Salary Outlook with a MHA Degree

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - July 15, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Earning a master’s degree in health administration (MHA) will equip you with the healthcare management and administration skills you need to work in the growing healthcare administration field. The need for more healthcare professionals is growing every year in the US, and there also is greater demand for skilled healthcare administrators that manage new healthcare facilities all over the country.

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To get a better idea of the salary you can enjoy with a MHA degree, this article highlights the following areas that can affect how much you earn:

  • Whether you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration or healthcare management
  • The type of healthcare management career you choose
  • How many years of work experience you have
  • Geographic location

Once you have this information, you will have a better idea of the salary you can have with an MHA degree.

Level of Health Administration Degree

Many professionals earn a master’s degree in different fields because they can earn a higher salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for all workers ages 25 and more with a bachelor’s degree was $56,000 in 2015. For those with a master’s degree, it was $68,000. This means on average, you will earn $12,000 more each year over your career.

In the healthcare field, you will also find a higher salary than those with only a bachelor’s degree. Below are some of the common jobs in the healthcare field and the salary premium you can enjoy with a master’s degree:

  • Social and community service managers: $50,000 with bachelor’s and $65,000 with a master’s
  • Medical and health services managers: $70,000 with a bachelor’s and $90,000 with a master’s
  • Social and human service assistants: $37,000 with a bachelor’s and $50,000 with a master’s
  • Counselors: $37,000 with a bachelor’s and $50,000 with a master’s

Also, reports that the salary range for medical and health services managers is between $42,000 and $100,000. One of the major reasons for this wide disparity is the level of degree.

Type of Health Administration Career

The occupation that you choose with a master’s degree in health administration will affect your salary. Below are some of the common career choices with this degree:

Medical and Health Services Manager

A medical and health services manager is one of the most common jobs that people with an MHA obtain. These workers also may be referred to as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators. They are in charge of planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services for many types of healthcare organizations.

BLS reports the median salary for medical and health services managers is $98,300 as of May 2017. The top 10% earned a salary of $176,000 per year. In May 2017, the median salary for medical and health services managers in various industries was:

  • Hospitals: $107,000
  • Government: $106,300
  • Outpatient care: $89,900
  • Offices of doctors: $89,700
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: $82,800

Nursing Home Administrator

A nurse administrator’s main job is to manage and care for all of the residents in a nursing home. They are responsible for overseeing and implementing the facility management system, as well as supervising and coordinating all the work of various nursing home departments. A nursing home administrator gives oversight of the quality assurance process in the nursing home, which requires a solid knowledge of relevant local, federal and state laws.

A nursing home administrator typically has an MHA degree and a state license. They need to be skilled in planning, implementing and evaluating nursing services to ensure all residents get a high level of care. reports the median salary for nursing home administrators is $86,200, with a range between $55,000 and $120,000.

Health Information Manager

A health information manager is responsible for collecting and regulating record keeping and ensuring that all information in a healthcare organization is transmitted and stored an ethical and legal way. Most information that is stored and processed by the health information manager is stored electronically, but there are still some organizations with paper records. The duties of the health information manager also includes developing and implementing health policy and information systems that are related to health policy.

Health information managers typically work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and community care clinics. They also may work in state and federal health departments and health insurance companies. Health information managers usually oversee a group of health information technicians to ensure that medical records are transmitted accurately, on time and confidentially. reports the median salary for this profession is $53,100, with a range between $37,000 and $74,000.

Health Administration Work Experience

Your level of work experience will influence what your salary is with an MHA degree. For example, a medical and health services manager with different levels of experience will see these types of salaries:

  • Less than five years of experience – $50,000 salary
  • 5 to 10 years of experience – $63,000 salary
  • 10 to 20 years of experience – $68,000 salary
  • Over 20 years of experience – $72,000 salary

For nursing home administrators, you will see the following salaries based upon experience:

  • Less than five years of experience – $75,000 salary
  • 5 to 10 years of experience – $91,000 salary
  • 10 to 20 years of experience – $95,000 salary
  • More than 20 years of experience – $100,000 salary

So, as you gain more experience in your healthcare administration work after you graduate, you should see higher income over the years.

Geographic Location

Where you live is also a major factor in the salary you will make as a medical and health services manager. According to US News and World Report, you will earn the most money in this profession in these cities:

  • San Rafael CA: $161,300
  • San Jose CA: $159,000
  • San Francisco CA: $151,100
  • Vallejo CA: $148,000
  • Nassau NY: $145,500

Also, reports these states are the best in terms of salary for healthcare administrators, with each one averaging more than $70.00 per hour:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

Healthcare Management or Healthcare Administration?

As you are looking at degrees in this field, you may see degrees for both healthcare administration and healthcare management. What is the difference?

Healthcare management generally refers to the management of all business aspects of a healthcare facility, with a focus on business of healthcare, patient care standards and organizational policies.

Healthcare administration generally refers to staff management that is associated with a certain department in a healthcare organization. Coursework in the MHA program usually stresses growing analytical and decision making skills to handle the politics and needs of all types of healthcare facilities.

The salary outlook for professionals with an MHA degree is bright. The US population is getting older and living longer. They also want to have more healthcare and medical services today because there have been major advances in the level of care in recent years. These trends are leading to more demand for healthcare administration professionals, with up to 20% increases in demand in the next decade. So, obtaining your MHA degree is a great way to tap into this growing market.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of 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.

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