Do you seek to jump start your career with a Master’s in Health Administration (MHA)? If so, then you probably plan to work as a hospital administrator, as the hospital setting provides more opportunities for health care administrators than any other health care setting. With that said, location, size of a medical institution and the health care field specialization you may choose can shape your career options and your salary.The MHA degree is an advanced option acquired after a minimum number of academic units have been completed. Usually, the MHA program requires a thesis or an extensive internship and a bachelor’s degree. Coursework includes classes in population health, economics and health care marketing. These courses are designed to prepare the graduate with the knowledge to manage a hospital, clinic or health system.
If you choose this route for your career, your responsibility may lie in directing an entire facility or a specific branch within a hospital or research facility. Graduates may discover that an entry-level position as a health care administrator may include records management and financial and business decisions for an organization and overseeing quality and safety controls for personnel and patients as well as marketing to maintain income for that institution.
Hospitals are not the only places where health administrators work, however. If you seek employment in a more intimate setting, you might find employment with physicians’ groups, nursing homes, mental health care facilities or organizations and in outpatient centers. Health-care related businesses and nonprofit organizations also seek qualified administrators, and a background in health care management is ideal for these situations.
Other businesses that might seek your skills include insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and groups that shape health care policies. With possible changes in health care plans nationwide, you might be able to expand your service offerings to various government entities as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more information about the settings that may offer jobs upon your graduation.
Many students who seek a master’s degree in health administration usually have an educational and occupational background in a health-related field. Your experiences also can define your future career, as a former nurse in health administration may have different skills than a former medical assistant who seeks the same advanced degree and career.
A master’s degree in one of a number of fields is the standard credential for most generalist positions as a medical or health care administrator. A bachelor’s degree is sometimes adequate for entry-level positions in smaller facilities and departments. In physicians’ offices and some other facilities, on-the-job experience may substitute for formal education, but advancement to a higher-paying career in administration may be limited by a lack of formal education and experience in larger institutions.
No matter where you plan to work in health administration, you might try to seek a job that accentuates the skills you’ve acquired in the past. The more education and skills you obtain through work or internships, the better your understanding of the health administrator’s job and the happier you might be in that position. Additionally, furthering your training and skills can provide you with a much larger salary.
To become a health administrator or manager, a master's degree is usually required. Some of the most popular types of health degrees include the Master of Health Administration (MHA), the Master of Public Health (MPH), and the MBA in healthcare management. Below is a carefully compiled list of accredited institutions offering such programs to help you meet your career goals.