The health care industry is full of brilliant, busy professionals who are dedicated to their craft. Whether you have been employed in the field for years or are intrigued by the idea of serving those in need, you should consider pursuing a Master of Health Administration degree. Not only could the degree increase your salary options, but it could expand your job prospects and responsibilities, as well. It is an ideal educational path for students and professionals who wants to further their studies or career development in the field of health administration.
What do health care administrators do?
No matter what area of the industry professionals enter into, the vast majority of health care administrators plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services. Administrators have the ability to manage anything from an entire hospital to a small group of physicians to an entire nonprofit health care relief effort. Their jobs are constantly moving as they must constantly adapt to changes in health care laws, technology use and industry regulations.
Though salary varies depending on the field and organization, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median yearly wage for health care administrators was $94,000. The highest 10 percent of paid professionals earned more than $165,380, while the lowest made less than $56,230. Professionals working at hospitals consistently earned more than those who worked for the government, long-term care facilities, private practice or in home health care services. The job outlook is promising as well, as the field is expected to grow by 17 percent by 2024.
Primary duties of a health care administrator include developing departmental goals, striving to improve operational efficiency and ensuring that their facility is up to date with compliant laws and standards. Additionally, administrators sometimes recruit or train staff members, manage their facility’s finances, create work schedules and even monitor budgets and spending. Depending on the organization or field, they may represent their company or facility at investor meetings, communicate with interdepartmental teams, work closely with health care professionals and keep medical records.
These are just some of potential job responsibilities MHA graduates may have. Job titles, expertise and roles depend on the particular field graduates want to enter into or prior experience they have. For example, of graduates with the same MHA degree, one may enter into hospital administration work while the other may enter into corporate health care management. Here are four more potential career options you could have after acquiring an MHA degree:
1. Clinical management
One of the most common positions graduates may find is in hospitals and private practices. The BLS revealed that out of all medical and health services managers in the country, 37 percent find work at state, federal and privately owned hospitals. Clinical managers titles vary by organization, yet they are generally always responsible for overseeing a specific department at a hospital, such as physical therapy, nursing or surgery. They are the individuals who create and manage policies, procedures and goals for their department, along with evaluating the quality of their staff’s work. Many times, they also handle their department’s finances.
2. Long-term care administration
As the country’s population ages rapidly, there has never been more of a need for long-term care administrators. Many nursing and assisted living homes across the country have seen a dramatic increase in residents, especially in younger populations with chronic or debilitating conditions. Therefore, each of these facilities require administrators to handle finances, manage staff members, conduct admissions and keep building operations running smoothly. According to the BLS, around 10 percent of health care administrators hold jobs in this field.
3. Government agencies
From local to federal levels, government agencies are constantly looking for versatile and knowledgeable health care administrators. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services needs ambitious and dedicated health administrators who want to be on the frontline of some of the most important health care decisions. Additionally, with the new president’s administration, there will likely be many changes on the horizon for the health care industry as whole. This means that there will be an even greater need for professionals with policy and regulatory knowledge.
4. Advocacy or international aid groups
From the recent Ebola outbreaks to the worldwide refugee crisis, there are plenty of opportunities for MHA graduates to enter into the fields of health care advocacy or international aid. Advocacy groups seek out professionals who have a passion for creating lasting change in the public health policy sector. Health administrators can hold entry positions where they can work their way up, or mid-level jobs where they can rise to senior levels of the health care policy field.
At international aid organizations, MHA professionals can get involved with anything from improving public health standards in developing nations to providing relief during times of crisis. This can be an extremely rewarding career path for professionals who want to work in the health care industry, but don’t want to work in a traditional hospital or long-term care setting.
If you are interested in advancing in health management and leadership, you should consider pursuing an online Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati. Whether you are already working in the health care field or hoping to launch a successful administrative career, an MHA may be the right choice for you. Contact us today to learn more about our intensive curriculum offerings.