Do you have organizational skills, leadership instincts, and a desire to make a difference in the healthcare system? If this sounds like your ideal career, a healthcare master of business administration (MBA) degree can help you land it. Not only would you help improve your employer's footing in the business of healthcare—like staffing and budgeting—you'll boost their overall quality and performance, and affect the quality of healthcare that patients receive.
An MBA degree is ideal for anyone hoping to hold executive positions in the healthcare industry. Graduates of healthcare MBA programs are qualified for positions such as chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and executive director of hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other healthcare-related organizations. These leadership positions require candidates who have expert management skills, an ability to oversee multiple projects and teams, and an understanding of the nuances of the healthcare industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is rapidly growing and set to increase by about 2.4 million jobs by 2026. It's a growth rate of about 18 percent, which is almost three times as fast as other occupational groups within the U.S.
When it comes to salary, a healthcare MBA degree offers a definite advantage over a bachelor’s degree in the same field. According to PayScale, the average healthcare MBA salary is $80,000, while the average bachelor’s in business administration salary is $61,000, With a healthcare MBA degree, you can also hold many upper-level positions that you wouldn't otherwise immediately qualify for with only a bachelor’s degree, which means higher earnings earlier on.
Corporate development associate: A corporate development associate supports a healthcare-related business and may focus on business marketing, product development, and in-house capital raising. They help to establish relationships with clients and may identify new business opportunities and areas for expansion. In this role, you can expect an average salary of $49,350 a year.
Healthcare consultant: Often employed by large healthcare organizations, a healthcare consultant examines the efficiency, profits, and structure of their organization, offers suggestions on methods of improvement to teams and the company. On average, they make $76,824 a year.
Strategic project manager: A strategic project manager works with an organization or business to oversee and facilitate a project by determining goals, developing project plans, and troubleshooting issues. They often work on consecutive projects and may oversee large groups of employees during the process. In terms of salary, they make an
average of $88,584 annually.
Hospital administrator: This profession is in charge of overseeing a hospital’s daily operations, from setting budgets to coordinating departments, supervising health services, and even ensuring that their organization adheres to local and federal laws. It's a high-responsibility position that includes constant goal-setting and monitoring progress. On average, hospital administrators make $88,258 a year.
Pharmaceutical brand manager: Professionals in this role oversee the branding concept and strategy of their organization as a means of improving product sales and market shares. They're also in charge of overseeing advertising and marketing initiatives to ensure the right message is delivered to consumers. They make an average of $96,333 a year.
These high-paying jobs may interest you:
Hospital CEO: This position carries significant responsibility since a CEO acts as the head of a hospital and must ensure that it runs smoothly. A hospital CEO is in charge of ensuring patient safety and satisfaction, monitoring the quality of healthcare provided, recruiting quality staff, and much more. Given the level of responsibility, it's a role that makes an average of $166,152 a year.
Hospital administrator: As mentioned above, a hospital administrator fulfills many roles in a hospital’s day-to-day operations, including coordinating between departments, setting the costs of service, and representing the hospital within its outside community. Hospital administrators may also provide employee training and fulfill human resources responsibilities. They average $88,193 a year.
Hospital CFO: This profession ensures that a hospital runs in the most cost-effective manner. They oversee the accounting and finance departments and oftentimes, will report the financial status of the hospital to the CEO and the board of directors. They make an average of $130,184 in salary.
Pharmaceutical product manager: Pharmaceutical product managers develop, implement, and execute sales strategies to bring new pharmaceutical products to market. They often oversee a variety of elements of product creation and marketing, from brand image to distribution. When it comes to salary, it's a job that averages about $113,886 a year.
Where you live and who you work for. The salary ranges above give you an idea of what you could earn with a healthcare MBA degree, but many factors will affect your salary. According to PayScale, average salaries with a healthcare MBA vary from city to city. Take the following five for example:
The cost of living in your area.
MIT’s Living Wage calculator shows the hourly rate that you must earn to support yourself when working 40 hours per week. New York and the District of Columbia average salaries are higher, but also come with a higher cost of living. Illinois and Georgia have lower costs of living—with the average salaries to match. Let's take a look at the cost of living in the corresponding states.
Work experience, obvi! PayScale states that an entry-level executive director can earn an average salary of $55,000. Once that executive director has five to ten years of experience, that average increases to $68,000. An executive director with ten to 20 years of experience can expect an even greater average salary of $85,000. As you gain specialized skills and hands-on experience, you’ll be even more valuable to a facility. Raises and promotions can also increase your income, and you’ll also be able to apply to upper-level well-paying positions that require experienced and talented staff.
Earning your healthcare MBA degree is the first step toward maximizing your earning potential since this program teaches you specialized skills that make you valuable to healthcare employers. While a traditional MBA offers a foundation in more general business skills, a healthcare MBA educates you about the specific nuances and concerns of the healthcare industry.
Did you know that seeking out positions in larger healthcare organizations or hospitals can lead to higher salaries? While you're unlikely to land a CEO position at a major hospital when considering entry-level positions, it won't hurt to look for roles that will give you the experience you’ll need to be competitive for those upper-level positions (and their higher salaries) later on.
Most healthcare MBA programs take two years to complete for full-time students, while part-time students can expect to spend three or four years completing their master's degree.
Most programs incorporate a thesis or research project, as well as core and elective courses. Many healthcare MBA programs allow you to study part-time online so that you can continue to work while earning your degree. Other factors will also affect the time that it takes to complete a program, such as the number of required credits and whether you’re able to transfer existing credits toward your degree.
If you’re looking for a career with significant earning potential, pursuing your healthcare MBA degree can qualify you opportunities to do that within the healthcare administration field. And another perk? You'll be able to put your leadership skills to use while overseeing a business that makes a positive impact every day.
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