According to the American College of Healthcare Executives, demand for individuals with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration is on the steady rise – along with the salaries compensating individuals who have the necessary experience and education to fill many senior level management positions. The average salary for entry level management is approximately $50,000 where middle managers earn around $65,000. Senior executives earn an average of $100,000 per year.
Planning is Fundamental
Planning for a career in an advanced management position in the healthcare industry needs to start at the undergraduate level. Here students can specialize in one of many administration areas that support human resources, information management ort operations. This leads to entry level positions in healthcare institutions such as hospitals, nursing and long-term care facilities, retirement homes, hospice centers, private medical practices, special delivery medical service oriented businesses as well as other private and public health organizations. Students planning to later return for an advanced degree such as an MHA first obtain an undergraduate degree as some type of healthcare practitioner like a nurse, respiratory therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, healthcare information manager and/or analyst plus others. The chance to advance one’s earning capacity lies in securing a second advanced degree – an MHA. Without it, an undergraduate degree only gains a healthcare practitioner the opportunity to obtain a possible modest annual salary increase when receiving a favorable employee payroll and performance review. Unless, of course, there is a pay freeze instituted due to experiencing an economic downturn. Sound familiar?
Salary Advancement Guaranteed with More Education
Hospital boards of directors know all too well the need to find highly trained middle and senior level management personnel. The lack of qualified personnel at mid to upper level management levels continues to create great opportunity for any ambitious healthcare practitioner who has only an undergraduate education. A master’s degree, offered through either traditional or online study, will lead to senior management positions in healthcare administration at a wide variety of healthcare industry facilities. Some believe a Masters in Business Administration is the correct route to travel toward senior management. However, although this course of study prepares students with a broad expanse of skills needed for running a smooth business organization, this program rarely presents any health-industry related courses. Furthermore, a Masters in Public Health may be a too specialized degree that prepares students for the advanced study of widespread population health, epidemiology and generalized, broad aspects about health detriments. A Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA) will prepare students with focused skills to meet the management needs running specific healthcare related businesses such as inpatient healthcare facilities (hospitals, mental care, specialized care units), government health departments and other public health facilities, large healthcare networks (many and associated separate healthcare facilities or large rural or health regional care organizations plus long-term care facilities including nursing and specialized treatment centers. Additionally, study in an accredited MHA program prepares graduates to work in management positions for international non-government organizations such as CARE, World Vision and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Any student looking to eventually land a well-paid leadership role in healthcare administration should pursue a course of study that will earn a Master in Healthcare Administration degree. Once obtained, this advanced degree opens up many employment opportunities that create exciting, challenging and financially rewarding careers.