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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 up to five years’ experience usually earn

$65K-$125K per year

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

$125K-$245K per year

Source: ACHSM - New Zealand Branch Council; NZ DHBs and RDA, 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a health services manager are good due to increasing job numbers.


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

  • Graduate health services managers usually start on about $65,000 to $80,000 a year.
  • Health services managers with four to five years' experience can earn between $90,000 and $125,000.
  • Experienced health services managers with a postgraduate qualification can earn up to $245,000.
  • The most senior health services executives can earn more than $400,000.

Sources: ACHSM - New Zealand Branch Council, careers.govt.nz interview, September 2020; and New Zealand District Health Boards, ‘Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement, 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021’, 2020; and Resident Doctors Association and 20 District Health Boards, ’Multi Employer Collective Agreement 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2021’, 2020.

(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.

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 Health Service Managers.

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

ACHSM - New Zealand Branch Council
(09) 5775477 - NZIHM@achsm.org.au - www.achsm.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Strong demand due to growth in the number of health services managers

The number of health services managers has increased over the last decade, as New Zealand's growing and ageing population creates demand for community and hospital health services. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased demand for public health managers.

According to the Census, 2,388 health services managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Vacancies in entry-level management and project management jobs  

Vacancies are often available in entry-level health management jobs and project management jobs in the health sector, both of which can provide a 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:

  • aged care
  • district health boards
  • public hospitals
  • primary health care
  • 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.


  • New Zealand District Health Boards, ‘Senior Medical and Dental Officers Collective Agreement, 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021’, accessed September 2020, (www.bopdhb.govt.nz).
  • Orsborn, K, president, New Zealand Institute of Health Management, Careers New Zealand interview, September 2020.
  • Resident Doctors Association and 20 District Health Boards, ’Multi Employer Collective Agreement 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2021’, accessed September 2020, (www.nzrda.org.nz).
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census data', 2019.

(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 23 September 2020