MBA in Health Administration: Salary and Career Facts

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Health Administration can prepare you for a variety of careers in health services management. Continue reading about the curriculum for the degree program, as well as the job duties and earning potential for those who complete this MBA. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Healthcare Administrator Info at a Glance

A health administration MBA program combines two essential areas of study - business and healthcare administration. Business topics may include international business, financial management, accounting, business ethics, marketing, quality control and human resources. The healthcare focus of an MBA program covers information systems, ethics, medical law, health policy, healthcare economics, healthcare management, insurance providers and healthcare systems.

Program graduates who pursue careers as healthcare administrators can fill several roles within healthcare organizations. Some positions are clinical-focused, such as managing the emergency room in a hospital. Other roles tend to focus on the business side of keeping people healthy.

Check out the following table to learn more about healthcare administrators:

Degree Required Master's degree may be preferred, if not required; some positions are available with a bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Healthcare administration is common; other options include nursing, business and public health
Key Responsibilities Ensure clinical workers meet standards, set department goals, oversee hiring, maintain schedules and set budgets
Job Growth (2016-2026) 20%
Median Salary (2017) $98,350

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Tasks Might I Do?

Some MBA graduates become chief executive officers (CEOs) of major hospitals. There are many other health services management positions that require similar skills, but don't require you to publicly represent a healthcare organization.

For example, as a clinical manager, you may work in a clinic or hospital department, evaluating staff, developing budgets, schedules and records. You may also implement policies created by you, the medical team or a higher office. In larger organizations, you may work as part of a chief administrator's team of assistants.

Other healthcare management positions may require you to oversee a group of physicians or specialists and their staff members. In a smaller office, this may mean supervising ten individuals; in a larger facility, you may manage upwards of 60 employees. Common tasks may include billing clients, managing databases, monitoring equipment repairs, contacting insurance companies or partnering with community outreach centers. You might also manage healthcare information technology or oversee logistics.

Do I Need a License?

Some states require you to obtain licensure to work as an administrator or manager of a healthcare facility. Check with your state's medical board to discover if licensure is necessary to enter a particular occupation.

To learn about certification as a health information administrator, visit the American Health Information Management Association website for more information (www.ahima.org). While voluntary, earning certification in this or another area of healthcare administration could boost your job prospects.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for a medical and health services manager was $98,350 as of 2017 (www.bls.gov). During that year, the top five employing industries for health service managers were hospitals, physicians' offices, residential facilities, government agencies and outpatient centers. The five highest-paying states for health services managers included the District of Columbia, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

Is This Field Growing?

As the need for clinical professionals grows, so will the demand for managers in the field. The BLS projected a 20 percent job growth for healthcare administrators between 2016 and 2026. For comparison, the BLS projects overall job growth to reach seven percent during the same period. With almost three times the national growth rate, healthcare administrators can enjoy stable employment.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Graduates who are most interested in the business side of healthcare administration may work as managers in other industries, such as insurance and social services. If you want to stay in healthcare, you might head up an organization's marketing or human resources departments.

If you're interested in a different degree altogether, you might consider leaving the business side behind and focusing on clinical master's degree programs in such areas as advanced practice nursing and physician assisting.

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:

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