Doctor of Health Administration: Salary and Career Facts

Doctor of Health Administration programs are generally intended for current healthcare professionals who want to increase their leadership and management skills. Learn about these doctoral programs, as well as the job duties and potential earnings for graduates. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Health Administration Doctoral Graduates?

Having a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) may allow you to advance your leadership career as a medical and health services manager, or open the door to a career in academia. Medical and health services managers are responsible for making sure medical facilities run efficiently, yet offer patients quality care and meet government regulations. This involves hiring medical professionals, keeping budgets, monitoring finances and setting goals. They often represent the facility on governing boards. If you went into academia, you would organize and hold classes on various topics related to health administration. This would involve creating lesson plans, assessing student performance and supervising graduate students' work.

You can get an overview on this career by using this chart before entering this field.

Health Information ManagerHealth Specialties Professor
Key Responsibilities Coordinate and supervise health service departments, clinics or hospitals Teach college medical information classes in healthcare information systems and healthcare law
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 17%* (all medical and health services managers) 19%*
Mean Salary (2015) $106,070* (all medical and health services managers) $114,510*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Types of Doctor of Health Administration Programs Are Available?

These programs are somewhat uncommon, but they are available. Most require a master's degree. Many of them offer night and weekend courses so that professionals already working in the field can conveniently continue their education.

Financial management, health policy, strategic management, organizational behavior, ethics, population health and quality improvement are just some of the topics you'll explore during DHA programs. Like most doctoral programs, you'll also learn about applied research and quantitative methods for research. Healthcare information systems and healthcare law will also be studied.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As an executive, administrator or other type of leader in a healthcare organization, you will help to manage medical staff while implementing policies and standards. Your job title might be financial advisor, chief nursing advisor, hospital president or operating officer. Once you earn your Doctor of Health Administration, you may also consider a career as a college or university professor or administrator.

In general, some of your duties may involve contributing to health policy initiatives and developing healthcare delivery systems. You may respond to the latest health reforms or develop professional contacts to help you in decision-making, fundraising, construction and purchases. You will also manage the internal work environment, creating a team atmosphere that is supportive of employees.

How Much Can I Earn?

In May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health service managers made an average salary of $106,070, while financial managers brought in an average of $134,330. On the academic side of health administration, health specialties professors made an average of $114,510 per year.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are not many careers related to health administration that require a doctoral degree, though a few careers share some of the same responsibilities and skills. Similar to health administrators, human resources managers are responsible for hiring employees, however they are often not considered upper management and serve as the connection between them and employees. A bachelor's or master's degree is typical for this profession, along with work experience. On the financial side of things, underwriters are comparable because of the skills they need to evaluate insurance applications and decide on what coverage and premiums should be offered. This career requires a bachelor's degree in a business or finance related field. Many of the same management skills needed to be a health care administrator are needed by social and community service managers. With a bachelor's degree in social services or a business-related field, these professionals oversee the operations of community organizations and social services.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Capella University

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    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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  • Medical University of South Carolina

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    • Tennessee: Knoxville
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    • California: Loma Linda