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Health Services Manager

Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Hauora

Alternative titles for this job

Health services managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of a hospital, primary health organisation (PHO), clinic or community health service.


Health services managers with one to four years’ experience usually earn

$60K-$100K per year

Health services managers with four or more years’ experience usually earn

$100K-$216K per year

Source: NZ Institute of Health Management; Association of Salaried Medical Specialists.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a health services manager are good due to steady growth in the number of people employed in the role.


Pay for health services managers varies depending on experience and qualifications.

  • New graduates recruited into health services management roles usually earn about $60,000 to $70,000 a year.
  • After four to five years in the role, you can earn about $100,000 to $120,000 a year.
  • Experienced health services managers with 10 to 15 years' experience and a postgraduate qualification can earn up to $200,000 a year.
  • Medical administrators who are qualified and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators earn between about $151,000 and $216,000. 
  • The most senior health services executives can earn more than $400,000.

Sources: NZ Institute of Health Management; District Health Boards/Association of Salaried Medical Specialists 'Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement 1 July 2013 - 30 June 2016', 2014.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Health services managers may do some or all of the following:

  • provide overall direction and management for their service
  • ensure their service meets government health policy requirements and local health needs
  • prepare, manage and review budgets
  • recruit, manage and coach staff
  • prepare reports for the board of directors
  • develop and review strategic plans and policies
  • liaise with other health providers, district health boards and funding bodies
  • lead public education campaigns about current health issues
  • advise government organisations about measures to improve public health
  • consult iwi and other local groups to ensure services are culturally appropriate to patients
  • prepare funding applications to district health boards and the Ministry of Health for new services.

Skills and knowledge

Health services managers need to have:

  • knowledge of health systems and services
  • knowledge of the regulations and laws relevant to their organisation
  • management and budgeting skills
  • strong planning and organisational ability
  • the ability to analyse statistical information and government reports.

Working conditions

Health services managers:

  • work regular office hours, but may also need to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines
  • usually work at hospitals, community health service centres, clinics and rest homes
  • may travel locally, nationally or internationally to attend meetings and conferences, or visit other hospitals.

What's the job really like?

Matiu Julian

Matiu Julian

Health Services Manager

A wealth of experience building relationships in the education sector helped Matiu Julian fit into his current role at Tui Ora, a Māori health development organisation.

Relationship building key to the job

“I look after the relationships our organisation has with an array of Māori health providers, including mental health, nursing and health promotion services. The aim is that they have enough trust in me that we can talk about business issues.”

Matiu also liaises with doctors, planners, and Ministry of Health staff, as well as organisations that support people in the community. He's often asked to attend meetings with the district council to talk about strategic planning - to give a perspective on the future of Māori health.

"There are challenges in trying to get different groups of people working together, but it's rewarding to know that I'm adding value to people's lives by working towards a health system that is set up in such a way that it can best meet the needs of the people."

Matiu Julian is of Ngāti Tumango and Ngāti Tū Poho descent, and closely connected to Ngā Ruahine and Ngāti Porou ki Harataunga.

Entry requirements

To become a health services manager, a postgraduate tertiary qualification in health management, such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Management or Master of Business Administration, is usually required.

Consideration will also be given to a professional qualification in other relevant areas of study, such as accounting, human resources, education, or information technology.

Health services managers need to have experience in management or health services, in addition to their professional qualification.

Qualification route for doctors specialising in medical administration

Doctors who wish to specialise in medical administration need to complete:

  • a medical degree
  • a minimum of three years of clinical experience
  • three years of specialist training to become a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators.

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter tertiary training. Useful secondary school subjects include English, accounting and economics.

Personal requirements

Health services managers need to be:

  • good decision-makers
  • good written and oral communicators
  • understanding of different cultures
  • able to work well under pressure
  • responsible
  • adaptable and open to new ideas
  • able to provide leadership to a team.

Useful experience

Useful experience for health services managers includes:

  • nursing or related health work
  • management experience.

Find out more about training

NZ Institute of Health Management
(09) 5775477 - admin@nzihm.org.nz - www.nzihm.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

According to Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment estimates, the number of health services managers grew by about 12% between 2010 and 2012. However there are still too few health services managers to fill all vacancies. 

Shortage of workers due to growing and ageing population

The shortage of health services managers is because of New Zealand's growing and ageing population, which creates demand for community and hospital health services. 

Vacancies in entry-level management and project management jobs  

According to the New Zealand Institute of Health Management, vacancies are often available in entry-level health management jobs and in project management jobs in the health sector, both of which can provide you with a good pathway into more senior health services manager roles.

You can also increase your chances of gaining work if you have a relevant professional qualification, such as business, accounting, human resources, education, or information technology.

Public sector the biggest employer of health services managers

Most health services managers work for public sector employers such as:

  • district health boards
  • public hospitals
  • health-related agencies such as Medsafe, which regulates therapeutic products in New Zealand
  • government departments or ministries.

Some health services managers work for private employers such as:

  • private hospitals
  • community-based services, such as community nursing, disability support organisations, or Kaupapa Māori community organisations.


  • Coles, J, president, New Zealand Institute of Health Management, Careers New Zealand interview, September 2013.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Health services managers can progress to become department managers, senior managers and chief executives. They may also progress to work in:

  • consulting
  • policy development
  • project management
  • lecturing on health management
  • health services research.

Health services managers can specialise in:

  • Māori health care
  • mental health
  • health care for people with disabilities
  • design, development and management of information technology systems
  • primary care such as general practice management
  • managing non-governmental organisations
  • human resources.
Trisha Dunn writing at a desk

Health services managers are responsible for the day-to-day running of a hospital or health service

Last updated 9 September 2019