Now is a great time to choose a career in healthcare management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for medical and health service management is 20% from 2016-2026. Cutting through those numbers, the profession is set to grow far above the average career. There will be a need for more qualified people in this field and the median income is well above average, listed for 2018 at nearly $100,000 annually.

Healthcare management isn’t just a field most people fall into. It takes some career planning to map your trajectory. Healthcare managers are expected to have a bachelor’s degree. Many institutions are also recommending a master’s degree because the post-graduate coursework more adequately prepares you for the rigors of the job requirements.

That doesn’t mean you need to stay in college through graduate school without having worked in the medical field. Many people go into healthcare management precisely because they’ve worked in hospitals and practices and found that the career path was something that excited them.

Typically, healthcare managers do need some education, but they also need experience in the medical field. This will help inform your time your understanding of various job requirements on staff, but it will also allow you to build experience in the industry. You can use the time to study your facility’s current healthcare management, as well.

Entry Level Jobs to Prepare for a Healthcare Management Career

There are many entry level jobs in the medical field where you can learn a great deal about the industry. These positions can often help support you financially while you finish your education. Recognize, too, that these entry level positions will help inform how you perform at a management level. Working in an entry level position gives you a better understanding of the workflow and responsibilities in different parts of a healthcare facility, making you more well-rounded as a manager.

Here are some entry level jobs that can help you obtain the experience you need for a last career in healthcare management:

  • Front Desk/Reception: Whether in a large hospital or a smaller clinic or physician’s office, the front desk gives you the opportunity to see the medical process from both sides – the patient’s perspective and the medical staff’s perspective. This is invaluable because the patient needs to be at the center of the process for their best care.
  • Administrative Assistant: Administrative and clerical positions are available in every department of a large hospital. This means you have a wide variety of types of work you can do. Some options include marketing, patient services, IT, human resources, and even working directly with the facility’s healthcare management.
  • Patient Care Services: Patient care services often includes nursing assistant, phlebotomists, and anyone who works directly with patients to help meet their needs. This might include bringing patients for tests, taking samples, and helping them with mobility issues.
  • Physician’s Assistant. Physician’s assistants often work hand-in-hand with the doctor to meet the patient’s care needs. This might include explaining conditions and treatments or simply providing patient care. This role often helps the physician manage other responsibilities, such as charting and adding notes to electronic records for better continuity of records in the medical office or hospital.

Some students will choose their course based on the idea that they’d like to go into healthcare management. Others will get into the field and find that management is a great fit for their skill set and personality. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare management, an entry level position is a good place to learn more about the field, from the bottom up.