Hospital Management Career Information and Education Requirements

Jul 14, 2019

What is hospital management? Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hospital manager. Get a quick view of the requirements, degree programs and job duties to see if a career in hospital management is right for you.

High job growth is anticipated for healthcare management jobs through 2026, say the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A bachelor's degree is required, although a master's degree or graduate certificate is recommended. Internships that provide administrative experience will also help candidates who seek to enter this career field.

Healthcare Management Careers

Professionals in hospital management, also known as health services management, usually have the job title of hospital manager or hospital administrator. They typically coordinate and direct the delivery of healthcare services in a hospital system. Managers may head entire hospitals or be in charge of specific departments or branches. The hospital administrator career path typically requires a bachelor's degree at minimum, although managers often hold advanced degrees. They also need administration experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; master's degrees or graduate certificates are common and may be preferred
Other Requirements Work experience
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 20% for medical and health services managers
Median Salary (2018)* $99,730 for medical and health services managers

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hospital Management Career Information

Training in hospital management opens up a number of career options. The role of healthcare managers varies, but large hospitals often have a team of managers to oversee operations in specific departments, such as human resources, health information, and medical billing. Smaller hospitals may only have a few administrators that work in multiple administrative areas. A manager may also head the entire hospital administrative system.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for medical and health services managers should increase by 20% between 2016 and 2026. This growth is due in part to changes in healthcare insurance regulations, the need for cost control measurements and mandated computerization of hospital records. The BLS predicts that professionals with advanced training and administrative experience may find many employment and advancement opportunities. The median annual hospital management salary is $99,730, according to the BLS in 2018.

Educational Requirements

Although a graduate degree may not always be a requirement for a health administrator career, many employers prefer applicants with extensive educational training in healthcare administration. Many employers and professional certification associations require applicants to graduate from an accredited healthcare management degree program.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) has recommended four degree options for students interested in healthcare management, including Master's of Business Administration (MBA), Master's of Public Health (MPH), Master's of Health Administration (MHA) and Master's of Public Administration (MPA). According to CAHME, more than 95 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer accredited graduate hospital management degree programs.

Coursework often covers a variety of subjects related to business administration, public health and the healthcare industry. Programs can include study in accounting, hospital systems, healthcare regulations, patient privacy rights and hospital management.

Graduate certificate programs generally focus on specific healthcare management subjects, such as systems technology, finance and healthcare economics. Students typically learn organizational leadership techniques such as organizational development, strategic planning and staff assessment.

With administrative experience and a bachelor's degree it is possible to begin a career in medical and health services management, although a master's or graduate certificate may be preferred or required by some employers. With much-faster-than-average job growth projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2026, there are many opportunities for those planning a career in this field.

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