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The 2018 Job Outlook for MHA Degree Grads

Anyone who is preparing to graduate with a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree should be encouraged by the 2018 employment outlook. With the continued expansion of the U.S. economy, and with demand for health and medical services on an upward trajectory, experts predict that qualified MHA degree holders, especially those who already have three to five years of experience in the healthcare industry, should find abundant U.S. job opportunities in the year ahead.

Abundant Job Titles

Healthcare Administration represents a wide range of professional service positions within the healthcare sector. There are opportunities for graduates from Boston College’s MHA program in such diverse positions as:

  • Director of Nursing
  • Director of Surgical Services
  • Clinical Director/Supervisor
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Home Health Administrator
  • Medical Director
  • Clinical Data Analyst
  • Healthcare Analyst

MHA degree holders can also become medical directors of specific hospital departments, such as Allergy and Immunology, Family Medicine, Oncology, or Surgery. Graduates can also work for health insurance providers, including HMOs that provide coverage to tens of millions of people throughout the United States.

Fastest Growing Job Sector

The Healthcare and Social Assistance sector is the fastest growing area of the American economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of 2016 this sector employed more than 19 million people, second only to Professional and Business Services, which employed just slightly more than 20 million.

The BLS projects that, by 2026, the Healthcare and Social Assistance sector will add more than 4 million jobs, becoming the largest U.S. employment sector. As a comparison, the BLS projects the Professional and Business Services will add 2.2 million new jobs during the same period.

Current job postings tracked by Burning Glass Technologies, a national analytics software company, supports the BLS’s optimistic assessment for administrative jobs in the health and medical field. Between January 1 and November 1, 2017, Burning Glass found approximately 74,900 job postings related to “Health Care Administrator” throughout the United States. The most activate job market for Health Care Administrators was California, where 9,742 jobs were posted, followed distantly by Texas (5,497), Florida (4,371) and New York (4,114). Other active markets for Health Care Administrator jobs were Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan and New Jersey that, among them, listed 14,873 job postings.

Within the Health Care Administrator category, the most popular job listing was Clinical Manager, which had a combined 11,562 postings nationally during the January-November period. This was followed by Health Director (3,060), Health Manager (2,471), and Clinic Manager (2,046). For these positions, most required at minimum a Bachelor’s degree, with half requiring a Master’s degree. Although a select few would accept an applicant with less than two years of experience, most required three to five years of experience to qualify.

Essential skills employers are requesting include:

  • Budgeting
  • Communication
  • Supervisory and Team Building Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Writing
  • Staff Management
  • Organization and Scheduling
  • Quality Assurance and Control

Who’s Hiring?

Top employers in the U.S. healthcare industry include medical insurance companies and actual medical service providers. In 2016, the companies that listed the most job postings were:

  • Anthem Blue Cross (Insurance)
  • United Health Group (Insurance)
  • DaVita Incorporated (Renal Care and Dialysis)
  • Fresenius (Medical Service and Hospital Management)
  • Hospital Corporation of America (Health Care Facilities Operator)
  • Aetna Incorporated (Insurance)
  • Ascension Health (Health Care Facilities Operator)
  • Kaiser Permanente (Health Care Services Provider)

Strongly compensated positions

Burning Glass Technologies’ analysis points to good salaries for Health Care Administration-related positions. For the period of January 1-November 1 2017, the median annual salary for all health care administrator positions was $76,000. Just over half the postings reviewed by Burning Glass offered annual salaries of $75,000 or more, a quarter posted annual salaries of between $50,000 and $75,000, and the remaining quarter was divided approximately evenly between salaries of between $35,000 and $50,000 per year, and $35,000 or less.

Specific top health care administrator positions can earn far more than the median. For example, Burning Glass offers the following annual salaries for top occupations requiring a Master’s Degree:

  • Emergency Department Director – $127,157
  • Director of Perioperative Services $125,767
  • Director of Surgical Services – $123,907
  • Registered Nurse – $107,546
  • Clinical Operations Manager – $93,403
  • Program Director – $81,635
  • Health Manager – $77,468
  • Clinical Coordinator – $53,174

Earn an MHA Degree Online

Most well-paying healthcare administration jobs require both practical experience and an MHA degree, a good way to get both is by earning an MHA degree online. In the MHA online degree program offered by Boston College (BC), students complete 12 of 13 courses online, which allows busy professionals to continue acquiring valuable experience in the healthcare field while simultaneously earning the degree that will allows them to advance to an executive position. BC’s MHA program was designed with industry healthcare leaders to ensure the curriculum is focused on mastering the skills that healthcare employers are looking for when they make hiring and promotion decisions.

For more about our MHA degree program, visit http://onlinemha.bc.edu/masters-in-health-care-administration/ or call 1-866-265-6008.

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