You love taking care of people and making the world a better place by changing one life at a time. Now you’re considering leveling up — leaving a bigger impact and affecting many lives at once — and you’re ready to take the next big step. So how can you advance within clinical services and what does your next move look like? Get the skills necessary to succeed in a new role, perhaps even as a director of clinical services. Use this guide to map out the skills, education, and experience needed to start making career moves. 

What Is a Director of Clinical Services?

A director of clinical services is a manager who oversees the delivery of patient care in a health care setting or organization. Better Team describes the role as being responsible for the day-to-day administration of specific tasks, including maintaining medical records, hiring new staff, and preparing department budgets. A director of clinical services is also responsible for ensuring that care is delivered in accordance with the organization’s policies and procedures, as well as state and federal regulations. The director of clinical services also works closely with other members of the management team to ensure that the overall quality of care meets the standards set by the organization. In this role, you would lead a team to look after patients and ensure that programs and processes are being followed to provide the best outcomes.

If you’re interested in a career in health care management, then a director of clinical services could be a great role for you. This position offers the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of patients and their families. If you have the passion and commitment to provide quality care, consider pursuing the qualifications to take on this exciting and fulfilling role.

What Does a Clinical Services Director Do?

A director of clinical services is responsible for the overall management and operation of clinical services within a clinic or health care environment. This includes, according to Indeed’s updated job description for 2022, ensuring that quality patient care is provided, overseeing clinical staff, and budgeting for clinical operations. A director of clinical services must have a deep understanding of the various aspects of health care and its delivery in order to be successful in this role.

The director of clinical services is often a senior position within an organization and as such, is responsible for setting the tone and direction for clinical care. You’ll work closely with other members of the executive team to ensure that the organization’s mission and goals are met. In many cases, the director of clinical services also serves as a liaison between the board of directors and the medical staff.

On a daily basis, you will have a variety of duties, including:

  • Designing and implementing business strategies to help the organization achieve business goals
  • Ensuring quality patient care
  • Organizing and running all care or administrative operations and programs
  • Budgeting for clinical operations
  • Setting the tone and direction for clinical care
  • Working closely with other members of the executive team
  • Planning and managing the budget, including payroll
  • Acting as a connection between patients, their families, and additional care staff

If you’re wondering if the director of clinical services has a lot to do, the answer is yes. As a director of clinical services, you’ll act as the center of processes and care for staff and patients, the organization, and the board. Addressing issues and concerns raised by patients, families, and staff, you’ll have a lot of responsibility on your plate — which means you may also have the power to do a lot of good. 

What Skills Should a Clinical Services Director Have?

As you’ll be busy running much of the clinical operations and taking care of many people’s needs, you’ll need a variety of skills to be successful. Here are five essentials skills you’ll need to succeed as a clinical services director:

1. Strong communication: You need to effectively communicate with all members of the health care team, including doctors, nurses, and support staff. It’s critical to be able to clearly convey expectations and give feedback, as well as accept feedback. Understanding what’s working — and just as importantly, what’s not working — will help you and your team provide the best care. Communicating effectively and listening to feedback from all perspectives is essential.

2. Organizational skills: You must also be able to juggle many different tasks and priorities at once. You should be able to plan and organize the work of the clinical services department in a way that meets the needs of the organization as a whole.

3. Leadership: As the director of clinical services, you must be able to inspire and motivate those who work under you. Create a vision for the department and help others see how their work fits into that vision.

4. Problem-solving: You must be able to quickly identify and solve problems that arise within the department. Thinking on your feet and coming up with creative solutions will allow you to better confront issues that arise head-on.

5. People skills: Building positive relationships with all members of the health care team will take you far as a director of clinical services. You need to be able to understand and empathize with others, even when there are differences in opinion. And in a health care setting, there will always be differences in opinion.

If you have these essential skills, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful clinical services director. 

What Is the Salary for a Director of Clinical Services?

Salaries for a director of clinical services will vary greatly based on your location and experience, as well as the type of clinic or organizational health setting in which you may find yourself. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) cited the average annual salary of a clinical services director, sometimes referred to as a medical and health services manager, to be $101,340 or $48.72/hour in 2021. In 2020, there were 429,800 roles in the U.S. with this title. O*NET categorizes the career as a “bright outlook” position, while BLS says it has an expected 32% growth rate, which is higher than the national average. To predict what your salary would be as a director of clinical services in your area, use this calculator from O*NET.

Overview: What Does a Director of Clinical Services Do?

The director of clinical services is responsible for the coordination and supervision of all clinical services within a health care facility. It’s a big job. You’ll work to ensure patients receive high-quality care and staff are properly trained and equipped to provide this care. The director of clinical services plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of a facility and the provision of quality treatment.

If you’re interested in working in health and human services, then a career as director of clinical services could be the perfect for you. Put your passion for helping others into practice and level up in your career. 


The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services program is not a licensure program. UAGC cannot confirm whether its courses or programs meet requirements for professional licensure in your state. For information regarding professional licensure requirements in your state, you should contact the applicable licensing board or agency in your state and determine whether the program meets requirements for licensure in the state where you reside.

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