Professionals with healthcare administration degrees most often pursue careers as administrators in medical and health services. These healthcare administrators are responsible for the direction and coordination of health services, which may include managing a healthcare facility, specific clinical department or a multi-physician practice.
The healthcare industry as a whole is expected to add nearly 5.6 million jobs by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This bodes well for those interested in healthcare administration:
The job outlook for administrators is robust, with an anticipated growth rate of 23% from 2012 through 2022, according to the BLS. An aging baby-boomer generation and increasingly active older population are contributing to current growth in demand for medical services.
This rapid growth is expected to translate into low unemployment rates and high starting salaries for graduates with a master’s degree, according to a report. In fact, the master’s degree in healthcare administration recently was ranked ninth on Forbes’ list of best graduate degrees for job placement, with professionals experiencing a mid-career median salary of $87,800.
A bachelor’s degree will qualify administrative professionals for entry-level positions, middle-management roles within large organizations, and senior-level jobs within smaller businesses.
Although an undergraduate education provides a strong start for healthcare administrators, some employers may prefer candidates who have at least a master’s degree.
Job hunters in the field likely will encounter a variety of open positions at hospitals, wellness centers and government agencies. Job titles may include Project Manager, Administrative Director, Health Center Administrator, Health Promotion and Nursing Services Supervisor, Assistant Director of Operations, Hospital Supervisor and Supervisory Public Health Analyst.
Healthcare administration graduates also may choose to join a professional association of healthcare administrators, which provide educational resources and career development advice. One example is the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), an internal society of more than 30,000 healthcare executive professionals. Aspiring administrators may join the ACHE as Student Associates and learn more about healthcare management from the organization’s continuing education programs, resume review services, job board, resume-posting service, research studies, and subscriptions to relevant publications such as Healthcare Executive magazine and the Journal of Healthcare Management, which reports on current events affecting the industry.