Health service manager

GP manager
Administration, business and management

Career outlook for health service manager

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would lead and organise staff and services so that a local community gets high quality, value-for-money healthcare.

Jobs range from being chief executive of a large hospital to manager of a GP surgery. You could also be a manager within the ambulance service, a community health service or a local NHS headquarters that monitors the service and performance of local NHS services.

You’d work with work with medical staff and other professionals.

You would:

  • Recruit and appoint staff
  • Supervise staff and take responsibility for the work they do
  • Deal with day-to-day operational matters
  • Assess performance and plan for the long term, using statistical information
  • Attend meetings, write reports and do presentations
  • Set budgets and manage finances
  • Put policies in place and make sure government guidelines are followed
  • Manage premises including cleaning, catering and security services
  • Manage contracts

There is a wide variety in health service management. You might work in a specific area such as finance, human resources (HR), project management, information management or facilities management.

Healthcare services are very important to people so this is a challenging role. You’d need to be able to deal with constant change. You’d need to understand the issues surrounding confidentiality, be good at solving problems and be able to explain complex things in a clear way.

You can see more about this role in the National Health Service on the Management development page on the NHSScotland Careers website.

Working conditions


You would usually work around 37.5 hours a week. There may be times when you need to work longer hours to meet deadlines. Job share arrangements are sometimes available. If you work in a hospital with a 24-hour service, you may need to work shifts and be part of an on-call rota system to cover emergencies.


You will be based mainly in an office.


You will need to travel for meetings, training courses and conferences.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Supporting
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Empathising
  • Respecting
  • Social conscience
  • Managing resources
  • Delegating
  • Taking responsibility

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


A degree (SCQF level 9) or a suitable professional qualification such as:

  • Accountancy
  • Human resource management
  • Information technologies
  • Purchasing and supply

If you are already a qualified allied health professional such as nurse, physiotherapist or biomedical scientist you may be able to apply for management posts.

If you have minimum 2:2 honours degree (SCQF level 10), you can apply for the NHS Scotland General Management Training Scheme.  

For junior administrative posts, you would need four to five subjects at National 5 (SCQF level 5) and preferably some Highers (SCQF level 6).

It is possible to start in an administrative post and progress into management by completing internal and external training courses.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • Business
  • ICT
  • Numerate or administrative subjects
  • Social studies
  • Health & wellbeing-centred subjects, such as care, psychology or sociology