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MPA in Healthcare Administration: Programs & Salary

A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a specialization in healthcare administration is an excellent degree for a career in healthcare management. This article provides program information, admission requirements, and career options.

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Due to our aging population, healthcare administration is one of the fastest growing industries in North America. A Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a specialization in healthcare administration will provide you with in-depth knowledge on a variety of healthcare topics such as management, quantitative methods, strategic planning, and program evaluation. Completion of this degree will qualify you for top-level positions in many different areas of healthcare.

Healthcare Administration Careers and Salaries

Job Title Median Annual Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) $162,184 -4%
Director of Operations $88,290 9% (general and operations managers)
Nursing Director $88,274 20% (medical and health services managers)
Healthcare Administrator $64,445 20% (medical and health services managers)
Financial Analyst $58,929 11%

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Information and Records Admin
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Management and Clinical Administration
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Health Ward Supervisor
  • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
  • Medical Claims Examiner
  • Medical Facilities Management
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Medical Insurance Services
  • Medical Office Computer Technologies
  • Medical Office Management
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Medical Staff Services
  • Medical Transcriptionist

Healthcare Administration Career Descriptions

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The CEO oversees all financial and business matters for healthcare institutions. They set goals, design and implement strategies, assess results, and create reports. They are responsible for coordinating all the departments within the organization, and typically answer to a president or board. Top executives normally have completed a financial graduate degree.

Director of Operations

Employee management is the main focus of directors of operations. They also typically handle production purchasing, research and development, and operational procedures. They are also tasked with monitoring budgets and projections. An advanced degree is generally required for upper-level director positions.

Nursing Director

Nursing directors organize and maintain all aspects of the nursing department. They are in charge of ensuring that plans and mandates are followed for all programs. They also oversee human resources, finance, and inter-departmental communications. A graduate degree and considerable experience is typically expected for top positions.

Healthcare Administrator

These positions vary by institution type, but generally all require a broad scope of skills and expertise. Employee management, financial oversight, and liaison services are common responsibilities. In some cases, it will also be necessary to handle market analysis and staff training. A bachelor's degree in a related field is the minimum requirement, but practical experience and a master's degree will put you in consideration for the best jobs.

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts are responsible for collecting, monitoring and analyzing data for the organization. They evaluate this information and use it to develop models, recognize trends, and propose strategies. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, but a master's degree is highly recommended due to intense competition for jobs in the field.

MPA Program Information

An MPA program with a healthcare administration specialization will cover a wide range of topics to prepare students for the many different careers in the field. Programs vary, but normally will require two to three years of study, occasionally split between an online section and on-campus courses. Public sector economics, budgeting and finance, public administration, and human resource management are among the key topics covered by most MPA programs. Typical courses include health law and ethics, quantitative methods, strategic planning, and program evaluation. A completed bachelor's degree is normally required, and you will need to provide transcripts, acceptable GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) results, relevant work experience, and letters of recommendation.

A Master of Public Administration in Healthcare Administration program can help you build the skills and knowledge base needed for a career in the field. Options for graduates include positions as CEOs, nursing directors, and financial analysts.

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