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Healthcare Management Careers

Industry Growth

National Health Expenditure (NHE) grew 5.3% to $3 trillion in 2014, which is 17.5% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Health spending is projected to grow 5.8% per year for 2015 – 2025 (CMS, 2016). These projections demonstrate a real need for more employees in healthcare, opening up new career options for those interested in healthcare management. Projected employment of medical/health services managers from 2014-2024 will increase 17%, indicating that career prospects for healthcare management will be very favorable.

Healthcare Management Duties

Some of the duties of medical/health services managers can include (BLS, 2016):

  • Drive efficiency and quality in the delivery of healthcare product lines and services
  • Establish and enforce organizational goals and objectives
  • Ensure regulatory and accreditation compliance
  • Recruit new staff, ensure routine training, develop work schedules, daily supervision
  • Prepare, propose, and monitor pertinent budgets
  • Ensure proper record keeping
  • Represent the organization in front of external stakeholders
  • Work closely with members of the medical staff and other division/department managers

Employment Prospects

The U.S. Healthcare System presents many options for managers to pursue relative to employment prospects. Those options include: Private healthcare sector; Public Health sector; the Veterans Administration; and Military Medicine. All four of these healthcare entities employ healthcare managers of all types and experience levels. Examples of those settings are (ACHE, 2016):

  • Clinics – private, public, community
  • Consulting firms
  • Health insurance organizations
  • Healthcare associations
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Physician practices
  • Mental health organizations
  • Military Medicine Hospitals and/or Clinics
  • Public health departments
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Universities and research institutions
  • Veterans Administration Hospitals and/or Clinics

Areas of Specialty

Healthcare managers can enter the workforce at entry level positions with a Bachelor’s Degree, but a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management is considered to be more competitive, positioning potential employees to work in many different capacities to include (ACHE (1), 2016):

  • Finance
  • Government relations
  • Human resources
  • Information systems
  • Marketing and public affairs
  • Material management (purchasing of equipment and supplies)
  • Medical staff relations
  • Nursing administration
  • Patient care services
  • Planning and development

Average Salary Expectations

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for healthcare managers was $94,500 in May 2015. In May 2015, the median annual wages for medical and health services managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows (BLS, 2016):

Hospitals, state, local and private $102,060
Government $101190
Office of physicians $85,600
Home healthcare services $82,430
Nursing and residential care facilities $78,540

What Healthcare Employers Seek

Whether you are an experienced healthcare manager or still working on your degree, there are certain skills and criteria that hiring managers use to consider hiring you. They might include (ACHE (2), 2016):

  • Appropriate university degree in healthcare management/administration
  • Evidence of professional development through continuing education
  • Previous or current healthcare employment experience
  • Strong communication skills
  • Personal organizational fit in attitude and appearance
  • Demonstrated dependability, maturity, judgment, character
  • Potential to manage others

What Can I Do to Prepare?

You are already on your way to preparing for a successful career as a healthcare manager by virtue of the fact that you are reading this information. However, there are other things that you can do to get yourself ready. Those preparatory things might include:

  • Pursue the appropriate degree for your chosen profession
  • Maintain a scholarly record that demonstrates your commitment to your education
  • Develop your interpersonal and quantitative skills
  • Stay informed about industry trends
  • Join appropriate healthcare related professional organizations
  • Begin to network using whatever means available

Healthcare Careers Summary

It continues to be an exciting time to consider joining the ranks of the healthcare industry as a future executive. The healthcare industry offers career availability, stability, upward promotion possibility, geographic relocation, and highly satisfactory pay and benefits. The healthcare industry is one of very few that can continue to make all those claims. If you find yourself seriously considering a Master's in Healthcare Management degree from American University but still have questions, reach out and get those other questions answered. We are here to help.

References

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE (1)), Careers Website (2016), retrieved from http://www.healthmanagementcareers.org/careers.cfm
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE (2)), Careers Resources Website (2016), retrieved from https://www.ache.org/carsvcs/ycareer.cfm
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-6
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), National Health Expenditure Data Website retrieved from
https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nhe-fact-sheet.html

About Jack Nemecek

Jack NemecekDr. Jack Nemecek is a full time university Professor who has completed two careers, one in healthcare administration and one in public health. Dr. Nemecek began his career in military medicine as an Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. After 12 years as an Enlisted man, he was Commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps, as a healthcare administrator. He served on active duty for 22 years, serving in numerous capacities as a senior level healthcare administrator, to include Director of Human Resources, Director of Education/Training, Director of Operations, Director of Administration, and Director of U. S. Navy Healthcare Construction West Coast Operations. Upon his retirement from the U. S. Navy, Dr. Nemecek began another career as a Public Health Advisor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For another 20 years, he served in numerous capacities including grants management and as Deputy Branch Manager for the Education, Information, and Partnership Branch of the National Immunization Program. He holds a Ph.D. in Public Health from Walden University, an MBA and BBA in healthcare administration from National University, and an AS in Allied Health from George Washington University.

Learn more about how American University’s online Master of Science in Healthcare Management and advance your career. Request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614