Professionals who want to take advantage of the strong job growth in the healthcare field frequently choose a degree in healthcare administration or healthcare management.
The salary outlook for these related degrees will vary somewhat based upon the following critical factors:
- The level of healthcare administration or healthcare management degree you get
- The type of healthcare career you choose
- Your level of experience in the field
- The type of facility you work in
Once you have this information, it is easier to get a good grasp of your potential salary.
Healthcare Administration vs Management Degree
In the healthcare field, these two degrees sound very similar, and there is a good deal of overlap; however, there are key differences between the degrees, which can result in different jobs with different salaries.
Healthcare management usually refers to managing all of the business aspects in a variety of healthcare facilities. It has more to do with overseeing the entire operations of a healthcare system or healthcare facility. Most positions in the healthcare management field require a master’s degree – either a master of science or an MBA in healthcare management.
A professional with a healthcare management degree will work primarily on the fundamental business aspects of the facility – from negotiating contracts, to management to leadership.
On the other hand, healthcare administration is more related to staff management in a particular area of the healthcare facility. Healthcare administration professionals with a degree in this field are often responsible for things such as meeting regulatory requirements, hiring and overseeing departmental employees, managing departmental finances, and ensuring the providing of expert care to patients in that particular department.
It is important for you to determine early on if you are more interested in healthcare administration or healthcare management. Again, healthcare administration is more focused on managing patient-related care, regulatory compliance, personnel, and the overall operation of a department of a healthcare facility, while healthcare management is more about the business management of the entire facility or system.
The salary level for these degrees is similar; the major difference is in whether you earn a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. It is the focus of the work that differs between healthcare administration and healthcare management, not so much the pay.
Level of Healthcare Degree
Whether you have a healthcare management or healthcare administration degree, having a bachelor’s or master’s degree will make a difference in the salary you earn. A 2015 study by Georgetown University revealed that a bachelor’s degree holder earns an average salary of $61,000 per year, while a master’s degree holder earns an average salary of $78,000.
The following healthcare degrees can be obtained with as undergraduate or graduate including MBA:
- Health Services MBA Management Degree
- Healthcare Administration MBA Degree
- Healthcare Informatics MBA Degree
- Healthcare Management MBA Degree
- Hospital Management MBA Degree
In the field of healthcare administration and/or healthcare management, earning a master’s degree is usually important to work in upper level or executive management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for a medical and health services manager – the most common job for someone with a master’s in healthcare administration or healthcare management – was $70,000 for a bachelor’s degree and $90,000 for a master’s degree.
For a professional with a master’s degree in health administration, Payscale.com reports the following average salaries:
- Practice manager: $59,200
- Director of operations: $109,900
- Healthcare administrator: $71,400
- Executive director: $91,000
- Healthcare consultant: $69,800
- Practice administrator: $85,400
For a professional with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, the average salaries per Payscale.com are as follows:
- Practice manager: $59,000
- Healthcare administrator: $50,600
- Office manager: $42,000
- Nursing home administrator: $81,200
- Operations manager: $61,200
- Practice administrator: $64,000
Types of Healthcare Careers
For both the healthcare administration and healthcare management degree, the type of job you choose will have a major impact on salary level. Below are the most common types of jobs chosen with both of these degrees:
Medical and health services manager
This critical healthcare position can be referred to as healthcare administrator or healthcare manager, depending upon the degree and position. Or, it may alternatively be called healthcare executive.
Whatever the exact title, this healthcare professional is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating medical and healthcare services for hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare centers, outpatient care centers and more. If the role is more focused on healthcare administration, this worker will need to adapt to constant changes in healthcare regulations and technology. If the focus is more on healthcare management, this professional will be more responsible for the business oversight and operations of the entire healthcare system or facility.
Healthcare managers and healthcare administrators earn a median salary as of 2016 of $96,500, with a range between $56,970 and $172,000. BLS reports that these different industries have the following salaries:
- Hospitals: $104,000
- Government: $104,000
- Outpatient care centers: $89,400
- Doctors’ offices: $87,500
- Nursing and residential car: $80,300
Administrative service manager
Administrative service managers are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the various support services of a healthcare organization. The duties of this professional will vary depending upon the facility, but he or she will usually maintain the healthcare facility from an administration or business perspective, including recordkeeping, office upkeep, supervising employees and distributing mail.
Some administrative service managers will have a focus on the management of the facility. They will oversee the supplies, buildings, grounds and equipment, as well as overseeing maintenance and operations, and dealing with factors that affect the environment.
Another type is record and information managers. They are responsible for the overall administration of the organization’s records.
The pay for administrative services managers was $90,050 in 2016, with a range between $49,200 and $159,300. Salaries broke down as follows in these industries:
- Finance and insurance: $100,200
- Professional, technical and scientific services: $97,800
- Local government: $91,300
- Educational services: $86,800
- Healthcare and social assistance: $83,800
Another common profession today is a healthcare management analyst. This is a form of management consultant who works with a healthcare facility to determine the best ways to manage and improve the efficiency of an organization. Management analysts for healthcare facilities are responsible for helping the entity to be more profitable and to reduce healthcare costs.
Some healthcare management analysts work for a large consulting company, while others may be self employed. Some in this industry may also work full time for the healthcare facility.
Management analysts earn a median wage of $81,000, with a range between $46,500 and $149,700. Salaries break down by these industries:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: $87,400
- Management of companies and enterprises: $82,200
- Finance and insurance: $80,200
- Government: $76,200
Additional Careers by Job Title
- Health Information Management Careers
- Health Information Management Manager Salary
- Salary Outlook HealthCare Informatics Degree
- Healthcare Administration Careers
- Healthcare Manager Salary
As in most fields, your years of experience in healthcare management or healthcare management will influence your salary. According to Payscale.com, a healthcare manager with under five years of experience will see a salary on average of $49,000, while the same worker with 5-10 years of experience will see an average salary of $61,000. A healthcare manager with 10-20 years of experience will see total compensation of $65,000, and one with more than 20 years of work experience has a $66,000 average salary.
For a healthcare administrator with under five years of experience, the salary is also $49,000, and is $64,000 for 5-10 years of experience. At the 10-20 year point, the average salary is $77,000, and $78,000 for more than 20 years of experience.
Your healthcare administrator or manager salary also depends upon the type of facility and industry you work in. Professionals who work in a hospital will see a median salary as of 2016 of $104,300 according to BLS, while those who work in a government organization will see a similar salary of $104,100. Those who work in outpatient care facilities have a median wage of $89,400, and those in nursing homes earn a salary of $80,300, and those in doctors’ offices earn a salary of $87,500. Payscale.com reports that nursing home administrators earn a median salary of $84,900. Patient care managers, who typically work in outpatient care centers, earn a salary of $65,200.
Earning a degree in healthcare administration or healthcare management is a great way to earn a very high salary in a quickly growing field. You just need to decide if you want to focus your career more on business management of facility or healthcare system, or on administrative tasks in the department of a healthcare facility. Salaries for both degree types are similar; it is the focus of the work that is different.
- Healthcare Management Vs. Healthcare Administration. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.floridatechonline.com/blog/healthcare-management/healthcare-management-vs-healthcare-administration/
- Healthcare Administration Vs. Healthcare Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.newenglandcollegeonline.com/resources/healthcare-administration/healthcare-administration-vs-healthcare-management/
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? (2015). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
- Medical and Health Services Managers. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm