What Does a Health Services Manager Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Image shows a doctor and a manager talking together both holding clipboards. Text reads: "A day in the life of a health services manager: oversee and manager processes of clinical teams, set a direction for the team, resolve any issues and provide guidance to team members, plan, organize, and manage operations and activities of one or more health clinic(s) or health program(s), stay abreast of important and relevant laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing assigned clinic operations"

Image by Evan Polenghi © The Balance 2019

A health services manager plans, directs, coordinates and supervises the delivery of health care in an entire facility or a single department. People who work in this profession are sometimes called health care managers or administrators. They may also have job titles that reflect their areas of specialization. Nursing home administrator, medical records manager, or practice administrator are just a few examples.

Health Services Manager Duties & Responsibilities

These are some typical job duties that take place in the role of a health services manager:

  • Plan, organize and manage operations and activities of one or more health clinic(s) or health program(s)
  • Oversee and manage processes of clinical teams
  • Formulate and update departmental plans and priorities to address any business or operational challenges
  • Set a direction for the team, resolve any issues and provide guidance to team members
  • Stay abreast of important and relevant laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing assigned clinic operations

Health Services Manager Salary

A health services manager's salary varies based on the level of experience, geographical location, and other factors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017

Education, Training & Certification 

Most health services manager jobs require a minimum level of education and training, as follows:

  • College degree: One usually needs at least a bachelor's degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration or business administration. Many employers prefer job candidates who have a master's degree.
  • Experience: Clinical department heads often need work experience in their field of expertise, for example, nursing.
  • License: For most places of employment, health services administrators don't have to meet any licensing requirements. Nursing care and related facilities are the exceptions. All states in the U.S., as well as the District of Columbia, require a license. Some states also require one for administrators who work in assisted living facilities. Specifications vary by state, but, in general, one must have a bachelor's degree and pass a licensing examination. He or she must also complete a state-approved training program and take continuing education courses. See the Licensed Occupations Tool from CareerOneStop for more information.

Health Services Manager Skills & Competencies

Health services administrators need certain soft skills, or personal qualities, in addition to their formal education. 

  • Communication Skills: Since you must communicate with other professionals, you will need excellent listening, speaking, and writing skills. 
  • Attention to Detail: This attribute will allow you to tend to job duties like scheduling and billing.
  • Analytical Skills: You will need this skill to help you understand and adapt to new laws and regulations.
  • Problem Solving: You must be able to identify problems and then effectively and efficiently solve them.

Job Outlook 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for health services managers over the next decade relative to other occupations and industries is strong, driven by the overall demand for healthcare services to address the needs of the aging baby boomer population.

Employment is expected to grow by about 20 percent over the next ten years, which is much faster growth than the average for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. Growth for other management occupations is projected to grow much slower, at 8 percent over the next ten years. These growth rates compare to the projected 7 percent growth for all occupations.

Work Environment 

Most health services managers work in offices of doctors, or in state, local, or private hospitals.

Work Schedule 

Most jobs are full time, and about a third of them include working more than 40 hours per week. Some evening or weekend work may be required in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals that stay open around the clock.

How to Get the Job


Look at job-search resources like Indeed.com, Monster.com, and Glassdoor.com for available health services manager positions.


Join industry groups and network with your work peers to uncover job openings. If you already work in a healthcare setting, internal networking may help you find out about possible job openings or promotion opportunities.

Comparing Similar Jobs 

People interested in becoming a health services manager also consider the following career paths, listed with their median annual salaries: