What Can I Do With a Health Care Admin Degree?

by Linda Ray

Numerous career paths are open for graduates with degrees in health care administration. You can work for public or private organizations directly in an administrative position or in resource development. You may plan, direct and coordinate direct health care services, manage a private medical practice or develop programs for a public health agency. A bachelor’s degree in health care administration is ideal for entry-level positions and a master’s is often required for advancement. In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that medical and health services managers earned a median income of $88,580.

Public Sector

Jobs in the public sector are rapidly expanding since 2002, as federal funds have increased to expand and create public health preparedness programs, according to Explore Health Careers.org, a nonprofit site that serves as a point of information for health care students. In the public sector, you could write and oversee grants for workforce development or help create bioterrorism preparedness plans for city, state or federal agencies. You could oversee public school clinic operations. Use the skills you gained earning the degree in health care posts dealing with business, policy formation, budget creation or human resources.

Private Institutions

Find work in a variety of corporate settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. With a health care administration degree, you could work in any number of departments like marketing, human resource management and the financial department, planning and organizational fields. Manage finances, staffing and building maintenance for a nursing home or direct clinical activities in a surgical department in a hospital. Maintain the technology systems in a health care facility to ensure the organization keeps up with changing health care compliance regulations.

Small Business

In the small business sector, you’ll rely on all your skills as you oversee a medical practice or home health agency's operational tasks. You manage staff schedules, oversee the billing and collections staff and work closely with the physicians, nurses, techs and other medical staff to provide exceptional service to patients and maintain and help to grow the business. Find a niche in a specialty practice or run a local hospice organization. Your skills are transferable to serve a range of health care entrepreneurs.

Consulting Work

Work for yourself or join a consulting firm as a health care specialist. According to the University of Chicago, most large, multi-strategic planning consulting firms in the United States have health care divisions that provide consulting services in administration, medical technology, marketing and managed care. Some consulting firms specialize strictly in health care related industries. Alternatively, you can hang out your own shingle, particularly after building a reputation in the industry through previous posts and consulting positions, and offer your services directly to anyone from start-up medical practices to large corporate medical institutions.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

Photo Credits

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