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

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

A practice manager is responsible for the business side of a medical practice, while an office manager oversees the daily operations of an office. Both positions are important to the smooth running of an organization, but there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between practice managers and office managers, and we provide tips for those interested in pursuing a career in either field.

What is a Practice Manager?

A Practice Manager is responsible for the overall operation and management of a medical practice. They work to ensure that the practice is run efficiently and effectively, in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Practice Managers develop and implement policies and procedures, oversee billing and coding, manage human resources, and handle all administrative tasks. They also work with the medical staff to ensure that patient care is of the highest quality. In larger practices, the Practice Manager may oversee a team of medical office administrators.

What is an Office Manager?

An Office Manager is responsible for the overall operation of an office, including supervising administrative staff, handling budgeting and accounting responsibilities, ordering supplies, and coordinating office maintenance. They may also be responsible for developing and implementing office policies and procedures, and managing office records. In some cases, the Office Manager may also be responsible for human resources functions such as recruiting and training new employees, and handling employee benefits.

Practice Manager vs. Office Manager

Here are the main differences between a practice manager and an office manager.

Job Duties

Both practice and office managers have a variety of duties. The specific responsibilities an office or practice manager performs depend on the type of business they work for and their company-specific goals. For example, an office manager might handle human resources, such as conducting interviews, reviewing applications and creating job postings. They might also manage the budget for office supplies and equipment and oversee the IT department. Practice managers often focus on ensuring patient care is high quality. They might conduct staff meetings to discuss new policies and procedures and implement those changes. Other typical job duties include scheduling appointments and evaluating patient outcomes.

Job Requirements

Practice managers and office managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business 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 managers and office managers pursue certifications through professional organizations like the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) or the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use healthcare software and other tools they might need on the job.

Work Environment

Both practice and office managers work in professional environments. However, an office manager may spend more time interacting with clients than a practice manager does. For example, an office manager might meet with prospective patients to discuss their needs and goals for treatment. They also may attend business meetings with other professionals to discuss the best ways to improve patient care.

Practice managers typically spend most of their time working directly with employees. They often oversee daily operations and ensure that all staff members are completing their duties effectively. Practice managers may also interact with patients on a regular basis, especially if they’re responsible for scheduling appointments or answering questions about services.


There are several similarities in the skills needed for practice managers and office managers. Both roles require excellent organizational skills to manage day-to-day operations, as well as strong communication skills to interact with staff, clients and vendors. They also both need to have a good understanding of financial concepts to develop budgets and track expenses.

However, there are some key differences in the skills needed for these two positions. Practice managers typically need to have a deep understanding of the industry they work in, as well as the specific regulations that govern their field. This knowledge is necessary to ensure that the practices they manage are compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. Office managers, on the other hand, may not need to have such a deep understanding of the industry they work in, but they do need to be experts in office administration. This means they need to have a thorough understanding of office procedures and protocols, as well as experience managing office equipment and supplies.


The average salary for a practice manager is $65,917 per year, while the average salary for an office manager is $55,923 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the size of the company, the location of the job and the level of experience the employee has.


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