In a stressed US job market with an uncertain future, few degrees offer more employment opportunities and security than an MBA in healthcare administration. Read on to learn about the significance and usefulness of an MBA with a focus in healthcare administration and some of the desirable career paths you will be equipped to pursue after you secure one.
What Is an MBA in Healthcare Administration?
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the definitive graduate degree for existing and aspiring senior executives who want to lead their own businesses or rise through the administrative ranks to secure a top position in an existing company. Qualifying students can earn an MBA with various specific concentrations, from finance to business analytics.
One of the most attractive and valued MBAs is the healthcare administration MBA. Simply put, this degree prepares students to become business leaders in the healthcare field. Beyond learning how to build and run a successful and profitable business, MBA students with a focus in healthcare administration learn how to positively impact patient outcomes through their healthcare and general business leadership acumen.
Three Reasons to Choose an MBA in Healthcare Administration
If you are reading this, you obviously have an interest in the field of healthcare administration. Maybe you are a business administrator who wants to specialize in the healthcare sector, or maybe you work in healthcare and want to better position yourself for senior administrative positions in this field. No matter who you are and what your goals happen to be, there are many reasons to pursue an MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration. Here are just three of the most compelling:
1. Growing Demand
Although an MBA in healthcare administration can lead to any number of in-demand positions, we can examine the job outlook for healthcare administration MBAs by examining the career data for medical and health services managers.
While the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects all occupations to grow at a median rate of just 5% through 2031, it projects a whopping 28% growth rate for positions in medical and health services management. Beyond the rising demand for healthcare from the aging Baby Boomer generation, the BLS expects many of the 56,600 annual job openings in this field to arise from the replacement of workers who are retiring or leaving the healthcare labor force for other reasons.
2. High Earning Potential
Students who secure an MBA in healthcare administration can not only expect to secure a job after graduation, but they can expect a healthy salary with this job as well. The average medical and health services manager, for example, made $101,340 per year, according to the most recent assessment by the BLS in 2021. Salary.com reports even greater earning potential, averaging yearly salaries for medical managers at $111,773 and yearly salaries for health services managers at $130,212. These two positions serve as solid examples of the many high-paying leadership positions that you can pursue with the right healthcare administration MBA.
3. Diverse Job Opportunities
As stated by the BLS, most medical and health services managers work for hospitals, nursing homes, group medical practices, and other healthcare organizations. But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the list of potential employers for hardworking professionals who hold an MBA in healthcare administration. Other potential employers range from health insurance and pharmaceutical companies to government agencies and nonprofit groups. As we will examine in our discussion of healthcare consultants below, many healthcare consulting firms commonly hire MBA graduates in advisory positions.
Career Paths for a Healthcare MBA
Incredibly attractive to employers and students alike, the MBA in healthcare administration is one of the most versatile and advantageous degrees available when it comes to meeting the job market demands of both the present and the future. Here are just seven of the many diverse professional positions that you can pursue with a healthcare administration MBA.
1. Hospital Administrator
Hospital administrator is often the first job that comes to mind when someone thinks about healthcare administration. According to Salary.com, this position is also one of the most lucrative that you can acquire with a healthcare administration MBA, as the average US hospital administrator takes home a whopping $260,513 per year.
From physical rehabilitation clinics to substance abuse centers, all types of medical facilities employ hospital administrators to handle a broad spectrum of administrative matters, including office operations, finance, budgeting, equipment and supply procurement, and vendor management, as well as staff sourcing, hiring, training, and general management. Hospital administrators also play a key role in the provision and oversight of clinical patient care.
2. Healthcare Consultant
As a healthcare consultant, you can work for a large advisement firm, a boutique consultancy, or as an independent free agent. To aid and assist clients, consultants work with key healthcare business leaders, stakeholders, and employees to identify inefficiencies, solve problems, and suggest improvements.
In a nutshell, the work of a healthcare consultant revolves around helping organizations reduce costs and increase revenue while meeting all regulatory compliance requirements and maintaining a high quality of patient care. Consultants also play an important part in strategic planning and decision-making, often proposing, implementing, and guiding large growth initiatives that might include new service offerings or major M&A (merger and acquisition) activities.
The wide-ranging scope of the healthcare consultant makes the salary estimation process a bit tricky. However, Salary.com places the average yearly salary for a healthcare consultant at $87,945.
3. Health Services Manager
Health services managers plan, coordinate, and generally oversee health services for medical practices, physician groups, insurance providers, private businesses, government agencies, and institutions of learning. Specific services managed by these professionals range from clinical care and insurance coverage to initiatives that promote medical research, public education, and the general promotion of disease prevention and healthy living. Modern health services managers play a critical role in expanding medical staff and services to meet the immediate and future needs of the aging Baby Boomer generation. As stated above, the average annual salary for a health services manager is $130,212.
4. Health Information Manager
If you are a business-minded professional who loves working with technology and wants to pursue a career in the healthcare field, a health information manager position may be a perfect fit for you. Health information managers deal with the flow and dissemination of important data and communications throughout an organization and its key stakeholders. These professionals are in particularly high demand among large medical organizations that own and operate several interconnected healthcare offices or facilities.
The essential duties of a health information manager include managing patient records with a dual emphasis on accuracy and security. This large amount of responsibility and the specialized skills required enables health information managers to command relatively sizable salaries. According to Salary.com, the average annual pay for a US health information manager is $95,879.
5. Medical Manager
As previously mentioned, the BLS places the average annual salary for a medical manager in the US at $111,773. Singled out by the independent higher education resource Best Colleges as one of the more popular job types among recent graduates with an MBA in healthcare administration, the field of medical management commands exceptional organizational, leadership, and strategic thinking skills.
While some medical managers oversee entire medical organizations or facilities, others may concentrate on one or more specific departments or practices within these organizations or facilities. Because they are tasked with leading all internal operations, medical managers must have a broad base of business knowledge in areas that range from budgeting to regulation to human resources. Because they work closely with physicians, nurses, technicians, and other frontline healthcare workers, they must also possess a solid understanding of relevant clinical matters.
6. Pharmaceutical Project Manager
Pharmaceutical project managers direct the development of new drug treatments, including assembling qualified teams to study the benefits and side effects of these treatments. When drugs are approved, these professionals oversee their transition to the marketplace through activities ranging from the planning of efficient sales operations to the launch of effective advertising campaigns. The average pharmaceutical project manager makes $84,235 per year in the United States.
Pharmaceutical companies tend to seek individuals who have a healthcare administration MBA because the project manager positions that they must fill require an expert understanding of business practices as well as a specific concentration on the healthcare industry. From highly specialized physicians and biochemical engineers to accounting and marketing professionals, the average pharmaceutical project manager must be able to work effectively with a wide range of people.
7. Public Health Policy Analyst
Beyond commanding an average annual salary of $70,076 according to Salary.com, public health policy analysts are uniquely positioned to drive significant positive changes in the ways that patients receive and pay for healthcare. Working closely with government agencies as well as private medical and insurance companies, these professionals play an important role in the development of new policies and programs that shape evolving healthcare best practices and lead to effective new medical treatments. Like health information managers, public health policy analysts must have a strong command of technology to analyze data from multiple sources and design projection models that show the potential effects of different policy decisions.
Grow Your Healthcare Career at UTC
Among our other MBA offerings, the Master of Business Administration program at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Gary W. Rollins College of Business offers the targeted education and training that you need to succeed as an administrator in today’s healthcare sector.