Public Health Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for public health managers. Get the facts about education requirements, job duties, job outlook, and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Health Services Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Public Health Manager?

Public health managers plan and oversee health services within hospitals and other health facilities. Some of these managers may oversee entire facilities, while others may manage a particular department. These professionals ensure that their facility is complying with all current healthcare laws and regulations. Public health managers also help train their staff and set goals and objectives for their team to reach. They have various administrative duties, such as creating work schedules, maintaining records and monitoring budgets. Public health managers must communicate well with their medical staff, and may even serve on governing boards for their organization. The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree minimum, master's degree often required
Education Field of Study Health sciences, public administration, business administration, public health
Key Responsibilities Coordinate and supervise healthcare operations, create policies, develop health programs, administer budgets
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 17% (for all medical and health services managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $94,500 (for all medical and health services managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do As a Public Health Manager?

Your responsibilities as a public health manager would center on coordinating and supervising healthcare and/or patient care operations. This may include policy and program development, staff supervision and budget administration. However, your specific duties will vary with your employer and educational training. If you serve as a clinical manager, this means that you have clinical training in a targeted field, and your responsibilities will reflect that. If you're a generalist, your management responsibilities would be applied to a broader spectrum.

What Education Do I Need?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) while a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for some management positions, a master's degree is the customary credential for the majority of generalists (www.bls.gov). Degree programs in health sciences, public administration, health services administration, business administration and public health are typical disciplines for your profession.

At the baccalaureate level, programs in public health may include topics on administrative operations in health offices, financial management in healthcare and advanced medical coding. You may also learn about modern health issues and epidemiology. If you decide not to obtain a graduate degree, another option includes earning a professional, educational certificate to compliment your bachelor's degree and/or work experience. Educational certificates are available in different disciplines, including public health, and are offered at colleges and universities. Certificate program coursework may include strategic planning, organizational leadership and strategic budgeting.

Your master's degree curriculum will provide advanced educational training that will vary greatly with your program choice. For example, coursework in health administration programs may cover health information technology and biostatistics, whereas health sciences programs may offer specializations in fields such as molecular biology, environmental health and international health.

What Is My Job Outlook

The BLS reported that the job rate for medical and health services managers was projected to increase 17% during the period of 2014 through 2024. You may work for a variety of employers, including hospitals, outpatient care facilities, medical laboratories and nursing care centers.

The annual median salary in 2015 for medical and health service managers was $94,500, according to the BLS. Your specific salary will depend on various factors, such as your training, your geographic location and your work experience.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A handful of alternative careers that require a bachelor's degree include insurance underwriters, human resources managers and social and community service managers. Insurance underwriters are the ones who determine the terms for organizations to offer insurance. Their work also determines how much a consumer will have to pay for insurance. Human resources managers are responsible for hiring new staff, providing communication between management and employees and other administrative duties. Social and community service managers supervise the staff and community organizations that offer all kinds of public services to a community. They often help coordinate the efforts of multiple programs.

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