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4 Jobs in Health Services that Make a Difference

Health services is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care and social assistance will account for almost a third of all new jobs created between 2012 and 2022.

Working hands-on with patients as a health care professional is not the only way to enter this dynamic field. You can also position yourself to become a health services leader by earning an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management. The MBA degree opens the door to higher level administrative careers, allowing you to earn a competitive salary while working to make the entire industry function more smoothly and efficiently. This is a great opportunity for those with business, accounting, communications, and even legal skills to become a part of the health services industry.

Hospital Administrator

Hospital administrators work behind the scenes to make sure that an entire medical facility functions as smoothly as possible. Jobs can be found not only in hospitals but also in outpatient clinics and nursing homes.

A hospital administrator is responsible for hiring doctors, determining the budget, bringing on new medical treatments, and making sure that the institution's practices are in compliance with government guidelines. Thus, hospital administrators need a broad skill set, including a detailed working knowledge of legal and ethical issues. They also have to have strong interpersonal skills.

Median salaries for Hospital Administrators are around $96,000. However, independent research conducted by the New York Times in May of 2014 reveals that the average is actually much higher at $237,000. This article also points out that when one factors in non-salary compensation for higher-level positions, these figures may themselves be low. In some cases, administrators earn more than the hospital's top surgeons.

Medical Practice Manager

A medical practice manager is a lower-level hospital administrator who typically oversees one department, making sure that operations go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The medical practice manager may work in the following areas:

  • Human resources
  • Facilities
  • Ordering and expense management
  • Legal
  • Accounting
  • Claims 
  • Marketing

In short, this is a field that requires a broad managerial skill set yet at the same time allows one the ability to specialize in a particular area. Medical practice managers may order supplies, make sure that the department is in compliance with legal requirements, oversee the hiring and firing of employees, determine benefits, and perform eligibility searches on patients when they are admitted. Some medical practice managers may also oversee the daily operation and maintenance of the facility or handle public relations and advertising campaigns for the hospital.

The mean annual salary for Medical and Health Services Managers was $103,680 in 2014. The job outlook is also excellent, with a projected growth rate of 23 percent by 2022. 

Hospital CFO

The chief financial officer (CFO) makes sure that the hospital, clinic, or other medical facility runs in the most cost-effective manner possible. They are in charge of both the ongoing financial status of the institution and also its projected future growth. Their duties may include any or all of the following:

  • Administer, monitor, and direct all of the hospital's financial activities and report to the CEO and other high-level administrators on the financial health of the institution.
  • Develop an investment strategy for the hospital.
  • Establish a strategic plan.
  • Develop a system of responsible accounting.
  • Ensure that the hospital is increasing its asset base.

The average salary for this career is $106,000 as of June 2015, with CFOs at major hospitals earning more than $300,000.

Pharmaceutical Product Manager

Pharmaceutical product managers are in charge of designing effective marketing campaigns for pharmaceutical products and making sure that marketing claims are not only responsible but also targeted to reach the right audience. The annual mean salary was $101,640 in 2014. Typical job responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting market research to assess consumer reactions to the product.
  • Developing an annual marketing plan.
  • Reviewing product data to make sure that advertising claims are accurate and up-to-date.
  • Understanding competitors' products.
  • Consulting with an advertising agency to determine the most effective campaign strategies.

Working in health services management can be a rewarding career for those who care about the state of health care in this country. Administrators get to shape the future of hospital and clinical care, learning how to keep costs low while at the same time providing optimal service. Through skilled management, a good administrator is able to determine what practices work best and can shape their institution into a model for the entire community.