Thinking about going into the healthcare industry? Consider becoming a Health Services Manager

While healthcare is a hot topic in American politics right now, the fact is the immense healthcare industry is not going anywhere. This makes it the perfect market to break into! With a healthy (pun intended) industry outlook and the baby boomer generation’s increasing demand for palliative care, getting a degree in health services management is a great career investment.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Health services managers, also referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may manage one specific department (such as medical billing), an entire facility (such as a nursing home), or a health practitioner’s office (such as a specialist’s private practice).

Depending on the position, managers can expect to:

  • Create work schedules
  • Improve efficiency and quality
  • Ensure that the facility they work in is up to current laws and regulations
  • Manage billing and fees
  • Keep and organize records
  • Coordinate programs

And more, depending on the position and facility.

They are also required to communicate with medical practitioners (physicians and surgeons), registered nurses, laboratory technicians, patients, and insurance companies.

Essentially, health services managers are tasked with keeping healthcare facilities running smoothly and without incident. A job search will specify positions for coordinators, project managers, and information systems managers, all engaged in various settings, from hospitals to private practices. Depending on your interests, strengths, and background, there are plenty of job options within the healthcare management and administrative sectors.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Over the ten-year period of 2016 to 2026, employment of health services managers is projected to grow twenty percent, significantly faster than other management positions. Demand is growing in hospitals, private practices, and nursing homes, as more physicians are hired and more nursing homes are needed for the aging baby boomer population. Currently, hospitals employ about thirty-six percent of health services managers, with physicians’ offices and nursing homes employing eleven and ten percent, respectively.

As with most professions in the modern era, those with strong technology skills will find themselves the most employable, as healthcare facilities depend on tech for electronic health records, medical billing and coding, work scheduling, and more.

Most positions will require a bachelor’s degree or some combination of a two-year degree and experience, along with some additional certifications. It is possible to start working with an associate degree while working toward a higher degree, and some employers might cover additional education costs as an employment benefit. Ultimately, the healthcare industry is complicated, and those with degrees specifically in health services management can expect to be more employable than those with just business administration degrees.

SALARY

As of May 2017, the median wage for health services managers stands at $98,350, with the bottom ten percent making less than $58,350 and the top ten percent earning more than $176,130. This median wage is about $10,000 higher than the median wage for management positions in other industries, making the healthcare industry look quite attractive for ROI of education costs.

Chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of course, salary considerations include factors such as experience, position, location, and education level. And it should be noted that you might have to earn this salary with unusual work hours, including late-night and overnight schedules if you work for a hospital.

When considering your career goals, the health services management profession is certainly one to think about as healthcare demand continues to grow.

Brighton College offers an Associate Degree in Health Services Management as well as various medical certification programs. Brighton College offers all courses online, along with affordable tuition and an emphasis on employability after graduation. Visit Brighton College’s website to take your first steps toward this rewarding and lucrative career.

The Paralegal Industry and Its Job Outlook

Though often overlooked, paralegals are an integral part of all legal organizations—and non-legal organizations have taken notice. While traditional employment within the legal industry continues to grow, non-traditional work options in various fields are expanding job opportunities for current (and potential!) paralegals and legal assistants.

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of paralegals and legal assistants will grow around fifteen percent from 2016 to 2026, which is more than the average of all other occupations (as seen in the graph below). As law firms and other businesses strive for more efficiency and less cost for clients, they are turning to paralegals to help them achieve this goal.

Because of these market demands, paralegals and legal assistants are not only taking the place of entry-level lawyers, they are also taking on hybrid roles, where legal secretary duties are combined with paralegal responsibilities. As a result, the need for paralegals with technological and database skills has increased.

While employers typically prefer employees with an associate degree in Paralegal Studies, job-seekers with tech proficiency and a paralegal certification will likely find themselves in the enviable position of being quite hireable in today’s tech-drive workforce.

NON-TRADITIONAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Law firms and government agencies are the most common employers of paralegals, but businesses outside the legal industry are increasingly switching to in-house and contracted legal counsel. Many companies in finance, tech, and healthcare are either hiring or contracting paralegals as consultants to fulfill their basic legal needs in compliance and regulatory areas. Amazon is one such tech company that retains an in-house legal team in their offices all over the world and is constantly hiring for paralegal and other related positions, which you can find by searching on Amazon’s job site.

The healthcare industry, with its complicated regulatory and compliance needs, often seeks in-house legal help; health insurance companies, like Aetna, also hire in-house legal aides. Since this sector often requires more specialized knowledge, employees with medical backgrounds are highly sought after, such as Legal Nurse Consultants and Nurse Paralegals.

Large finance companies like J.P. Morgan Chase also hire paralegals to assist their in-house attorneys all over the United States. A quick search for jobs with J.P. Morgan Chase reveals a need for paralegals in cities across the country.

And, of course, in the 21st century’s pervasive gig economy, freelance paralegals are able to make a comfortable living on flexible terms, allowing them to raise families and attend to other needs they might have. However, it is advisable to have a few years of experience before becoming a paralegal freelancer.

PARALEGAL SALARY

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2017 the median wage for paralegals was $50,410, with the bottom ten percent making less than $31,130 and the top ten percent making over $81,180. Your location, work experience, industry, and specialized knowledge will, of course, contribute to how much you earn, with paralegals in the utilities and healthcare industries making more than those in the retail or advertising sectors.

The paralegal occupation, overall, is an excellent career choice that does not require a four-year (or more) degree with crippling student debt. With a bright industry outlook and great salary potential, those interested in the legal field but not in the law school sticker price should consider enrolling in a paralegal program.

The Paralegal Institute at Brighton College offers an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies as well as a Paralegal Certificate Program. The Paralegal Institute offers all courses online, along with affordable tuition and an emphasis on employability after graduation. For more information, please check out our website—we look forward to hearing from you!

Options Make The World Go ‘Round

Or is that money?

Either way, Brighton offers you ways to make the money to make the world go ’round using several options (ha, see what I did there??). Our most popular program by far is our Legal Nurse Consultant and Nurse Paralegal program. What isn’t the most popular part of it is the length. While it’s significantly more comprehensive than other programs out there, it’s 14 months worth of program. That’s a lot of time. But, at the same time, you’re essentially being taught how to be a paralegal, since you already know how to be a nurse.

So, how did we make it more conducive to our students? We made a short program. We have a Legal Nurse Consultant Professional Development program which contains 2 courses for a total of 8 credit hours. Your courses would be focused solely on the principles and practices of being an LNC and get you into the field faster. This way, you can start working towards your 2,000 hours worth of LNC work you need to complete before you can sit for your LNC Certification exam (in addition to being an RN for a minimum of 5 years).

Even better? With this short program, you still get the complimentary membership to The J.E.R.K., which is an organization that Brighton partners with that is made up of a bunch of LNCs from around the country. It’s the perfect way to network, get mentoring, and even work on making contacts that you can contract with without leaving your state.

I’m not being biased when I say it’s an amazing deal with a ton of promise behind it….okay, I’m a little biased. But it’s definitely worth checking out! https://www.brightoncollegeextension.org/lnc/