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How to Become an Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers are among the unsung heroes of a well-run healthcare program or medical institution. They are responsible for addressing the needs of employees and managers in myriad ways — much of it done out of public view. Healthcare organizations rely on these leaders to ensure that all teams have the resources to perform efficiently and effectively.

Anyone wondering how to become an administrative services manager in the healthcare industry will find that the journey begins with the right training and education. Yet thriving in this profession requires people skills, an ability to effectively manage people, and a willingness to take on the many administrative challenges that arise in day-to-day clinic work.

A healthcare administrator stands at a reception desk with a receptionist.

What Does an Administrative Services Manager Do?

There is no typical day for an administrative services manager, because a big part of the role is responding to unexpected situations. Among the duties of an administrative services manager are the following, according to The Balance Careers:

  • Meet with department heads and other senior managers to formulate long-range plans and set objectives, as well as address matters relating to personnel, resources, facilities, and equipment.
  • Lead development and training of staff, help set policies, and support special projects.
  • Ensure that contracts and other documents conform to policy and regulatory guidelines.
  • Represent the organization at conferences and meetings held off-site.
  • Assist senior managers in writing and disseminating communications.

WiseGEEK points out that people in these roles also can be expected to interact with clients, customers, and others outside the organization. In addition, administrative services managers frequently handle procurement and records management. Unlike a manager who is responsible for a single department, such as a facilities manager or human resources manager, an administrative services manager has duties that span many departments in the company, and in some cases all its operations.

According to Truity, administrative services managers have a wide range of duties. Responsibilities range from supervising clerical staff, to maintaining computers and equipment, to revising policies so the healthcare facility operates smoothly. Smaller facilities without a dedicated facilities manager may rely on an administrative services manager to take charge of the security of their offices and buildings. Similarly, healthcare organizations that lack an HR manager may turn to an administrative services manager to assist with recruitment, hiring, training, and other personnel matters.

Steps to Become an Administrative Services Manager

The combination of a strong educational background, certification to demonstrate competency, and solid work experience is a formula that can lead to success as an administrative services manager.

Begin with a Solid Educational Foundation

Some positions require only a high school diploma, but a bachelor’s degree or higher is typically a requirement for becoming an administrative services manager, especially those who hope to advance in this field. Earning a graduate degree in a business- or healthcare-related field, such as an online master’s degree in health administration, can put a candidate in an even better position to qualify for a job as an administrative services manager.

Certification Programs Helpful to Administrative Services Managers      

Administrative services managers may also obtain optional licenses or certifications, such as the following certifications from the International Facility Management Association (IMFA):

  • Facility Management Professional (FMP). FMP certification is designed to give aspiring facilities managers a deeper understanding of topics “deemed critical by employers.” There are no prerequisites, and this certification is suitable for people who have limited experience with facilities management.
  • Certified Facility Manager (CFM). The CFM credential is a competency-based certification and is intended for practicing facilities managers. This certification addresses continuing education for experienced managers, and members must complete education and professional development requirements to qualify for recertification every three years.

Other professional certifications that are helpful for administrative services managers are as follows:

  • Certified Records Manager (CRM) from the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM)
  • Information Governance Professional (IGP) from ARMA International
  • Certifications for contract managers from the National Contract Management Association

Gain Experience with Management Soft Skills         

Administrative services managers must gain firsthand management experience to develop the people skills they need to keep a healthcare organization running smoothly. Soft skills, such as listening, speaking, and writing, are essential in this role. Direct experience also helps managers sharpen their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

The personal qualities necessary to become an administrative services manager are varied. Administrative services managers must be able to jump from task to task while also paying close attention to the details of each task. They are always analyzing situations to find more efficient ways of operating, yet they are also interacting directly with staff throughout the organization, motivating them and coordinating their efforts and simultaneously listening to the issues they raise.

Administrative Services Manager Salaries

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual salary for administrative services managers was $94,020 in 2017. Earnings can vary based on factors such as education level, work experience, and geographic region: the highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this occupation earned more than $163,480 in 2017, while the lowest-paid 10 percent had salaries under $52,750. Administrative services managers who can demonstrate mastery of core skills such as managing budgets, operations, people, and projects may qualify for promotions and higher salaries, depending on their employers’ needs.

Growth Opportunities for Administrative Services Manager Careers

The BLS forecasts a positive outlook for jobs in administrative services management. Employment for administrative services managers is on pace to increase by 10 percent, compared with 7 percent for all occupations, between 2016 and 2026. Much of the anticipated increase is the result of organizations emphasizing environmental controls and energy efficiency in their operations. Companies see an opportunity to reduce costs and improve profitability by finding new ways to streamline and modernize their human and machine processes.

The search for efficiency goes beyond facilities management to include records and information management, particularly in the area of information governance, according to the BLS. Organizations anticipate increased regulation of records and other information to comply with new rules relating to privacy. Cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), and other technologies will transform the way companies collect, analyze, store, and secure their valuable data assets, all of which involve the contributions of administrative services managers.

Rewards of a Career as an Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers are leaders who make significant contributions to improving productivity in healthcare organizations. The responsibilities of the position continue to evolve as markets shift, new technologies emerge, and unforeseen challenges and opportunities arise. The dynamic nature of the position could be a reason that many people find it enjoyable: according to PayScale, administrative services managers are “extremely satisfied” with their jobs, rating their job satisfaction 5 out of 5.

Preparing for a fulfilling career as an administrative services manager in the healthcare industry begins by taking advantage of the training, skills, and hands-on experience offered by a program such as the online master’s in health administration (MHA) program at Maryville University. The MHA program features a collaborative environment, a faculty comprising leaders in healthcare education, and a curriculum geared to the ever-changing healthcare environments of today. Visit the program website to learn more about how it can be beneficial to those seeking new career opportunities.

Sources:

The Balance Careers, “What Is an Administrative Services Manager?”

International Facility Management Association, Credentials and Continuing Education

Maryville University, Healthcare Administration Careers: Understanding the Basics

Maryville University, Master’s in Health Administration Online

PayScale, Average Administrative Services Manager Salary

Truity, Administrative Services Manager

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Administrative Services Managers

WiseGEEK, What Is an Administrative Services Manager?