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Behavioral health centers employ a variety of staff members who provide care for patients. Without someone orchestrating the entire team and evaluating program implementation, problems can easily overwhelm the delivery of patient care.
The clinical director is the person who oversees and implements a variety of clinical functions, including staff training, supervision, regulation compliance, patient progress, budget spending and much more. Because this individual takes on many different duties, they typically need a graduate-level degree and expert-level skills in communication, management, organization and other leadership-related competencies.
A clinical director’s duties are fairly similar across different medical settings, but daily tasks may differ from one facility to the next. For example, one organization may ask the clinical director to manage medical records maintenance, while another might expect them to take charge of quality assurance programs.
Universally, the primary duties of a clinical director include:
Depending on the organization, clinical directors may also play a financial role by helping create budgets, reporting expenditures and supervising billing processes. They may also coordinate services among multiple facilities, present reports in board meetings and develop policies.
There is no specific route a person must take to become a clinical director, meaning people can gain the necessary skills and experience in many different ways. However, there are some universal requirements candidates must meet involving their education, experience and licensure.
Being a clinical director means being highly competent in many administrative and leadership skills. The most important characteristics and competencies include:
At a minimum, candidates will need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to general health care or administration, such as life/medical science or clinical/health care administration. However, many job postings ask for applicants with a master’s degree in clinical administration or a related degree with relevant experience.
Many organizations, including The Recovery Village, require clinical directors to be licensed medical professionals or have certain credentials. The licenses and credentials that most other facilities and we accept include:
Many of these licenses and certifications require clinical experience gained from internships, residencies, volunteering or professional employment. Additionally, renewing these credentials typically requires you to complete continuing education credits. Over time, a person may begin to pivot toward administrative roles to gain more knowledge and skills on the administrative side of things.
A degree, licensure and experience working in clinical and administrative settings will help you become a competitive candidate for a clinical director role.
Demand for clinical directors and other health service administrators is expected to increase by 32% in the next ten years. This is much higher than the average growth rate, meaning that people who begin working their way up their career ladder can now have a good chance of landing a clinical director position in the future.
As of 2019, the average yearly salary of a medical health and service manager is around $100,960. Clinical directors can work in government facilities, hospitals, outpatient centers, residential clinics, physician offices and many other health facilities.
There are many ways to find open clinical director jobs in your area. The easiest way may be searching on an online job board; many job sites are geared specifically toward health care workers. You can also search the career pages of certain organizations or facilities you may be interested in working for.
An important way to find out about available positions is to reach out to your professional network, including past professors, mentors, colleagues and staff leaders who may have helpful information. Seminars, conferences and other educational events can also connect with health professionals who can help you find a clinical director role.
The Recovery Village has several facilities located throughout the country, and we are always looking to add new professionals to our multidisciplinary teams of experts. To learn about open clinical director jobs and other potential opportunities with our organization, visit The Recovery Village career portal and see an up-to-date list of every role we’re looking to fill.