In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

JOB DESCRIPTION101 Careers in Healthcare Management
Clinical Department Managers typically have responsibilities in one department and therefore have matching experience in the respective field. The person in this position will work with clinicians and administrative staff to ensure optimization of departmental goals. Clinical Department Managers will develop and implement policies, plans, and procedures that aim to meet departmental objectives. They will develop and evaluate key financial reports, while maintaining the respective departmental budget. The person in this position is further responsible for reporting these findings to top management, as well as educating medical staff during operational transition periods. Clinical Department Managers must also hire necessary staff and develop a team geared toward achieving departmental goals.

A bachelor’s degree is acceptable for entry-level departmental positions in smaller facilities. As the facility, department, and responsibilities associated with the position grow, a master’s degree becomes more prominent. Background education should be in healthcare administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public administration, business administration, or a relatable field to the respective department. 2 to 5 years is required.


  • Proven ability to drive staff’s top management toward department’s goals
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills, as this position requires educating clinicians about new departmental objectives and policies
  • Superior analytical skills with gathering and evaluating data, reports, and budgets
  • Demonstrated ability to hire, train, and manage staff
  • Background knowledge and relevant experience working with the respective department
  • Familiarity with health IT systems
  • Excellent written skills

Most Clinical Department Managers earn between $50,000 and $140,000 per year, with the middle 50% falling between about $60,000 and $105,000. Earnings for this position are dependent upon the location and type of facility, as well as the type of department. For example, Clinical Department Managers at general medical hospitals earn nearly $90,000, while managers at nursing care facilities would only make about $70,000.

The need to optimize efficiency and achieve departmental goals has never been more important in healthcare facilities. Clinical Department Managers will continue to play a crucial role in helping departments meet necessary objectives in the rapidly evolving industry of healthcare. From 2008 to 2018, this position is expected to grow 16%, which is much faster than most fields. Opportunities will be plentiful in relation to other fields, especially for those who already have relevant experience in healthcare.



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