As jobs in healthcare administration become more specialized, many different career options have opened up for those with a degree in a healthcare administration major.
Healthcare continues to rank at the top of the faster-growing industries in the United States. This has resulted in the expansion of services and jobs in all areas of healthcare. That includes hospitals, nursing homes, private practices and public health centers.
And all of those areas require skilled, knowledgeable leaders.
Healthcare Administration Major Options
The following lists some of the areas in need of those with degrees in a healthcare administration major. For graduates from such degree programs, the future has never looked brighter. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the healthcare industry will add 4 million new jobs between 2012 and 2022, more jobs than any other sector of the U.S. economy.
The BLS also projects 17 percent growth in the number of healthcare administrators and managers.
For all positions, a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration is typically required for the job. Many also seek a master’s degree, such as a master’s degree of business (MBA) with a focus on healthcare administration.
Typically, hospitals spring to mind when you think of healthcare administrators. In this setting, an administrator oversees the entire hospital operations or an entire department. Hospital administrators face myriad challenges – budgets, meeting government regulations and working with medical personnel in a variety of departments. They also receive some of the highest compensation: a median salary of $102,060 in May 2015, according to the BLS.
Nursing homes – or residential care facilities – have become a larger segment of the healthcare industry as an aging population drives demand. Administrators oversee the staff and care of the building, as well as the medical services provided to patients. This position also requires earning a license in most states. As reported in May 2015, nursing home administrators made a median annual salary of $78,540.
Doctors in most metropolitan areas work together in a series of private practices under one business umbrella. Administrators handle the business side of these operations, giving doctors a chance to focus on providing medical care. This includes overseeing staff, health information records and budgets. Administrators managing private practices made a median salary of $85,600 as reported in May 2015.
About 10 percent of all hospital administrators work in public healthcare facilities, which provide medical services for underserved segments of the population through facilities such as community health centers. Administrators in these roles must deal with often complex government regulations, tight budgets and large staffs. Public health care administrators made a median salary of $101,190 as reported in May 2015.
Another growing segment of the healthcare industry, home health care involves providing services to those who must stay within their homes due to illness or chronic medical conditions. Administrators in this area must also work with staff and budgets, as well as the complexities of scheduling visits to patients’ homes. As reported in May 2015, administrators of home healthcare services made a median salary of $82,430.
These areas represent some of the medical operations a healthcare administrator can work in. However, within those operations, administrators and managers sometimes work in very specific areas. This includes areas such as overseeing health information records, staffing, social and community outreach and administrative services.
The bottom line: For those who earn a degree with a healthcare administration major, a wealth of career opportunities exist. The healthcare industry continues to grow, and more qualified administrators are needed to ensure continued success.