Health service manager

Alternative titles for this job include Hospital manager, NHS hospital manager

Health service managers run local healthcare services like hospitals, GP practices and community health services.

Average salary (a year)

£30,000 Starter


£100,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become a health service manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


A common way into this job is through a degree in a health or management-related subject.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You can get into this job through a chartered manager degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications like A levels for a degree apprenticeship

More information


You can get into health service management by working your way up from an administrative or clinical role within the NHS.

You're likely to need 4 to 5 GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and possibly A levels or equivalent for an administrator role.

With experience, you can move up to supervisory or management level. You can find useful courses to help you do this through the Institute of Administrative Management.

The MSc in Healthcare Leadership is suitable for doctors, pharmacists, allied health professionals, nurses, midwives and non-clinical staff who want to advance into a senior management position.

Direct application

The most direct route into health service management is through the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme. To apply, you'll need a degree, or an equivalent qualification, in healthcare or management.

You can apply directly if you already have management experience from the private, public or voluntary sector.

There are some management roles, like those in finance, purchasing or human resources, where you may not need previous experience of the NHS.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could apply to become a member of the Institute of Healthcare Management. This would give you access to professional development opportunities and professional recognition.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a health service manager from Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • administration skills
  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • working with clinical staff and other professionals
  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • dealing with the health service's day-to-day performance
  • setting and managing budgets
  • writing reports and giving presentations
  • using data to monitor and improve services
  • making sure regulations are followed
  • managing premises and security

Working environment

You could work at a health centre, in an NHS or private hospital or at a GP practice.

Career path and progression

You'll increase your chances for career progression if you complete a higher level management qualification, like a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or a diploma in management studies (DMS).

You could also apply for jobs at director or chief executive level.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (Supply Chain)

  • Wage : £13,500.00 Annually
  • Location: Cambridge CB23 8TU

Business Degree Apprenticeship – Marketing

  • Wage : £14,000.00 Annually
  • Location: High Wycombe HP10 8EG

Courses In England

Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership

  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: READING

Level 3 ILM Diploma in Management (Combined Qualification)

  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Wakefield

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Exam results helpline

Received your exam results? Speak to a careers adviser for advice on the options available to you.

Call 0800 100 900 from 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers.

Follow us on Twitter for more support.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No