lowest 10% of wage earners grossed less than $53,940, while the top 10% of medical and health service managers earned more than $150,000. The amount of earnings for a professional in this field depends on the type and size of the facility managed. Job responsibilities also play a role in determining annual compensation.

According to the BLS, the 18% expected job growth for a career as a medical and health service manager is considered to be a conservative projection. A vast majority of professionals working in this field are employed full time, with a work schedule that covers days, nights, and weekends.

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