What Does a Clinical Manager Do? - Job Responsibilities & Qualifications

A clinical manager brings clinical care and business operations together to keep a department or faculty working smoothly and efficiently. This article will provide you with the essential details of a career as a clinical manager. Read on to see if this job could be right for you. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Clinical managers, sometimes referred to as clinical directors, are usually clinicians who have taken management responsibilities for a department within the health-care setting. They play an important role in ensuring patients receive quality health care and work to continuously improve the standards for both staff and patients. The table below provides the key details of this career, including educational requirements, salary, and job outlook.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree minimum; master's degree preferred
Education Field of Study Public health
Healthcare administration
Health management
Business administration
Certification and Licensure Required for nursing applicants
Key Responsibilities Supervise staff, develop goal and objectives, improve efficiency of department, budgeting, produce work schedules, supporting the development of staff members, ensure staff compliance with hospital regulations, oversee staff,
Median Salary (2019) $70,490 (Clinical manager) *
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 18% (Medical and health service managers)**

Source: *Payscale.com; ** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Does a Clinical Manager Do?

A clinical manager is responsible for ensuring their department meets standards and for overseeing and managing the department's daily activities. Their specific roles and daily activities may differ depending on the facility. The primary duties of a clinical manager normally consist of setting work schedules, objectives, and goals for the department; implementing policies and procedures; monitoring budgets; recruiting new staff; and increasing the efficiency and quality of patient care. Clinical managers often work closely with other medical professionals such as nurses, physicians, physician assistants and clinical laboratory staff.

How Much Do Clinical Managers Earn?

According to Payscale.com, in 2019, a clinical manager could expect a median salary of $70,490 a year. The average earnings of a clinical manager will vary based on location, experience, education and the employer. According to the BLS, the projected job growth for all medical and health service managers, which includes clinical managers, was 18% between 2018 and 2028. This is much faster than the 7% average national growth rate of all occupations expected within the same time period. The expected growth of the entire healthcare industry between 2018 and 2028 will likely be the reason for job growth.

What Skills Does a Clinical Manager Need?

A clinical manager is expected to have good leadership skills and an ability to create a positive work environment to ensure staff work at their best capacity. They must pay attention to detail as they are often required to ensure the department meets often complex guidelines, policies, and regulations. A successful clinical manager must have excellent written and verbal communication skills in order to work well with staff, communicate new policies and regulations, and ensure staff members are compliant. They must have good technical skills to ensure their staff have and maintain relevant knowledge, to advise staff on clinical issues, and to keep up with the latest healthcare technology.

How Do You Become a Clinical Manager?

To become a clinical manager you will need to obtain a bachelor's degree, although a master's degree is often preferred. Due to the clinical expertise required for this position, clinical managers often begin their careers as nurses. You should take courses in business administration, health administration, public health, health management, or any other related field. You will typically need significant experience in a healthcare setting, including clinical and management experience, to be considered for this role. Nurses are required to have their professional licenses in order to be employed as a clinical manager.

What Are Job Prospects and Related Occupations for a Clinical Manager?

There are good job prospects expected for a career as a clinical manager. Those with significant experience and a master's degree can obtain a top-level executive job within a facility. Having IT experience can also increase your odds of being employable. If you're interested in a position as a clinical manager, you could also consider similar careers, such as nursing home administrators, health information managers, administrative managers, human resource managers and medical coders.

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