Healthcare professionals come from many academic backgrounds. Logically, professionals focused on business management rely on an array of skills grounded in business administration.
The healthcare industry can be lucrative for professionals with advanced business acumen. Accordingly, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers an online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Administration designed to integrate the study of business and healthcare. Here are just a few career options for those with advanced education, skills and knowledge relating to this fascinating intersection of fields.
Medical and Health Services Management
From small family medicine practices to urgent care centers and hospitals, healthcare organizations depend on effective management, including administrators at the facility or departmental level. Navigating governmental regulations, insurance, human resources, and legal and ethical issues is extremely complex. Qualified professionals with the varied skills and knowledge necessary are in great demand.
Reflecting the demand for these professionals and the rapid growth of the healthcare sector, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth at 18% through 2028. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all professions. Salaries reflect this demand, with the BLS reporting that the median annual pay for medical and health services managers in 2018 was $99,730.
Many factors have led to economic volatility in healthcare and insurance markets. Though the healthcare sector remains strong, maintaining financial stability for large organizations can be challenging. For these reasons, many large healthcare organizations employ chief financial officers (CFOs) to oversee financial operations at the highest level.
An MBA in health administration can prepare graduates for this advanced career opportunity through in-depth study in areas like finance, managerial accounting, health economics, microeconomics and macroeconomics. As this is an executive position, compensation is substantial. Based on 2019 data, ZipRecruiter reports the average annual salary of healthcare CFOs to be $154,535.
For those who would like more diversity of experience and environment, healthcare consulting can be a captivating venture. Regular travel is common for healthcare consultants, giving the occupation a distinct freedom and variety.
Healthcare consultants may work for an independent firm that consults with healthcare providers and facilities on a contract basis, or they may be self-employed, providing such services in the freelance environment. Healthcare consultants also work for large healthcare organizations, providing consultancy services to numerous facilities and providers within an organization.
Healthcare consultants might specialize in a specific area relating to the healthcare sector. They often contract for a set time to help restructure an organization's business plan, insurance policies, governmental regulation compliance, technology systems or financial management model.
Compensation varies greatly depending on all of these factors and even contract-to-contract differences. PayScale reports the average annual salary of healthcare consultants to be $76,856. But profit sharing, commissions and bonuses have the potential to nearly double this figure. U.S. News & World Report estimates the average annual total compensation of healthcare consultants at over $125,000, with some recent grads earning as much as $150,000.
Entrepreneurship in Healthcare
The skills and knowledge gained by earning an MBA in healthcare administration are also applicable to entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector. Innovation drives medical advances, and entrepreneurship is all about capturing and incubating innovation, then profiting from it through sound business development practice. Medical entrepreneurship might involve the development of new medical technologies for providers such as electronic medical systems software, healthcare monitoring devices for hospitals, data management and systems, and marketing tools. It could involve providing services like external and internal data analytics integration. Or medical entrepreneurs might create products for consumers, ranging from advanced medical devices to health monitoring apps for smartphones or other such personalized technologies.
As with any type of entrepreneurship, medical entrepreneurship is risky, involving the investment of time, money and energy. A startup may take a while to turn a profit. And a small business owner often sets their own salary under market in the beginning. But the potential for earnings and return on investment is great, tied directly to the success of the endeavor.
Beyond these examples, business-minded healthcare professionals can pursue numerous lines of work in industries ranging from pharmaceutical medicine and manufacturing to multinational organizations involved with global medical initiatives. There is great and increasing demand for professionals on the business side of the healthcare sector. Earning an MBA in healthcare administration can prepare graduates for fascinating career opportunities in this rapidly growing and varied industry.
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