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Master’s in Healthcare Administration & Management – The Top Careers

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A master’s degree in healthcare administration is excellent for anyone interested in the business side of healthcare services. Professionals who earn this degree are equipped with the skills and knowledge to manage healthcare facilities and work in various settings. This article examines some of the best careers for those with a master’s degree in healthcare administration and management.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points to a 32% increase in employment in the healthcare management sector between 2020 and 2030. This is due to the declining health of the increasing elderly population. Healthcare facilities and hospitals will continue to need trained professionals to supervise patient and health services.

What is Healthcare Administration or Management?

Healthcare administrators and managers are a vital cog in the medical field. They help educate staff, enforce public and social policies, and ensure that their facility is well run. In light of the constant technological innovations and evolving healthcare policies, healthcare administrators and managers make sure that their organization is not left behind. These professionals fall under two types of healthcare administrators — specialists and generalists. While specialists tend to the specific needs of a particular healthcare unit, generalists manage entire medical or health facilities.

What is a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration or Management?

A master's degree in healthcare administration or management is an advanced degree that prepares graduates to become leaders and head different medical services as either specialists or generalists.

Earning this degree typically takes around two years. Students may have to complete a residency program or an internship during this period. Residency programs allow students to practice what they have learned in classrooms and gain practical experience in the healthcare industry. They also gain insight into the global healthcare system and come face-to-face with some operational challenges in the industry. Many online master’s degree programs in healthcare administration and management allow students to undertake a supervised residency in their home communities. This is useful as candidates can explore different leadership specializations and decide on one that fits them best.

Some healthcare administration and management programs coursework include:

  • Risk and Insurance
  • Operations Improvement
  • Managing Healthcare Organizations
  • Problems and Ethical Issues in Healthcare
  • Health Information Systems

Certifications for Healthcare Administration or Management Specialists

A master’s in healthcare administration and management is a great start to a successful career. Healthcare administrators and managers can benefit from or even need additional certifications to their graduate degrees. The particular certification differs from one specialization and employer to another. Federal and state requirements also play a considerable role in certification requirements for professionals.

The most common certifying bodies and their certifications include:

American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM):

  • Certified Revenue Cycle Professional (CRCP)
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Executive (CRCE)
  • Certified Revenue Cycle Specialist (CRCS)
  • Certified Revenue Integrity Professional (CRIP)
  • Certified Compliance Technician (CCT)

Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (PAHCOM):

  • Certified Medical Manager (CMM)

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE):

  • The Fellows of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE)

Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP):

  • Certified Healthcare Administrative Professionals (cHAP)

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA):

  • Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA)

Master’s in Healthcare Administration or Management Workplaces

Healthcare and medical organizations rely on professionals with a master’s degree in healthcare administration to manage their operations. As a result, there are a lot of places where a person with this master’s degree can work. Some of them include:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Public health agencies
  • Private practices
  • Mental health clinics
  • Specialty clinics
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Health insurance companies

Master’s in Healthcare Administration & Management Careers : The Best

Ambulatory Care Manager

To begin our list of the best master’s in healthcare administration and management careers is that of ambulatory care manager. In broad terms, an ambulatory care manager supervises outpatient care workers and centers. These professionals serve as the public face of the facility and oversee daily operations such as customer service, facility management, and patient flow. Matters of finance, scheduling, compliance with regulations, and accurate documentation also fall under their supervision.

In smaller clinics, ambulatory care managers often perform human resource (HR) tasks like hiring, training, benefits enrollment, disciplining, and firing. To accomplish this role properly, they need good communication and interpersonal skills to keep employees satisfied while working in compliance with existing regulations. The annual base salary for this job is $94,407.

Assisted Living Administrator

Unlike nursing homes that provide medical care and monitoring for elderly residents, assisted living facilities are more like a group living environment. Assisted living administrators oversee the operations of these facilities to ensure that workers provide the highest standards for residents.

While the administrators’ responsibilities vary from facility to facility, they generally include planning its budget, hiring staff, conducting meetings, and coordinating logistical functions. They also ensure a safe and engaging living environment, liaising between residents, staff, and families. Basic skills needed include a good business sense, sound knowledge of finance, and a compassionate human touch. On average, assisted living administrators earn a base salary of $60,313 annually.

Professor/Researcher at a College or University

Apart from healthcare facilities, the academic world is a great place for healthcare managers to grow in their careers. In colleges and universities, healthcare managers train upcoming healthcare managers and administrators. Their specific responsibilities include developing a curriculum, planning lessons, assessing students’ progress, and offering career advice.

In addition to teaching, they also supervise graduate students, conduct research and experiments, and publish findings in books and journals. The average-base salary for a professor is $89,192 per annum.

Consulting Healthcare Administrator

As a consulting healthcare administrator, success requires extensive training in business and medicine, strong communication skills, and a deep familiarity with the industry’s best practices and trends. This healthcare administration career functions in hospitals and other healthcare facilities and often involves implementing changes to improve effectiveness. They work with managers to analyze problems, explore solutions, review financial and legal records, and investigate healthcare delivery methods and information systems used at the facility.

Although their work is short-term, once they finish a review and report on improvements needed, they often continue their work to assure proper implementation. It is a flexible and highly valued job with an average salary of $79,504.

Healthcare Quality Improvement Manager

Healthcare quality improvement managers play an essential role in healthcare companies and hospitals. They review existing policies, processes, and procedures within the organization to identify shortcomings to be addressed. Their work involves:

  • The implementation of process improvements
  • The establishment of work plan metrics
  • Working on accreditation requirements
  • Conducting performance analysis to recommend solutions

They monitor processes like care complaints, recommend actions to address vulnerabilities, and provide expert knowledge on consistent improvement. In addition to industry experience, healthcare quality improvement managers must also know best practices and trends in the healthcare industry. According to Payscale’s report, the average annual salary of healthcare quality improvement managers is $66,812.

Hospice Administrator

A hospice administrator’s work involves both administrative and humanitarian obligations to provide comfort and peace of mind to those in their last few months of life. Although the work environment can be the patient’s house or a nursing home, they’re often based in an independent hospice agency. On the business side, a hospice administrator’s responsibilities include policy-making, budgeting, supply chain management, HR duties, ensuring compliance with government regulations, and assigning work schedules. The skills required to work as a hospice administrator include compassion, good communication skills, and the ability to balance the business and the humanitarian sides of hospice work. According to Payscale.com, hospice administrators must have a state license. The average salary is $87,810.

Home Healthcare Administrator

Home healthcare administrators manage organizations or government programs that provide healthcare services to individuals in their homes. Their specific responsibilities are to hire nurses and other healthcare staff and oversee the operations of different departments in healthcare agencies. They are also responsible for budgeting, developing and implementing care plans, resource allocation, and logistics.

While working with staff to make sure that patients’ day-to-day health needs are met, they also ensure that quality guidelines are met. In addition to that, they need skills in personnel management, marketing, accounting, financial management, and communication. They also need customer service experience and knowledge of the applicable government regulations. The average base salary for home healthcare administrators is $81,047 per annum.

Hospital Administrator

Hospital administrators manage hospitals’ organizational side to ensure smooth operations while delivering quality service. Overseeing the day-to-day operations of a hospital is a complicated job that requires not only advanced technical skills but also good analytic and communication skills.

Healthcare administrators must be able to work under pressure and be willing to update their knowledge of best practices and adjust policies as necessary. Their responsibilities include:

  • Preparing budgets
  • Establishing service rates
  • HR duties
  • Procurement and allocation of funds
  • Serving as a liaison between the government, hospital staff, and patients

Policy-making and procedure development in compliance with government policies also fall to the hospital administrators. The average salary for hospital administrators is $88,288.

Health Information Manager

This healthcare management career is crucial to the efficient management of patient data. Health information managers are professionals who oversee the operations of the technologists’ teams that ensure easy and secure access to health records by authorized healthcare workers. The responsibilities of health information managers include:

  • Developing and implementing goals
  • Implementing and maintaining efficiency procedures
  • Ensuring compliance with existing laws
  • Keeping abreast of current trends in the industry

They also hire and train health information technicians, prepare budgets and financial reports, and maintain the security of electronic health records. In addition to the required technical proficiency in information technology, they need good leadership and communication skills and an eye for detail. To work in some health facilities, one needs the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA) certification and a state license. The annual average salary for health information managers is $57,362.

Healthcare Operations Manager

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities, being complex organizations with many moving parts, often require the services of a professional to oversee the daily operations. Operations managers inventory supplies and equipment, set staff schedules, update and maintain records, order medical supplies, and manage the revenue cycle.

Healthcare operations managers also manage the healthcare facility’s policies and procedures, resolve cases of non-compliance, and ensure that best practices are adopted. Furthermore, they recruit and train staff, develop goals and objectives for workers, and explore ways to optimize healthcare delivery. Professional healthcare operations managers earn an average yearly salary of $65,000.

Nursing Home Administrator

For a nursing home to run smoothly, it needs a professional to oversee the various operations within the facility and ensure that it provides quality care for its residents. Nursing home administrators plan and direct the daily operations of the facility in compliance with existing government policies.

They oversee the recruitment and training of personnel, control their activities, prepare budgets and official reports, and ensure the setting and maintenance of standards. Furthermore, they serve as a link between the staff, residents, families, and the public. Since the nursing home administrator’s work centers around people, they need good communication and leadership skills in addition to state and federal licenses and certification. Their annual salary averages $93,299.

Pharmaceutical Administrator

Health care managers and administrators can also work as pharmaceutical administrators in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, clinics, and universities. As the name implies, pharmaceutical administrators manage every pharmacy-related activity in these facilities. Specifically, their responsibilities include organizing records while prioritizing customer satisfaction.

Pharmaceutical administrators often provide community outreach and coordinate vaccine campaigns. They also offer liaison responsibilities to other healthcare workers. Pharmaceutical administrators must be knowledgeable in accounting, human resources, marketing, and have good communication and leadership skills to help in staff motivation. They should also expect to work irregular hours for an average annual salary of $77,337.

Pharmaceutical Quality Manager

The role of pharmaceutical companies in quality healthcare delivery is not one to be taken lightly since they are responsible for the manufacturing of drugs. Pharmaceutical quality managers make sure that the manufacturing of drugs occurs in compliance with quality control protocols to ensure patients’ safety.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing standard operating procedures
  • Approving conformance certifications
  • Staff training
  • Managing quality assurance teams
  • Working to improve operational efficiency

Quality managers should be critical thinkers with strong organizational and technical skills and great attention to detail. Apart from academic requirements, they must have industry experience, despite the varying needs of state certification and licensing. Their average annual salary is $110,449.

Healthcare Human Resource Manager

Human resources are one of the most significant factors in the health system as the quality of healthcare in a facility depends on the proper staff. These healthcare management professionals recruit the optimal staff and manage a health facility’s human and administrative aspects.

Healthcare human resource managers are responsible for hiring appropriate staff, evaluating their performance, and managing them properly. They are also responsible for researching labor laws and the rules and regulations guiding the establishment’s operation. In most industries, the HR department is involved in decision-making. The human resource manager makes important decisions that impact the entire establishment. These professionals earn an average base salary of $67,265 per year.

Medical Records Supervisor

Every healthcare worker knows how critical medical records are in the treatment procedure. The medical records supervisor job is somewhat clerical. People who assume this position are leaders of the medical records department. They are also responsible for the organization and maintenance of the health facility’s medical records database.

The medical records supervisor oversees filing, coding, and billing activities. They can interview and hire staff, train staff, and create staff schedules.

Since this is a clerical job, it involves computer databases and documentation knowledge. Supervisors must evaluate the staff regularly and handle any irregularities. A medical records supervisor responds to complaints and any privacy violations involving HIPAA from the medical records department. If the hospital has a court case, the medical records supervisor may need to provide evidence and testify to the validity of medical records. They earn an average of $46,713 annually.

Director of Nursing

These healthcare administrators hold a leadership position over all the nurses in a facility. The role is crucial and requires highly accountable professionals who can supervise other nurses. Directors of nursing are in charge of recruiting nursing staff, developing staff, and firing staff. They also communicate with patients’ families, plan resident care, and implement new policies and procedures.

Depending on the facility’s structure, a director of nursing can be in charge of creating the nursing unit’s budget. Another essential duty is ensuring that the nursing unit stays in line with state and federal regulations. Most directors of nursing have a master’s degree in healthcare or administration management or something related. Of course, any aspirant for this position should be a registered nurse. Certifications such as the Director of Nursing Services – Certified (DNS-CT) boost a candidate’s qualifications. The average annual salary is around $93,762.

Mental Health Facility Administrator

No organization — mental health facilities included — can function adequately without having someone responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations. Therefore, the role of mental health facility administrator is a vital healthcare administration career. Although the specific duties of mental health facility administrators vary by organization, they generally involve the setting of goals and objectives, budgeting, and securing funding.

They also develop and implement strategies, ensure compliance with government regulations, provide help with community education programs, and liaise with the facility’s governing body. While they oversee the business operations of mental health facilities, they also ensure that the patients are adequately cared for. Skills required for the job include thinking critically, adaptability, ethical judgment, and leadership. On average, mental health facility administrators receive $83,342 annually.

Healthcare Risk Manager

Healthcare risk managers are professionals employed by healthcare organizations to identify, assess, and prevent any situation that could cause harm or loss to the organization. Their duties include:

  • Managing unexpected or bad public relations
  • Handling claims against the organization
  • Consulting with the legal counsels involved

They also assess risks around medical errors and non-compliance with regulations, use computer software to run analyses, and try to address risks promptly. Healthcare risk managers need to be both proactive and reactive to events. In addition to excellent communication skills, they have knowledge of hospital procedures and government policies. Their average-base salary is $76,764 per annum.

Public Health Program Manager

Public health program managers oversee the non-clinical side of their operations to help them achieve their goals. To accomplish this, program managers develop production schedules, monitor progress, document important milestones, and carry out ongoing reviews of processes.

They also facilitate communication between internal project team members and outside partners and update the organizational leaders on project status. To do their work effectively, public health program managers need to have excellent organizational skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to multitask, delegate, and work under pressure. For doing this vital job, they get paid an average base salary of $61,857.

Rehabilitation Manager

To round out the list of the best careers in master’s in healthcare administration & management is that of rehabilitation manager. Rehabilitation managers play a crucial role in rehabilitation facilities by overseeing their day-to-day operations. Their objective is to provide a safe and healthy environment for patients. They perform various administrative and financial functions. They are involved in human resource duties, prepare and administer the budget, assist in goal setting, and ensure patients’ satisfaction.

Furthermore, they ensure compliance with existing regulations, prepare reports, and coordinate research projects to develop new therapy. In addition to the required educational qualifications, these managers should have excellent problem-solving skills, great leadership skills, the ability to keep records, and maintain strict confidentiality. The average base salary for this job is $90,487.

Conclusion

Working in the healthcare sector is greatly rewarding and allows professionals to earn good wages while impacting society positively. Check out the GetEducated.com online master’s in healthcare administration degree pages to learn more about healthcare management and other careers that interest you.

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