The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that master’s degrees are common among medical and health services managers and administrators, and are often preferred by employers. Professionals in these positions typically have a degree in health administration, health management, nursing, public health administration or business administration. They are charged with planning and coordinating medical and health services. They might manage facilities, practices or departments and direct changes that conform to evolving healthcare standards, laws and technologies.
Training and Skills
As the BLS suggests, “Degrees that focus on both management and healthcare combine business-related courses with courses in medical terminology, hospital organization, and health information systems.”
The online MBA program with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration from Southern Oregon University provides this training, which is in high demand, especially among top Oregon healthcare employers. Students prepare to hit the ground running following graduation in a wide range of roles, learning about operational systems of healthcare management, the latest technologies in patient care and communications, the role of information systems and critical concepts in microeconomics.
Because the curriculum has been developed in conjunction with input from top employers, and the professors have deep industry experience, students learn the analytical, communication, leadership and technical skills the field requires. Hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term facilities, urgent care centers and outpatient clinics, as well as government agencies, NGOs, nonprofits and insurance companies, are all major employers of specialized healthcare administration graduates.
CNN Money rates hospital administrator No. 8 in its “100 Best Jobs in America,” reporting that the job offers the satisfaction of making a real difference in people’s lives and has surprisingly low job-related stress. CNN lists a median pay of $120,000 with 17% projected 10-year job growth.
The median national pay for medical and health services managers across all of these settings is $99,730 per year, according to the BLS. The job growth outlook for 2018-2028 (as of October 2019) is 18%, much faster than average, with 71,600 new jobs expected in this time frame.
Salary.com reports that entry-level hospital administrator salaries in Oregon range from $65,119 to $87,669 with an average of $75,953. Public Health Online says some of the most widely held positions in the field are practice manager (23%), health insurance specialist (22%), and social and community service manager (21%).
HealthcareAdministrationEDU.org data puts the median annual salary for Oregon healthcare administrators at $105,690, considerably above the national average. The top 10% of the profession in the state can expect to make $187,220. This resource says the state employment department predicts a 21.8% rise in positions by 2026, with 480 new positions annually across the state. Median salaries vary by city, with professionals earning $110,240 in Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, $100,000 in Bend-Redmond, $108,890 in Salem, and $95,280 in Eugene.
The site also provides a list of titles hospital administrators possess, ranging from entry-level assistant positions to C-suite executives (salary data for each specific position in Oregon not available):
- President/chief executive officer (CEO)
- Chief operating officer (COO)
- Chief financial officer (CFO)
- Hospital administrator
- Associate executive director
- Director of human resources
- Recruitment specialist
- Vice president of quality
- Hospital operations administrator
- Compliance educator
- Director of nursing
- Director of clinical operations
- Assistant director of finance
- Director, population health
- Director, patient care services
If you are already in healthcare or want to transition into a field that offers the opportunity to perform meaningful work and earn high pay — and that has multiple career paths — few careers rival healthcare/hospital administration.