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Salary and Career Outlook for a Master's in Health Administration

Health administration professionals are typically responsible for overseeing the business, clerical and financial aspects of medical care. They generally supervise other healthcare employees, ensuring that medical, legal, ethical or financial goals and regulations are met. A master's degree in a health administration field can lead to careers like healthcare administration, clinical management or health information management.

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Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators are in charge of healthcare providers' business and office operations. They can be employed by private medical practices, hospitals, healthcare networks or insurance companies. According to a survey of job postings at 'Careerbuilder.com', a job posting website, healthcare administrators who work for insurance companies complete tasks like ensuring that all physicians, hospitals and clinics covered as providers by their companies are in fact providing medical care that is compliant with all applicable legal and regulatory standards. Others are responsible for supervising departments within their own companies, such as information technology, accounting or customer care.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare administration field includes executive positions. Healthcare administrators working for hospitals and doctor's offices can work as chief executive officers, overseeing operations for the entire company. The BLS indicates that a master's degree may be appropriate preparation for these positions (www.bls.gov). Workers in lower-level positions can fulfill a variety of administrative roles from record keeping to reception duties.

Healthcare Administrator Salary Information

According to the BLS, the median yearly salary for medical and health services managers was $88,580 as of May 2012. The BLS reports that firms offering computer systems design services were the highest-paying employer of health administrators in May 2012, with individuals working in this capacity earning mean annual salaries of $146,160.

Healthcare Administrator Career Outlook

Competition can be steep in the healthcare administration job market, particularly for senior-level positions. Though the BLS says that a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level work in this field, those with a master's degree in health administration or a similar area have the best chance of gaining higher-level or executive healthcare administration positions. The BLS predicts above-average employment growth for healthcare administrator positions from 2010-2020.

Clinical Manager

Clinical managers work in specific medical departments, like dermatology or pediatrics. In order to hold these positions, the BLS says that clinical managers must have prior experience working in their employer's specific medical field. Tasks for this job include making sure all physicians, nurses and other medical personnel are performing their job functions correctly, safely, and in manners compliant with any applicable legal, medical or company regulations. Financial oversight through creating or distributing budgets may be a part of this job as well. Clinical managers generally work for hospitals, large networks of physicians or managed care facilities.

Clinical Manager Salary Information

The salary information website PayScale.com breaks down average salaries for clinical directors by employer type. As of December 2013, clinical directors working at general hospitals earned salaries ranging from $73,290 to $126,709. Directors employed by private physician practices earned salaries from $40,619 and $87,284 per year.

Clinical Manager Career Outlook

Like healthcare administrators, aspiring clinical managers may benefit in the job market from earning master's degrees in health administration. The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), an accrediting agency for health management education programs, accredits numerous master's programs in this area (www.cahme.org).

Health Information Manager

Responsibility for patient medical records rests with health information managers. They must make sure that all medical data is accurate, secure and current, as well as being updated and filed promptly. The BLS indicates that information managers must be highly organized and possess technological skill, particularly with federal regulations requiring medical offices to keep all medical files on record electronically.

Health information managers may work in physicians' offices, residential medical centers or hospitals. Some are also responsible for financial records, though this often depends on the size of an information manager's employer. In smaller professional settings, information managers often oversee all types of records in an office, according to the BLS. Managers working for larger companies often serve as heads of records departments and are in charge of supervising multiple employees.

Health Information Manager Salary Information

The online salary database PayScale.com reported that a sampling of about 115 health information managers were paid total salaries of $29,606 to $71,619. These annual salary figures include bonus pay, and were reported as of December 2013. Information managers working for hospitals were the most generously compensated, according to this data.

Health Information Manager Career Outlook

Though the BLS says that a postsecondary certificate is sufficient for most of these jobs, students may also pursue associate's degrees in health information management. Possession of a health information certification can be a strong advantage in a competitive job market. The BLS reports the job market for medical records and health information technicians to be poised for above-average growth from 2010 to 2020.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics