Whether we want to percieve health care as a “helping” career or not, it’s big business. Contemporary health care also requires organzations that can handle complex logistical, operational, marketing, and human resources tasks. Sounds like a job for a businessperson… Well, it is, or at least for a qualified health care management professional.
Health care management is one of the fastest growing health care careers, and a wide variety of bachelor’s and graduate programs have sprung up that are tailored to adult learners. Find out what you can do with a health care management degree today below!
- What is a Health Care Manager? What is a Health Care Management Degree? What Do Health Care Managers Do?
- What are the Available Health Management Degrees and Specializations?
- Ask Yourself and Consider the Following About Your Health Care Management Education and Career
- How Can We Help You In Your Health Care Management Education and Career?
- What Can You Expect to Earn as a Health Care Manager? What are Some Important Stats About Health Care Management Employment?
What is a Health Care Manager? What is a Health Care Management Degree? What Do Health Care Managers Do?
Health Care in America is an enormous, opaque, and Byzantine system made up of thousands of competing insurance plans, hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and other medical facilities. The goal of these institutions, organizations, and parent companies that run them are to create the best health outcomes at the lowest costs possible while meeting organizational goals and standards.
Despite these goals, health care costs in the country are rising dramatically. Because even the insured in America worry about the bill they’ll face if they seek medical care, people are more likely to avoid the doctor until they notice a severe problem. Prevention is an excellent way to minimize costs and produce better outcomes for patients, but unfortunately is disincentivized in the current scheme.
From accounting organization Deloitte:
With global health care spending expected to rise at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 5% in 2019-23, it will likely present many opportunities…among these…are a growing and aging population, rising prevalence of chronic diseases, infrastructure investments, technological advancements, evolving care models, higher labor costs amidst workforce shortages, and the expansion of health care systems…Health care systems need to work toward a future…(that) shifts away from treatment to prevention and early intervention.
For the health care system to run correctly, it depends on hundreds of thousands of adequately qualified managers. These managers are often highly compensated, and enjoy an expanding job market that has more demand for skilled managers than a supply of them.
Health Care Managers help people by running efficient, active organizations, or aspects of them. They might manage a health care facility, or a department within one, like residents working in a hospital, or radiology, billing, among other more niche roles.
To succeed in these roles, you’ll need lots of diverse skills. You’ll likely need to compile multiple degrees and certifications and have a work history that encompasses medical work along with administrative experience.
In degree programs that prepare you to work as a Health Care Manager you’ll study topics like health care law, policy, organizational behavior, marketing, financing, human resources, and much more.
In this guide we’ll look at health care management degrees, how to choose between them, what we’ve done to help you in your education and career, earnings and employment statistics in the field, and much more.
Health Care Managers are extraordinarily high functioning, dynamic supervisors that are utility players in competitive health care environments. While they work in many different roles, they share certain qualities, like being:
- Technically Competent: Health Care Managers don’t often directly provide services but must understand them well enough to engage and direct practitioners, deal with clients and make sure services meet organizational standards and goals.
- Incredible Communicators: Health Care Managers direct staff, deal with clients’ concerns and questions, answer to supervisors and directors, and much more. They’ll also likely need to collaborate with outside agencies and organizations that are mutually dependent or otherwise cooperative.
- Eager to Improve: Being a Health Care Manager demands a hunger for advancing and refining your skills. You’ll need to love learning, and building competencies through attending conferences, earning new degrees, and much more. Health Care changes in response to new research, regulations, and funding realities. You’ll need to keep up with those changes to be effective.
- Highly Organized: Health Care Managers can be responsible for many different aspects of an organization. Planning, delegating, scheduling and having a strong memory are all qualities you’ll need to have and cultivate throughout your career.
Your work as a Health Care Manager might be very different from someone else’s in a different role. However, some responsibilities run the gamut in this field. Some of the things you might be called upon to do include:
- Writing reports and evaluations of staff, policies, funding opportunities, and anything else under your purview.
- Ensuring clients and patients receive the correct services and treatments while maintaining their satisfaction.
- Supervising services like therapy, recovery, surgery, checkups, and anything else your organization provides.
- Creating and installing programs that develop staff, serve clients and patients, and create community inside and outside of your organization.
- Managing budgeting and the allocation of organizational resources.
- Working with external organizations that are interconnected to your own.
Now let’s look at the different levels of Health Care Management Degrees, along with specializations in the field.
What are the Available Health Management Degrees and Specializations?
Associates in Health Management
These degrees take two years to earn. In them, you’ll learn necessary office skills, including professional, technical, and how they apply to medical settings. You might work with medical coding software, other computer skills, and more. You’ll likely need a GED or high school diploma to enter one of these programs. Some of the courses you might study include:
- Patient privacy rights
- Medical document formatting
- Human Biology
- Medical terminology
- Medical coding and billing
- Medical ethics
- And much more.
Graduates will likely work in entry-level positions as office managers or assistant managers at hospitals, insurance companies, doctors’ offices, and in other health care settings.
Bachelors in Health Management
These degrees take four years to complete. Graduates will be ready for entry-level jobs in health administration or management. You’ll learn how to file medical paperwork, do day-to-day administration, handle customer service, and much more. In these programs, you’ll likely complete an internship or other supervised work experience to prepare for employment post-graduation. You might take courses like:
- Health Care law
- Health informatics
- Health psychology
- Management in human resources
- Health information systems management
After graduating, you could work as a health services administrator, medical manager, or nursing home administrator. However, for many of these roles, you’ll need to complete a graduate degree:
Masters in Health Management
In these degrees, you’ll study the organizational and business structures within the health care field. You’ll study decision-making and problem-solving in an array of situations and structures. These programs take approximately two years to complete, although they can take less in an accelerated program, or longer depending on your needs. You might specialize in areas like nutrition, policy, auditing, informatics, education, or operations. You might be able to take these programs partially online. Courses might include:
- Human resources management
- Health care ethics
- Health care laws
- Cost management
- Conflict resolution
- Health marketing research
Graduates will be prepared to supervise the business and medical practices at a variety of health service organizations, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and much more. Depending on the position you want to fill, you might need auxiliary licenses or certifications. Graduates can work as Public Health Engineers, Health Educators, Pharmaceutical Analysts, Hospital Administrators, among many other positions. They can also continue onward to earn a doctorate:
Doctorates in Health Management
In these programs you’ll likely need at least five years to complete coursework, research and write a dissertation, then defend it. These programs rely on extensive research and statistical analysis to analyze the performance of healthcare systems. You’ll learn how to judge health care delivery based on staff competence, treatment outcomes, patient demographics, and much more. You’ll study how to communicate your findings to laypeople and technical audiences.
Courses you might study include:
- Medical industry economics
- Healthcare policy design
- Healthcare research methods
- Financial management of health services
- Statistical analysis
Many graduates will go on to work as educators, but you could also take on elite roles at government agencies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, health insurance providers, among other options.
Let’s explore some of the specializations in this field. Health management degrees can often be interchangeable with health administration degrees. We’ve also written a guide on health administration degrees:
If you want to get into the weeds of how health care companies stay solvent, you might consider this specialization. Health care finances are incredibly complex, and you’ll need a hefty dose of accounting and economic classes to master them.
For students who want to handle hospitals or other extensive medical facilities, this is the specialization for you. You’ll learn how to manage staffing, maximize optimal treatment outcomes, write and ensure policies are properly followed, and much more.
Patients are often overlooked in our health care system. By specializing in patient advocacy, you’ll understand insurance, how it denies coverage, and what can be done to mitigate those interests. You’ll study public assistance, health care policy, and the shifting regulations that govern our health systems.
In these specializations you’ll get a crash course in how candidates are chosen, how they’re recruited, and discerning what makes good and bad candidates for specific roles. You’ll likely spend a good deal of your career at health care seminars, and interact with leaders who lead hiring in health care.
In these specializations, you’ll study how government agencies and other organizations impact health and improve it in communities and society at large. You’ll study disease and injury prevention, how to control infectious diseases, and much more. Courses can include health and economic disparities, the American health care system, epidemiology, public health management, biostatistics, and much more.
Health Care Informatics
Here you’ll look at how information systems organize health care systems and facilities. You’ll examine strategic planning, electronic patient records, security and privacy, ethics and regulations that govern information management, and much more. Career options include many posts outside of typical health environments. After graduating, you might work in public health, insurance, residential care, or research.
Let’s look at how you decide whether a specific role in health care management and degree is right for you:
Ask Yourself and Consider the Following About Your Health Care Management Education and Career
When you’re choosing a degree in health care management, you want to know if it’s right for you and if it will prepare you to fill a role in the field you’re aiming for. Here are some questions you should mull, along with considerations and other helpful information:
- What have you done in your education and career so far that applies to health care? How has it prepared you for a specific degree or role you’re considering?
- Depending on what you’ve already accomplished, you’ll have a better sense of what you need to do next. For example, if you’ve earned a Bachelor’s degree, whether it was in health or not, it might be time for a Master’s. Or, if your current credentials are in another field, you might opt for a Bachelor’s in health care before going any further.
- While career experience and licenses are important in health care management, you’ll likely need a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the field. A Master’s will be increasingly important if you want to work at a large health care facility.
- What are your career goals? Try to set short term goals (think the next five years) along with long term ones (the rest of your career). How does a specific health care management degree prepare you to reach these benchmarks?
- Health Care Management is an umbrella field with a vast array of subsections. By deciding where in the field you want to end up, you can choose degrees that feature a curriculum that will prepare you for success.
- How much can you pay for a degree in health care management? How much would you need to borrow in loans to complete on?
- Always prize public loans over private, high-interest loans. Depending on the job you’re aiming for, you may qualify for loan forgiveness in this field.
- Make sure any degree you’re considering is from a school with a great reputation and is properly credentialed.
- Will you need to work full-time or part-time while you earn a degree in health care management?
- Depending on the degree program you choose, you can attend school part-time, full-time, online, on-campus, or in a hybrid of the two. You might be able to design a schedule that facilitates meeting your current responsibilities.
- Where do you want to live and work while you earn your health care management degree? Depending on where you opt to study you can network and find connections that could net you a job after you graduate.
- What specializations does a specific health care management degree offer? How can they help you get a job in a role you want to fill after graduating?
These are just some of the questions and considerations you should track and answer when deciding on a health care management degree.
Let’s look at what we’ve done to help you find one:
How Can We Help You In Your Health Care Education and Career?
Here at Best Health Degrees, we’ve worked hard to help you decide if specific roles in health care are right for you, and if so, let you know what you need to do to qualify for them. We’ve answered common questions, written guides like this one, ranked degrees and provided other resources to assist you in your journey into health care.
If you find a program from our content that you think suits your needs and goals, you should write to the support staff that works for it directly. By contacting school representatives, you can get invaluable insights into the programs, network with prospective allies, and learn what you need to do to improve your chances for acceptance and success throughout a specific program. Some of the work we’ve produced that tackles health care management includes:
- What Does A Healthcare Administrator Do?
- What Is a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration Degree?
- What is a Master of Public Health Degree?
- What is a Medical Biller?
- What is a Medical Transcriptionist?
- What is Health Informatics?
- What is Socio-behavioral Studies in Healthcare?
- What Jobs are Available in Health Informatics?
- What Jobs are Available in Medical Billing?
- What Can I Do with a Master’s in Health Informatics?
- What Can I Do with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration?
- What Can I Do with a Master’s in Public Health?
- 25 Best Master’s in Healthcare Administration for 2020
- 15 Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration for 2020
- 15 Best Online MSN Degree Programs for 2020
- 25 Online Master’s in Nursing and Healthcare Informatics for 2020
- 15 Best Master’s in Nursing and Healthcare Informatics for 2020
- 15 Best Online BSN Degree Programs for 2020
- 25 Best Traditional BSN Degree Programs for 2020
- 25 Best Master’s in Public Health for 2020
- 15 Best Online Master’s in Public Health for 2020
This is just a taste of the work we’ve produced. We’re continually updating our content, and invite you back whenever to see what we’ve added to our library.
Now let’s look at employment statistics and pay in the field before we finish the guide:
What Can You Expect to Earn as a Health Care Manager? What are Some Important Stats About Health Care Management Employment?
Working as a Health Care Manager can mean many different things. You could fill many roles, but a common one (as defined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics) is working as a Medical Health Service Manager. We’ve compiled some of the most pressing stats about this role, which should give you a good sense of pay, job opportunities, job growth, hotspots for employment and high compensation, and more.
- In 2018 Medical Health Service Managers earned a median annual pay of $99,730, or $47.95 per hour.
- BLS defines these roles as supervisors who “plan, direct, and coordinate” the business activities of health care providers.
- The typical entry-level education for these roles was a Bachelor’s degree, although a Master’s is also very common.
- In 2018 there were 406,100 health care managers working in these roles.
- This was predicted to jump by 18% between 2018-28, which is drastically higher than the average occupation in the American economy. This increase would create 71,600 new roles in the field.
- The top 10% of managers in these positions earned more than $182,600 in May 2018, and the lowest 10% made less than $58,680.
- Areas associated with higher pay than the median in this field include working in hospitals, and for government.
The states with the most employment of Medical Health Service Managers are:
- California, 34,510 roles, annual mean wage of $125,770
- Texas, 30,010 positions, annual mean wage of $105,450
- New York, 25,830, annual mean wage of $143,030
- Pennsylvania, 16,410 jobs, annual mean wage of $97,310
- Massachusetts, 15,380 roles, annual mean wage of $133,900
States (and cities) with the highest pay for Medical Health Service Managers are:
- Washington D.C., 1,580 roles, annual mean wage of $145,760
- New York, 25,830 roles, annual mean wage of $143,030
- Massachusetts, 15,380 jobs, annual mean wage of $133,900
- Delaware, 1,040 positions, annual mean wage of $131,260
- Connecticut, 5,510 roles, annual mean wage of $129,480
PayScale also wrote the following about health care management positions:
- Healthcare Administrator: $51,000 (for those working a year or less), $52,000 (1-4 years into their careers), $65,000 (5-9 years into their careers), $77,000 (10-19 years into their careers).
- Hospital Administrator: $64,000 (0-12 months), $78,000 (1-4 years into their careers), $92,000 (5-9 years into their careers), $93,000 (10-19 years into their careers).
- Medical and Health Services Manager: $60,000 (1-4 years into their careers), $64,000 (5-9 years into their careers), $72,000 (10-19 years into their careers),
- Nursing Home Administrator: $72,000 (0-12 months in), $81,000 (1-4 years), $94,000 (5-9 years), $97,000 (10-19 years).
There’s no way to deny that working as a health care manager means you’re likely to find a breadth of opportunities for high wages, strong job security, meaningful work, and transferrable skills.
With any luck, this guide has helped you understand health care management, and at least partially decide whether you want to pursue a degree in the field. Please check back for new content about these roles, and many others.
Remember, if you find any schools or programs through our content that you want to pursue degrees or certifications through, it will be beneficial to contact them directly. By asking their support staff questions, you can improve your decision-making process, gain valuable insights about what the program requires, and practice networking. This small step can drastically improve your odds of success in many ways.
Go forth and change the world of health care forever!