If you are interested in working for a health care facility or as a health care administrator, you should strongly consider a master’s degree in health administration, or MHA. An MHA program helps to prepare you into a strong leader who will be able to respond effectively to the rapidly evolving health care field. Your graduate degree program will help to become a strong leader with the values, knowledge and skills to appropriately manage the highest quality delivery of healthcare.
Many people with an advanced degree in health administration work in medical and health service management. These professionals plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health care services. You could manage a facility, a certain clinical area or department, or manage a medical practice of medical professionals.
Many medical and health service managers move into higher paying positions with more responsibility as they develop more skill and earn their MHA.
Professionals with an MHA who work in medical and health service management work in the following areas:
- Hospitals – state, local and private: 39%
- Doctors’ offices: 9%
- Nursing homes: 7%
- Home health care organizations: 6%
- Outpatient care centers: 5%
With your MHA, you could end up being employed in many areas, including:
- Ambulatory health care service
- Community care facility for the elderly
- Dental office
- Federal government health care facility
- Health care consulting firm
- Health clinic
- Health system
- Home health care service
- Insurance company
- Medical and diagnostic laboratory
- Nursing or residential care facility
- Office of other health care practitioner
- Outpatient care center
Common job titles for a professional with a master’s degree in health administration include:
- Chief executive officer
- Chief operations officer
- Clinic manager
- Department or division director
- Department or division manager/supervisor
- Facility manager
- Health care consultant
- Health services manager
- Hospital administrator
- Medical records manager
- Nurse manager
- Nursing director
- Operations manager
- Program manager
MHA Jobs & Salary
Professionals with an MHA and who work in medical and health service management should see their employment prospects grow by 22% by 2020. This is faster than average when compared with other occupations. It appears that the baby boom population is getting older, and is also staying more active for longer periods than earlier retirees. This is causing a major increase in the numbers of patients, doctors and procedures, and also the number of health care facilities.
SEE ALSO: MHA Salary Outlook
The median pay for medical and health service managers is a solid $84,000 as of 2010. The top 10%, with master’s degrees and many years of experience, can earn up to $144,000 per year.
Of course, how much you are compensated with your MHA depends upon where you work and your level of responsibility. The Medical Group Management Association found in 2010 the follow breakdown of compensation in the field:
- Administrators in practices with fewer than six doctors: $86,000
- Administrators in practices with 7-25 doctors: $115,000
- Administrators in practices with 26+ doctors: $150,000
MHA Degrees & Education
To work as a health administrator, you will need to have earned your master’s degree in health administration. As you begin to look at different MHA graduate programs, you should look for a curriculum that is focused towards the needs of a future health care manager and leader, with strong focus on content in policy, finance, research, technology, economics, strategic planning and economics. A typical, solid MHA program (See MHA Degree Online options) will focus on some of the these areas:
- Creating strategic plans for a growing health care organization.
- Analyzing the effects of changing health care policy on delivery and services that are provided in the health care industry.
- Utilizing data that supports quality and performance measuring decision-making processes for all types of health care organizations.
- Demonstrating strong management of health care organization finances within a changing economic environment.
- Analyze the effects of different leadership and management theories within progressive health care organizations.
As you consider which MHA program is right for you, look for a graduate program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).