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5 Career Settings for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Grads

Thinking about growing your career in healthcare administration? It’s a savvy move, as employment opportunities are expanding every year.

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that the employment of medical and health services managers will see a projected growth of 32% from 2020 to 2030. There will be approximately 51,800 openings each year, on average, during this period. BLS notes this is “much faster” than the average for all occupations.

Another attractive aspect of pursuing this career path is the diverse settings in which healthcare administration graduates can work. Based on your specific interests, you can pursue a variety of positions.

Which Administrator Role Resonates With You?

The following represent just a handful of environments individuals with a master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) might find themselves.

1) Hospitals and Health Systems

Hospitals and health systems employ about 33% of all healthcare administrators, according to BLS. This setting can be fast paced, so administrators need to be quick thinkers who are highly organized. Administrators are tasked with duties like:

  • hiring staff members
  • reviewing financial statements
  • staying apprised of laws/regulations
  • implementing new technologies and procedures

They also work closely with healthcare professionals to prioritize top-level care in all departments (emergency room, operating suite, radiology, maternity, etc.).

2) Ambulatory Care Centers

Administrators in ambulatory care centers often perform many of the same duties as hospital administrators. However, some administrators report feeling less stressed because of the reduced risk of medical crises among patients.

Ambulatory care centers also encompass multiple areas of focus. For example, administrators might work within a surgery center, dialysis wing, wellness center or diagnostic facility.

3) Mental Health Organizations or Facilities

Mental health administrators require a unique set of skills. Namely, understanding the appropriate approach to mental health issues and mental health care. Yet, individuals who set their sights on this career track fulfill an immense need. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five adults in the U.S. experiences some form of mental illness during any given year.

Administrators in this role also have several options regarding the types of facilities or organizations they can work in. For example, some may embrace the challenge of a state-run psychiatric ward, while others may prefer to work in an eating disorder clinic that serves teens and young adults. Given the pervasiveness of mental health issues, there’s no limit to what administrators can do in this field.

4) Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical companies serve a critical purpose in healthcare. While the pharmaceutical route might not be the first field MHA students think of, it’s a viable one. Administrators in pharma often work with other team members to ensure deliverables, whether in research, development, marketing or sales.

There’s also a long view into healthcare that MHA students may find appealing. Their work will directly impact the future of medicine.

5) Public Health Departments

Much like mental health, there’s no shortage of demand for public health professionals. Community welfare faces threats every day. It’s the administrator’s job to help facilitate awareness, advocacy and solutions surrounding issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, social determinants of health, and chronic health conditions affecting specific populations.

This career track is not for everyone, but it can be extremely rewarding. Unfortunately, staff cuts, limited budgets and long hours are typical in public health. However, an administrator in a public health department might be the perfect role for anyone who enjoys a challenge.

Elevate Earning Potential With an MHA Degree

New graduates will likely report to higher-level administrators to start in each of these settings. Yet, there’s potential to move up the ladder. BLS reports the median annual salary for the category of “Medical and Health Services Managers” to be $104,280. Of course, compensation varies depending on the setting in which administrators work. For example, a physicians’ group typically pays less than a government agency or health system.

Regardless, future administrators can level up their earning potential by advancing their skills and knowledge with an MHA degree. The Master of Healthcare Administration online program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) prepares students to serve as effective managers and administrators within a wide range of healthcare organizations. With this degree, graduates will be prepared to thrive and advance in their chosen career path.

Learn more about the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s online Master of Healthcare Administration program.

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