What to do with a Master's in Health cAre Administration?

Careers in health care administration

7 questions—and answers—for pursuing a career in health care administration

We need leaders in hospitals, health care systems and other organizations who have the expertise to manage all aspects within a health care setting. Exceptional health care leaders can inspire staff, increase productivity and help their organization grow and prosper.

If you’ve wondered, “What can I do with a master’s in health care administration?”, read on to learn more about career opportunities, income-earning potential and grad school options.

Health care administrators are invaluable to the success of their organizations. They ensure that their health care teams have the resources, tools and information needed to provide high-quality health care to patients and families.

If you’re looking to pursue an in-demand health care job with leadership potential, a master’s degree in health care administration may be right for you. So, what can I do with a master’s in health care management or administration? Here are answers to seven questions you might be thinking about if you’re looking at a career in health care administration.

  1. What is an M.H.A. degree?
  2. What organizations hire health care administration Master's degree graduates?
  3. What can I do with a Master's in Health Care Administration?
  4. What jobs can you get with a Masters in Health Care Administration?
  5. What traits do health care administrators need to succeed?
  6. How much do health care administrators make?
  7. How much does an M.H.A. degree cost?

What is an M.H.A. degree?

If you’re considering a career in health care but aren’t interested in becoming a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, a job in health care administration may be right for you. An M.H.A. degree—or master’s in health care administration—will prepare you to lead and manage the business side of health care organizations.

The question "What can I do with a M.H.A. degree?" involves planning, directing and coordinating services in a health care setting. And, when you graduate, you will be prepared to make smart, informed decisions in an ever-changing health care administration career.

What Organizations Hire Health Care Administration Master’s Degree Graduates?

While hospitals and other health settings may be the obvious choice to many who pursue a health care administration career, a variety of other companies, industries and professions also employ these business leaders. Here are a few examples that answer the questions where can I work and what can I do with a M.H.A. degree:

  • Hospitals, Health Networks and Medical Clinics—More than one-third of all M.H.A. graduates establish leadership careers in hospitals, health care facilities and clinics, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While health care administrators may focus on one division or department or may oversee an entire facility, their primary role is to ensure that their team and the environment they work in runs efficiently while providing effective health care and services.
  • Nursing Home, Long-Term Care Facilities and Home Health Care Companies—As the baby boomer population ages, older patients continue to need more access to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. They also need options to receive care in their homes. Job opportunities in these settings will likewise increase. Graduates with health care administration master’s degrees may supervise staff, oversee the acceptance of new residents, manage finances and ensure that health care standards are met and exceeded.
  • Insurance Companies—These institutions need health care administrators who understand government and industry regulations and can navigate changing health care costs. The insurance industry needs graduates from health care administration master’s degree programs to research, estimate and analyze the costs of providing health care. Health care administrators can also pursue ideas and strategies for helping an insurance company remain both profitable and competitive.
  • Government Entities and Other Organizations—If you’re looking to create and advance health care policies and regulations, an answer to the question "What can I do with a M.H.A. degree?" may involve a career in government. Health care administrators frequently work with agencies at local, state and federal levels, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Health Care Administration?

Earning an M.H.A. degree allows you to pursue many upper-level positions throughout health care. In fact, careers in health care administration are expected to continue to grow 17% over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As you consider, “What is an M.H.A. degree going to do for me professionally?”, you will also want to think about factors such as these:

  • Explore careers that meet your personal, professional and leadership goals and expectations
  • Find a master’s program that is going to give you hands-on leadership opportunities
  • Consider a graduate degree that allows you to take classes online, which means you can advance your health care career on a schedule that works for you

What Jobs Can You Get With a Master’s in Health Care Administration?

Pursuing a master’s degree in health care administration prepares you for improving the delivery of health care to patients while simultaneously improving results for providers. It’s also a great opportunity for you to advance your health care career.

What to do with a master’s in health care administration includes job titles such as these:

  • Clinical director
  • Clinical trials manager
  • Finance manager
  • Health care executive
  • Hospital administrator
  • Operations manager
  • Quality and safety manager

What Traits Do Health Care Administrators Need to Succeed?

Health care administrators further medicine and patient care, but they often do so behind the scenes. When you’re asking yourself, “What can I do with a master’s in health care administration?”, you also need to consider the attributes that are valuable for health care administration jobs. Here are a few.

  • Adept at planning for the future while keeping processes adaptable and flexible
  • Strong problem-solving skills, especially when an emergency or unexpected situation arises
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, including when explaining policies, procedures and regulations to health care teams
  • Effectively understand business principles and operations
  • Basic understanding of medicine and patient care best practices

How Much Do Health Care Administrators Make?

Leaders in health care settings strive to improve the quality of patient care, and in turn, make their communities a better place to live. Jobs that require M.H.A. degrees can be extremely rewarding professionally, personally and financially.

Median salary for health care administrators with a master’s degree is over $96,500 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an important factor as you consider, “What can I do with a master’s in health care management or administration?”

Health care administrator salaries can fluctuate greatly depending on your education, certifications, location and experience. Here are five examples, according to payscale.com, of health care administration careers and their salaries:

  • Hospital Chief Executive Officer — $153,957
  • Finance Manager — $93,507
  • Clinical Director — $78,954
  • Hospital Operations Manager — $75,500
  • Health Care Administrator — $70,926

How Much Does an M.H.A. Degree Cost?

M.H.A. degree tuition can vary depending on in-state and out-of-state tuition — with some graduate programs costing as much as $75,000 a year. And, if you consider housing and living expenses, you might be spending as much as $100,000 a year to earn a master’s degree in health care administration.

Des Moines University’s Master of Health Care Administration program costs around $40,000 per year. We charge a flat rate for tuition, and you do not pay graduate student fees. This means, whether you’re an online or in-person graduate student at DMU, you may earn an M.H.A. degree for a relatively low cost.

At DMU, You Will Be Prepared to Become a Health Care Leader

Leading in the health care industry requires business expertise, management ability and an understanding of how health care systems operate. As health care leadership jobs and careers continue to grow, it may be the right time to grow advanced skills and knowledge through a master’s degree in health care administration.

Des Moines University’s master’s degree program in health care administration—which can be completed online or in-person—will prepare you to lead as an informed and highly skilled health care professional.

Our health care administration graduate program allows you to learn alongside leading scholars and national health care experts who will prepare you to lead your own medical organization. You will gain hands-on expertise through field-based learning experiences or long-term care internships. These opportunities allow you to hone your leadership skills in a practical setting while helping a health care organization solve a real-life problem or situation.

Discover what you can do with a master’s in health care administration from DMU, and get started toward a leadership career that will make health care—and our communities—better.

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