Health care management is an expanding career field because of the rapidly growing health services industry. In December 2015, the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that Healthcare support occupations and Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are the two fastest growing occupations between 2014 and 2024, and amount to one in four new jobs during this period. The job growth for medical and health service managers is reported at 17 percent or much faster than average for this period.
Health Care Management Education in the South
With the rapid expansion of this industry to serve a larger retired population and more insured clientele due to healthcare reform, opportunities for various managing positions in the system abound. There has been a corresponding increase in health care management programs at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels in universities. An indication of need and opportunity in a state can be deduced from the number of degree programs for that career field in that state.
• The five southern states showing the largest number of master’s level programs in Healthcare Administration are: Florida, 16 schools; Texas, 15; Georgia, eight; Maryland and Tennessee, seven each.
• The five southern states showing the largest number of baccalaureate Healthcare Administration programs are: Florida, 18; North Carolina and Texas, 10 each; Virginia, nine; and Alabama, eight.
Employment Levels and Salaries in Southern States
BLS provides state level employment and wage data for the occupation of Medical and Health Services Managers. Comparisons among all states yielded the following.
• Texas was third among states with the highest employment level in this occupation.
• Maryland was second, and Oklahoma fourth, on states with the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation.
• The District of Columbia was the top paying state.
The national average salary for this occupation in 2015 was $106,070, with the top ten percent earning more than $165,380 and the bottom ten percent earning less than $56,230. The following were the five southern states showing the highest average 2015 annual salaries.
• District of Columbia: $137,000
• Delaware: $115,660
• Florida: $112,420
• Maryland: $111,420
• Virginia: $107,230
The five southern states showing the lowest average salaries were the following.
• Arkansas: $81,250
• Mississippi: $83,170
• Oklahoma : $84,990
• Louisiana: $88,770
• Tennessee: $90,010
Healthcare Management Jobs in the South
To get an indication of career options in the South, we might look at the jobs posted by health service employers in the southern states. One source of information is the websites of national health systems that run health services in Southern states.
Community Health Systems, Inc. has general acute care hospitals in 14 of the 16 southern states. Here are healthcare administration jobs and required qualifications they have posted.
• Assistant chief executive officer – requires BBA, MBA in Health Administration and two years of management experience in a hospital
• Assistant chief financial officer – requires a BA in Accounting, MBA preferred, and two years financial/accounting experience in a hospital environment
• Assistant director, perioperative services – BSN, certification, three years experience in perioperative nursing, one year in nursing management
• Assistant chief nursing officer – BSN, MSN preferred, current license, two years nursing leadership experience
Hospital Corporation of America is the largest U.S. health system and has hospitals in nine southern states. Examples of their hospital administration positions and required qualifications include the following.
• Assistant chief nurse officer – requires BSN, MSN or MBA in healthcare administration; five-ten years experience in healthcare operations
• Charge nurse Wound Care – ADN
• RN case manager – BSN, five years clinical nursing experience; one year case management experience
• Coordinator, Sepsis and Stroke – ADN, three years acute care experience; one year ICU experience
• RN supervisor ICU – BSN, one year ICU supervisor experience
Job listing sites such as Indeed.com and Monster enable state searches for healthcare management positions. CompHealth provides one list of national openings. Perusal of these listings show that the predominant management position is for RNs, as Director, nurse manager, case manager, clinical leader or coordinator. Texas and Florida have the most job openings, but all states are hiring.
Healthcare managers also find employment in related industries such as pharmaceutical , insurance or biotech companies, government agencies and healthcare consulting firms. The organizational ability, problem solving and administrative skills of these professionals qualify them for leadership in a variety of settings.