Healthcare is a business and, like all business, good management is essential to keep things running efficiently and to best serve patients. Healthcare administrators and managers are professionals who plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare services. They are employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, physician group practices, nursing homes, and home health agencies. They also work for public agencies including county health departments, and in the private sector, for example, pharmaceutical companies and health and medical supply companies.
Healthcare administrators also have the opportunity to shape healthcare policy via careers with local, state, or federal agencies (such as the Center for Disease Control, Medicare, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) or health-related nationwide associations, such as the Red Cross. A healthcare administrator can serve as either a generalist or a specialist. A specialist may lead a specific clinical department while a generalist might manage an entire system or facility.
To become a healthcare administrator or manager, a master’s degree is usually required. Some of the most popular types of graduate health degrees include the Master of Health Administration (MHA), the Master of Public Health (MPH), and the MBA in healthcare management.
To learn more about academic preparation for a healthcare management career, please visit the Association of University Programs in Health Administration’s (AUPHA) online directory of healthcare management programs.
If you have already earned a Masters’ degree and are looking for healthcare management employment, please visit the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) website to help facilitate your job search.