Career Info for a Health Management Degree

Sep 29, 2019

Health management is typically offered as a bachelor's or master's degree program. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Job opportunities for medical and health services managers are expected to increase at a much faster rate than the national average of all occupations. You may be able to secure a position with just a bachelor's degree. Depending on the facility, licensure may be required.

Essential Information

Degrees in health management or healthcare administration include instruction on both overseeing a healthcare or clinical facility and managing health records. An undergraduate degree is sufficient for entering several jobs in this field, though many managers and administrators hold master's degrees.

Career Titles Healthcare Manager Nursing Home Administrator
Required Education Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degrees are common Bachelor's and/or master's degree
Other Requirements N/A State license; state-approved training program
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 18% for all medical and health services managers 18% for all medical and health services managers
Median Salary (2018 )* $99,730 for all medical and health services managers $93,680 for medical and health services managers working in nursing care facilities

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Health managers oversee the delivery of healthcare in a public or private healthcare facility, and some of them manage the policies and practices of a specific clinical division. These managers often have an information management focus and work toward the secure maintenance of medical records. Additionally, nursing home administrators manage much of the business side or running a nursing home.

Healthcare Managers

A healthcare manager, sometimes referred to as a medical and health services manager, healthcare executive or healthcare administrator, oversees the operations of healthcare and patient services. Their job duties are diverse and may include managing finances, scheduling employees, organizing records, improving efficiency and maintaining compliance with new regulations. They frequently work in hospitals, clinics or private practice.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that job opportunities for medical and health service managers would grow 18 percent from 2018-2028. According to the BLS, nearly 406,100 medical and health service managers worked in the U.S. in 2018. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $99,730 as of May 2018.

Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrators are a specific subset of healthcare managers. These administrators coordinate care for residents in nursing homes. Logistically, they also manage the nursing home's staff, budget and facilities. They must be licensed in all states, which involves completing state training, holding a bachelor's degree at minimum and passing an exam.

In May 2018, healthcare managers working in nursing care facilities made a median annual salary of $93,680. Like other types of medical and health services managers, they should see a much faster than average job growth of 18% from 2018-2028, per the BLS.

Degree Information

Bachelor and master's degrees in healthcare administration include instruction on both administering a healthcare or clinical facility and managing health records. Sometimes, these programs are titled health services administration or health systems management, and these programs typically offer courses that concentrate on clinical operations. The BLS stated that graduate education is a common requirement for health services management positions, though entry-level jobs or smaller clinics might accept a bachelor's degree for academic qualification.

At the bachelor's degree level, courses cover topics in management and strategic planning, clinical financial operations, professional communication, human services, quality assurance and healthcare information systems. Master's degree programs include courses in biostatistics, health policy, accounting and health information technology. At the graduate level, concentrations in executive management, health information systems management and physician practice management are available.

Programs focusing specifically on health information management are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Bachelor's degree programs cover subjects in healthcare data management, human resource management, computer applications and basic medical terminology. Graduate programs require two years of study in various topics, such as data management, confidentiality and information integrity.

While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient, some employers prefer or require that health care managers hold a master's degree. Job opportunities in the occupation are projected to be plentiful for the foreseeable future. If your interests lie in the management or administration of a nursing home, you must obtain licensure, the requirements for which are individualized by state.

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