Healthcare management is a growing industry in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that jobs in healthcare management are anticipated to see a growth of 22 percent in the decade between 2010 and 2020. It makes sense that the need for healthcare providers and facilities is growing, as the population ages and life expectancy increases due to medical advances. The need for professionals to manage healthcare facilities will also grow. Here are some things to know about healthcare management if you are considering entering the field.

About Healthcare Management

Healthcare management, also referred to as healthcare administration, is the administration, management or oversight of healthcare systems, public health systems, hospitals, entire hospital networks or other medical facilities. Duties of these professionals include ensuring that individual departments run smoothly,qualified employees are hired, information is disseminated efficiently throughout the organization, specific outcomes are reached and resources are used efficiently, among many other responsibilities. There are general healthcare managers and those who are considered specialists. Generalists oversee entire facilities, while specialists focus on the administration of specific departments like marketing, fiance, policy analysis or accounting.

Required Education

There are various degrees that can lead to a professional position as a healthcare manager. Students usually pursue a program in healthcare management through a business school or school of public health. There are bachelor's level programs being offered in the field of healthcare administration; however, most people in the profession do hold a master's degree, which tends to be the expectation of hiring personnel for such positions. Healthcare management professionals can also advance their education to pursue a doctoral degree in health administration in order to move into teaching positions at the college level, become a public policy analyst or lead larger organizations at more complex levels.

The overarching accrediting body that oversees educational programs of healthcare administration in the United States is The Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Degree programs that fall under its auspices include the Master of Health Services Administration, Master of Hospital Administration, Master of Health Administration, Master of Business Administration in Hospital Management and Master of Public Health, among other more generalized programs that can lead to careers in healthcare oversight.

Certification, Licensure and Associations

While requirements are different from state to state, most healthcare administrations professionals do not require a license. An exception to this rule may be for those who wish to open their own facility, as most states do require a license for operations such as nursing homes, private hospitals and long-term care facilities. For those who do not need a license, certification or other credentials may provide a professional advantage. Credentialing boards offer certification based on a combination of education, experience and knowledge exams. The American College of Healthcare Executives offers two well-respected titles to industry professionals. These are the Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE). The National Association for Healthcare Quality and the American College of Medical Practice Executives are two other accrediting organizations in the healthcare administration field.

Related Resource: Healthcare Administration Jobs in Gerontology

Those with an interest in the medical field and a desire to lead may be interested in this field. Healthcare management continues to grow and offers a number of opportunities to contribute to one's communities and society at large.