Salary Outlook with MBA Healthcare Management

By Henry R. Steele - July 17, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Earning your MBA in healthcare management will give you the healthcare business management skills that can lead to many outstanding career options in the booming healthcare business field. As Americans are getting older and living longer, there is great need for seasoned healthcare business professionals to provide strong financial and business leadership for many healthcare organizations.

Of course, if you are thinking about getting your healthcare management MBA, this is a substantial financial and time investment. It is important to understand what your potential salary will be. You can determine this by considering the following factors:

  • The salary increase one typically sees with an MBA degree
  • The type of career you choose
  • How many years of work experience you have
  • Geographic location

MBA Salary Increase

It is well understood generally that people who earn a master’s degree earn more money over their career. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS stats that workers with a master’s degree or MBA earn a median salary over their lives of $68,000, while those with a bachelor’s degree earn only $56,000.

BLS also notes that one of the most popular professions for those with an MBA in healthcare management – medical and health services manager – there is a $20,000 premium by earning a master’s degree. The median salary with a bachelor’s is $70,000 while it is $90,000 with a master’s.

There also has been ample research that shows that most people who earn an MBA end up making considerably more money over their career. For example, Fortune magazine recently noted that the expected median starting salary for recent MBA graduates in the US was $100,000.

That was an increase of $5000 from the year before, and was about $45,000 more than what businesses pay people with only a bachelor’s degree. The Graduate Management Admissions Council states that the average starting salary with a bachelor’s degree is $55,000.

Type of Healthcare Business Career

The type of career that you choose in healthcare management will influence the salary that you earn.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Many professionals who earn their MBA in healthcare management become medical and health services managers. These healthcare business professionals may also be referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators. They are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services for many types of healthcare facilities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median salary for medical and health services managers is $98,300, with the top 10% earning more than $176,000 per year. Top industries in terms of pay in 2017 were;

  • Hospitals: $107,200
  • Government: $106,200
  • Outpatient care centers: $89,900
  • Offices of doctors: $89,700
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: $82,900

Financial Manager

A financial manager in a healthcare organization is responsible for the overall financial health of that entity. With an MBA in healthcare management, you will have the skills you need to provide for the long term financial health of the hospital or healthcare facility. You will be responsible for the budget of the facility, producing financial reports, directing investment activities and developing financial plans and strategies for the long term financial goals of the healthcare organization.

The median salary for financial managers in 2017 was $125,000, with the top 10% earning more than $200,000 per year. Median salaries for financial managers varied according to these industries:

  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $147,000
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $141,800
  • Manufacturing: $124,100
  • Finance and insurance: $123,200
  • Government: $110,600

Health Information Manager

A health information manager is responsible for maintaining a system of important medical documentation, which usually includes patient data, medical records, diagnostic records, lab and exam results and other critical patient information. The health information manager must make sure that all data is current, accurate and in full compliance with patient privacy laws and ethical standards in the healthcare field.

Payscale.com reports the median salary for this field is $54,900, with a range between $36,000 and $81,000.

Work Experience

The level of experience you have as a healthcare business professional will also influence your salary. For example, Payscale.com reports that a medical and health services manager has different salaries depending upon experience. If you have less than five years of experience, you can expect to earn an average salary of $50,000. For someone with five to 10 years of experience, you will earn an average of $63,000, and for 10 to 20 years of experience, you will earn an average salary of $68,000. For a medical and health services manager with more than 20 years of experience, you will earn $72,000 per year.

If you are a health information manager, you will have a salary of $45,000 on average with less than five years of experience; $50,000 with five to 10 years of experience; $58,000 with 10 to 20 years of experience; and $64,000 with more than 20 years of experience.

Geographic Location

Another major factor with your MBA in healthcare management for salary is where you live. According to Payscale.com, the national average salary for a health information manager is $65,300. But your salary can be higher or lower depending upon living in these cities:

  • San Diego: +50%
  • Atlanta: +42%
  • San Antonio: +8%
  • Houston: -24%
  • Denver: -27%
  • Chicago: -36%

Alternatives to MBA in Healthcare Management

There are other options to consider for a master’s degree if you are interested in healthcare management or administration. The master of healthcare administration or MHA is a common option that some professionals consider over the MBA.

Experts say that if your interest is almost entirely in healthcare and you have a healthcare background, you may want to earn your MHA. The MHA is highly healthcare intensive and is often chosen by a person with a clinical background in healthcare. You will learn more with the MHA in the areas of healthcare management and leadership. The curriculum does have core business courses, but the core classes are focused just on the healthcare market.

On the other hand, an MBA in healthcare management has more of a general business focus, and the core business courses you take will cover skills that can be used in any industry. Common courses that can be transferred to other industries will include accounting, finance and supply chain management. You also will study analytics and leadership as you will in an MHA program, but the courses will have a more general business focus.

Which you choose mostly comes down to what your background is and where you want to go in your career. Both are excellent degrees that will result in plenty of good job opportunities.

Earning an MBA in healthcare management will give you plenty of great job opportunities with good pay in the business healthcare field. This is one of the smartest educational decisions you can make in the US today.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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