Job Search

Practice Administrator vs. Practice Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A medical practice administrator is responsible for the business side of a healthcare facility, while a medical practice manager oversees the clinical operations. Both positions are important for the successful running of a medical practice, but they have different duties. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare administration, understanding the difference between these two job titles can help you decide which path is right for you. In this article, we compare the job titles of practice administrator and practice manager, and we discuss the duties, responsibilities and qualifications of each.

What is a Practice Administrator?

The Practice Administrator is responsible for the overall management of a medical practice. This includes tasks such as hiring and firing staff, managing finances, handling insurance and billing, and dealing with any legal issues that may arise. The Practice Administrator must be well-versed in all aspects of the medical practice, as they are responsible for ensuring that it runs smoothly and efficiently. They must be able to effectively communicate with all members of the staff, as well as with patients and their families. The Practice Administrator is also responsible for creating and implementing policies and procedures to ensure that the medical practice is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

What is a Practice Manager?

The Practice Manager is responsible for the daily operations of a medical practice. They oversee the administrative staff and make sure that the office is running smoothly. The Practice Manager is in charge of hiring and firing staff, as well as training new employees. They handle financial tasks such as billing and coding, and they may also be responsible for marketing the practice. The Practice Manager works closely with the physicians in the practice to ensure that patient care is of the highest quality.

Practice Administrator vs. Practice Manager

Here are the main differences between a practice administrator and a practice manager.

Job Duties

Practice administrators and managers share some of their job duties, but each role may focus on different aspects of running a medical practice. Practice administrators typically focus on the clinical elements of medicine, such as patient care, while practice managers tend to concentrate on the business side of healthcare. This means that a practice administrator might dedicate their time to ensuring the staff is prepared for upcoming patient appointments and can provide quality care. In contrast, a practice manager might ensure the facility where patients receive care is clean and well-organized and that the team has the resources they need to provide excellent service.

Job Requirements

Practice administrators and practice managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, healthcare administration or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many practice administrators and practice managers pursue certifications through the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) or the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to manage medical practices effectively.

Work Environment

Practice administrators and practice managers work in different environments. Practice administrators typically work in an office setting, where they can perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments and completing paperwork. They may also travel to visit patients at their homes or other locations.

Practice managers usually work in a clinical environment, which means that they spend most of their time working directly with patients. This allows them to provide direct care to patients while ensuring the smooth operation of the facility.


There are several similarities in the skills needed for a practice administrator and a practice manager. Both roles require excellent communication, interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills. They also both need to have a strong understanding of business principles and financial management.

However, there are some differences in the skills needed for these two positions. A practice administrator typically needs to have more experience in the medical field than a practice manager. They also may need to have specific knowledge about the administrative side of running a medical practice, such as billing and coding, human resources and compliance with regulations. A practice manager may need to have more experience in business management, such as project management, marketing and sales.


The average salary for a practice administrator is $78,929 per year, while the average salary for a practice manager is $65,917 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the practice, the location of the practice and the level of experience the administrator or manager has.


Warehouse Worker vs. Warehouse Associate: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Case Manager vs. Therapist: What Are the Differences?