What Can I Do with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administrators, or medical and health service managers, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. Depending on the facility at which they work, healthcare administrators might be in charge of the entire facility, specific clinics or departments, or oversee a group practice. While some Healthcare Administrators have bachelor’s degrees, more are requiring a master’s degree in addition to experience in the field. But with how many different types of healthcare facilities that exist, all of which need administrators, how do you know what type of job you want with your master’s degree? Or if you are still thinking about entering a master’s in healthcare administration program, how do you know some possible career paths? That is where this article comes in. Below we will outline job prospects, including median salaries, as well as common careers for master’s in healthcare administration degree holders.
Job Prospects for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degree-Holders
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers have a projected employment growth of 20% between now and 2026. That’s well over double the average for all occupations. With such good job prospects, now is a great time to enter this field. The median annual wage for healthcare administrators is $96,540. But that varies widely depending on the type of healthcare administrator, the location of the healthcare facility, and its size.
There are a lot of career options with a master’s in healthcare administration. Below we will outline some common divisions within the field, as well as entry level positions you can get with a master’s degree. Most healthcare administrators can be divided by the type of healthcare facility at which they work. For instance, nursing home administrators might start at a smaller facility and move up to manage a group of nursing homes. They also require additional certifications. Other healthcare administrators who start overseeing a specific clinic at a hospital might advance into more senior level positions that oversee multiple departments or even the entire hospital.
5 Healthcare Administration Jobs that a Master’s Degree Prepares You For
- Medical and Health Services Manager
- Oversees a part of or the whole healthcare facility, typically in a hospital setting but also in smaller medical practices. Responsible for accounting, budgets, rate plans, and reports, as well as managing medical personnel to maintain quality of patient care.
- Median Salary:$64,802
- Nursing Home Administrators
- Manages staff, admissions, finances, and care of nursing home, as well as quality of care for nursing home residents. Requires a state-level licensure.
- Median Salary:$85,020
- Clinical Managers
- Oversees a specific department or clinic within a larger facility (i.e. nursing, surgery, pediatrics). Set and carry out department-specific policies, goals, and procedures, including budgets, as well as evaluate the quality of staff work.
- Median Salary:$69,224
- Health Information Managers
- Responsible for the maintenance and security of all patient records; maintain knowledge or use of up-to-date information technology, current laws regulating health information systems, and find trends in large amounts of data. Supervise health information technicians.
- Median Salary:$52,711
- Median Salary:$
3 Common Specializations for a Master’s Degree in Health Administration
Many healthcare administration jobs don’t require additional specializations. However, since many will require experience in the healthcare field and even additional degrees in nursing or social work, many people looking to enter health care administration take advantage of one of the many online Master’s in Health Care Administration degree programs. Most MHA programs cover courses on organizational and financial management, human resources, ethics, and leadership. Many master’s programs also include courses on health law, healthcare policy, healthcare information, and healthcare management.
A common specialization for Master’s degrees in healthcare administration is information technology. Health Information and Medical Records is a burgeoning sub-field in healthcare. With the need for medical technicians on the rise, so is the need for health information managers. As such, many online master’s degree programs include a health information or information technology specialization. This specialization covers managing virtual and cloud systems, health informatics, and medical coding. Many degrees that offer this specialization will also offer graduate certificates in health informatics.
Another common specialization is long term care, or gerontology. This specialization is specifically designed for nursing home health care administration and other long-term care facilities. In addition to general healthcare administration coursework, long term care specializations also require courses on gerontology, long term financial management, and long term strategic management. This curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for nursing home administration certification, which is required in all states.
Earn Professional Certifications and Specialized Certificates
Even with a master’s degree, many employers require experience within the healthcare field. SInce many positions also require the healthcare administrator to be a registered nurse or licensed social worker, most healthcare administration job-seekers enroll in master’s programs while employed in the healthcare field. The following skills are in the highest demand for new employees in healthcare administration jobs:
- Build and implement strategic plans for healthcare facilities
- Knowledgeable about current laws and regulations and assess healthcare facility in accordance with such laws
- Manage finances, including budgets and spending for departmental unites
- Recruit, train, and supervise staff; represent that staff to healthcare facility’s governing board
- Maintain facility records, specifically statistics regarding facility usage and services
- Clear communication with medical staff, department heads, and governing body
While only nursing home administrators are required to have certification in all states, other types of healthcare administrators or individual states might require additional certifications. For instance, in some states assisted-living healthcare administrators are required to have certifications. While more general healthcare administration positions don’t require administration certifications, many do require applicants to be a registered nurse or a licensed social worker. Even though certification may not be required, many healthcare managers do choose to become certified through certifying bodies like the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management or the American College of Health Care Administrators.