October 27, 2021

What Are the Differences in Salary Level for Different Degrees in Healthcare Management?

mha salary

Careers in healthcare administration and healthcare management are diverse and exciting, and there are many opportunities to earn high salaries in these industries. One of the most important factors influencing salary is the degree one might earn, whether it’s a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Health Informatics, or a Master of Arts of Science in Healthcare Management. Here are some of the popular degrees people pursue in healthcare management and the salary amounts that are possible for those who finish their degree program.

Featured Programs

This is a list of some of the most common degrees available and the average corresponding salary:

Master of Business Administration

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is geared to those individuals who want to concentrate on the management of community health services, such as health education or outreach and graduates of MBA programs may work in general surgical and medical hospitals. Because of the high level of demand for expert healthcare managers with an MBA, this specialty offers strong career growth and excellent salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the demand for medical and health services managers will increase by 22 percent by 2020. The BLS also reports that the top 10 percent of individuals with at least a Master’s Degree in this area of employment earn more than $144,000 annually.

When pursuing an MBA, it’s helpful to find a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It’s also important to make sure the school is regionally accredited and approved for operations by the nation’s Department of Education. Schools with these approvals will offer the most challenging and rewarding programs that can lead to high paying jobs with reputable employers like hospitals, medical offices, and health insurance companies.

Master of Health Administration

Professionals possessing a Master of Health Administration (MHA) will soon find that the salary level with this degree varies largely upon place of employment. According to Payscale.com with the median income for a healthcare executive with an MHA is between $82,000 and $117,000 per year. The income also varies based on the size of the organization and the extent of your healthcare industry experience. Some of the areas of employment can include: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Clinic Manager, Department or Division Director, Department or Division Facility Manager, Consultants in Healthcare, Health Services Manager, Hospital Administrator, Manager of Medical Records, Nurse Manager/Director and Operations/Program Manager.

When enrolled in a Master of Health Administration program, some of the classes one might take include Managerial Accounting for Healthcare, Healthcare Policy and Politics, and Managerial Epidemiology. Other classes may include Health Care Law, Ethics of Health Care, and Health Services Research. Programs will usually take at least a few years to complete and may require anywhere from 14 to 20 courses. An MHA is a degree that may be earned concurrently with a full-time job, but some students find that the best educational experience comes from total dedication to schoolwork.

Master of Arts of Science in Healthcare Management

A Master of Arts of Science in Health Management (MAHM) (MSHM) allows health care professionals with considerable experience in the health delivery system, to enter careers in the management and administrative aspects of health organizations and the health system. The MSHM degree program prepares graduates to assume management and leadership roles in a wide range of healthcare settings, including health and hospital systems, service provider organizations, insurers and managed care companies, consulting firms, pharmaceutical companies, public health organizations, and medical device and biotechnology firms. While salaries vary by job, the top 10 percent of medical and health services managers with an MA or MS in Healthcare Management can earn up to than $150,000 annually, according to the BLS.

The difference in salary that may result from earning a graduate degree in healthcare management may be more than $50,000 per year. For example, the BLS indicates that medical records and health information technicians earn an average salary of $42,630 per year. On the other hand, individuals who are employed as medical and health services managers earn an average salary of $100,980 per year, which is more than double the amount that a health information technician might earn. With a graduate degree, it may be possible to double one’s salary after just a few years of experience in the workforce.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Health Informatics Managers fall into the larger employment category of medical and health services managers. Employment of health Informatics managers are expected to grow faster than average at 22 percent between 2010 and 2020. The BLS reports a median average annual salary of $88,580 for this position as of May 2012. While hospitals are expected to employ the largest number of these healthcare professionals, many new health services manager jobs will be created in healthcare practitioners’ offices during that decade.

Overall, jobs in computer science and other information technology areas offer some of the highest wages possible for employment other than those as CEOs, medical doctors, and lawyers. It’s possible to turn a Master of Science in Health Informatics degree into a job like a computer and information research scientist, information security analyst, or network and computer systems administrator. These are essential jobs within the health care industry because of the importance of digital health care records and the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Boosting Income in Healthcare Management Jobs

One of the best options for increasing one’s salary as a healthcare employee is earning a college degree. A bachelor’s degree is one option and can open doors to greater responsibilities and higher pay at work, and a graduate degree can increase those factors even more. Some people might even find a doctorate will be their best degree goal.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook for medical and health services managers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the typical entry-level education for someone working in health management is a bachelor’s degree. Entry-level workers also usually have a few years of initial work experience in a related job.

With median pay starting at $48.55 per hour, employees with a bachelor’s degree may earn a healthy wage. However, earning a graduate degree like a Master of Health Administration (MHA) or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may help increase an employee’s income to upper management levels.

Choosing a specific state in which to live may also help increase the annual wage a healthcare management worker may earn. According to the Occupational Employment Statistics page from the BLS for medical and health services managers, the highest wages are offered to managers in the District of Columbia, the State of New York, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s important to note that the highest salaries do sometimes occur in states where the cost of living is higher than in other states with lower average salaries.

Admissions Requirements for Healthcare Management Degrees

Anyone who wants to increase his or her income with a graduate degree in healthcare management will want to figure out the admission requirements before applying. Some programs are more competitive than others, but most do have similar application requirements that everyone must meet. For example, basic requirements usually include proficiency in the language in which the degree is taught, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and letters of recommendation. Some colleges may also require a resume and a personal statement from the applicant.

Some programs have further requirements like having a certain GPA in undergraduate school, possessing some work experience in a relevant area, and having earned a degree in an area of health care. Prospective students who haven’t already earned a bachelor’s degree in some related area of health care may need to take some prerequisite classes to qualify for the program. Those classes may include those in statistics, accounting, public health, and business administration. It’s important to research the specific requirements for the student’s chosen program because there are often different prerequisites for each.

Conducting research on admissions requirements for various healthcare management degrees may also help a future student decide whether a Master of Healthcare Administration degree might be the best path or whether a Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Health Informatics might be the most advantageous option. Future salary and job type goals will usually influence the type of program that may offer the best result.

Is Earning a Healthcare Management Doctoral Degree Worth the Time?

At a certain point, healthcare managers who have earned a graduate degree may start to think about the doctorates that are available in the areas of health care administration and healthcare management. For some individuals, earning a doctoral degree may represent the next phase in career advancement, but it’s not a degree that everyone needs to consider.

Some of the doctoral degrees available include a Doctor of Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Management, a Doctor of Health Administration, and an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Healthcare Management. Each of these degrees is available from some colleges with various concentrations.

For example, the Doctor of Health Administration degree is available with focuses like Health Policy and Advocacy or Health Care Leadership. Also available are specializations like Health Care Quality and Analytics and General Health Administration. With these different options available, some individuals who are already working in healthcare management might find some value in pursuing a doctoral degree.

For many people, a doctorate represents an option for those who want to teach. For other people, a doctorate offers the opportunity to rise to the head of management in a healthcare organization like a hospital, a health insurance company, or another large healthcare entity. Having a background in healthcare administration is helpful when applying to doctoral programs in that area of study.

One of the employment options that may open to those who earn a doctorate in healthcare management is the executive level at a hospital. Executives like Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) can easily earn $200,000 each year, which can make a doctorate a great idea for anyone interested in working at the top executive level.

Salaries for Those with Master of Public Health

The salaries for different jobs within the Public Health Field can also vary greatly. There are many different fields within public health, but the salary ranges below are what you can expect after you graduate with an MPH and have worked about one year.

  • Health Services Administration: $37,500-$162,000
  • Biostatistics: $33,000-$63,000
  • Epidemiology: $38,100-$136,235
  • Health Education: $33,000-$86,400
  • Clinical Research Worker: $38,000-$51,500
  • Executive Director: $60,200-$137,000
  • Environmental Health: $44,500-$143,600
  • International Health: $32,000-$84,000
  • Nutrition: $32,000-$71,000
  • General Public Health Practice: $41,200-$102,000

Additional Miscellaneous Salary Information

  • Hospital CEO average salary is $106,000
  • Hospital Administrator average salary is $82,000
  • Hospital CFO average salary is $106,000
  • Pharmaceutical managers average salary is $90,000
  • Medical practice manager’s average salary is $79,000
  • Health informatics manager average salary is $89,000

Master’s degree programs in healthcare management are available from respected universities across the country, but there are many factors that influence how much someone might earn after getting their degree. From the location of one’s job to the size of the healthcare facility and the amount of responsibility that the job entails, the salary earned will depend on more than just the healthcare management degree one might have earned. However, one of the best options for earning a high salary is earning a master’s degree in healthcare management or an alternative graduate degree with a healthcare management specialization.

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