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Types of Healthcare Administration Careers

Oct 12, 2023

Healthcare is one of the world’s most important and complex industries.  Providers must focus on delivering high-quality, compassionate care to their patients. To do this, healthcare facilities must be efficient and effective in managing their business operations.


Health administration professionals play a critical role in promoting and monitoring the business side of healthcare. By managing healthcare organizations’ financial, operational, and administrative aspects, these professionals ensure that providers can deliver the best possible care to patients while maintaining the organization’s financial well being.

Why Choose a Career in Healthcare Administration?

A career in health administration offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the growth and innovation of healthcare delivery systems, ultimately improving patient outcomes. Working in health administration provides individuals with diverse career paths, alongside opportunities to work in areas such as hospital management, healthcare consulting, public health, and healthcare policy. Additionally, this field offers competitive pay and benefits, making it an attractive option for those seeking a stable and rewarding career.

Salaries in Healthcare Administration Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for healthcare administrators is over $100,000, and the highest earners can make over $200,000 annually. Health administrators with a master's degree can expect higher salaries than those with just a bachelor's degree, and those with several years of experience in the field typically earn more than beginners. Location is also a key factor, with larger cities generally offering higher salaries than smaller ones. With an increasing demand for healthcare professionals due to demographic trends such as population growth and aging, the job outlook for health administration is promising.

Healthcare Administration Careers

Whether your interest lies in working directly with people such as patients and nursing staff or developing innovative strategies to improve care delivery and increase operational efficiency, there are plenty of options available in the field of healthcare administration. Continue reading to learn about each role’s unique aspects, educational requirements, and salary expectations. 

Health Insurance Manager

A health insurance manager oversees the entire health insurance process from enrollment to claims processing. They work with insurance providers and healthcare facilities to make sure that everything runs smoothly, efficiently, and effectively. A unique aspect of this job is the ability to have a say in healthcare costs and work towards better patient healthcare outcomes.

The educational requirements for this role vary, but most employers look for a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or a similar field. Certification is also typically required to show expertise in the field, such as the Certified Healthcare Insurance Executive (CHIE) certification. According to the BLS, the median income for this profession is around $68,460 per year, with significant room for advancement.

Care Case Manager

Care case managers are crucial in coordinating and managing treatment plans. They are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the appropriate care and services they need, including medical treatment, rehabilitation therapy, and community resources. This job requires excellent communication and organizational skills due to constant collaboration with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. 
To become a care case manager, individuals typically need a bachelor's or master's degree in health management or a related field. There may also be additional certification and licensure requirements depending on the state and level of practice. Care case managers earn a median salary of $74,240 per year, although this can vary depending on factors such as education and experience.

Community Health Manager

Community health managers oversee and implement public health programs within a specific community. They work to improve the health and wellness of that community by assessing and identifying areas of need, implementing evidence-based interventions, and evaluating progress. One unique aspect of this role is its focus on developing partnerships with other community organizations to coordinate efforts and resources.

To become a community health manager, you must typically have a bachelor's degree in a related field such as public health or healthcare administration. According to the BLS, the median salary for community health managers is $63,370 annually. With increasing attention being paid to public health and preventative care, the demand for community health managers is expected to grow in the coming years.

Health Department Director

A health department director oversees the functioning of a healthcare department and ensures that healthcare services are delivered according to the established standards. This job includes coordinating with various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, insurers, and government officials.

To become a health department director, one must have, at a minimum, a master's degree in health administration, healthcare management, or a related field. However, many employers require that candidates hold a Ph.D. or a professional degree in medicine. Certification from the American College of Healthcare Executives is also highly recommended. The salary outlook for this role is promising, with the median yearly salary being $104,830.  

Health Services Manager

Health services managers oversee the administrative tasks that keep medical facilities and systems running smoothly. They are responsible for developing and implementing policies, managing staff members, ensuring regulatory compliance, and handling budgeting and financial matters. Unique aspects of this role include the ability to work with a diverse range of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. Additionally, health services managers must be comfortable working with technology to improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery systems. 
To become a health services manager, individuals typically must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in healthcare administration or a related field. In addition, some employers may require certification from professional organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives. Health service managers’ salaries can vary depending on location and experience, but the median annual salary is around $100,000.  

Healthcare Manager 

A healthcare manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities and ensuring that they operate efficiently. One of the unique aspects of this career is the ability to work in various settings such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities.

To become a healthcare manager, you typically need to have a master's degree in healthcare administration or a related field as well as several years of experience in a healthcare setting. Certification is also available through organizations like the American College of Healthcare Executives. With a median salary of over $104,830 annually, healthcare managers can expect to earn a comfortable living while significantly impacting the healthcare industry. 

Healthcare Program Manager

A healthcare program manager oversees and implements healthcare programs in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. One unique aspect of this role is the ability to work with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals to create and carry out programs that improve patient outcomes and streamline operations.

To become a healthcare program manager, individuals typically need a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration or healthcare management. Certification through various professional organizations is often preferred. The demand for healthcare program managers is expected to grow, with a salary outlook of $125,280 per year, depending on location and experience. 

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters are responsible for evaluating and assessing insurance applications to determine the coverage amount and premium rates that are appropriate for the policy. These professionals work to understand and analyze risks associated with insurance policies, which requires strong attention to detail and analytical skills. Underwriters are uniquely positioned to contribute to individuals’ and businesses’ stability and well-being through protecting them from financial loss.

Education requirements for this role may vary but typically include a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting, or a related field. Certification is also often required to become an underwriter. According to the BLS, the median salary for an insurance underwriter is $76,230 per year. While there is some automation of the work, insurance underwriters will remain a crucial component of the insurance industry as more personalized policies need to be created. 

Medical Records Manager

A medical records manager ensures the accuracy, confidentiality, and security of all patient records. Additionally, they manage these records’ organization, retrieval, and storage. One distinctive detail of this role is its potential for flexibility, as medical records managers may work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and more. 
To become a medical records manager, one typically must hold at least a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration, health information management, or a related field. Many employers also require the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) certification. As for salary outlook, the BLS reports that medical and health services managers, which include medical records managers, earn a median salary of $49,660 per year.

Nursing Home Manager

A nursing home manager is crucial in ensuring that senior residents receive quality care and support in a comfortable and safe environment. A manager oversees the facility’s day-to-day operations, including supervising staff, managing budgets, and maintaining compliance with regulations. The unique aspect of this role is the opportunity to positively impact the lives of elderly residents and their families.

To become a nursing home manager, one needs a bachelor's or master's degree in healthcare administration or a related field, and many states require licensure as a nursing home administrator. The median annual wage for medical and health services managers, including nursing home managers, is $103,040.

Patient Experience Manager

The primary responsibilities of a patient experience manager include analyzing patient feedback, working with healthcare providers to improve communication skills, and implementing strategies to enhance the overall patient experience. The emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills required to succeed are what set this profession apart. A patient experience manager should be an empathetic and compassionate listener. 
To become a patient experience manager, individuals typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration or a related field. Certification through the Patient Experience Institute is also highly recommended. The average salary for a patient experience manager is around $104,000 per year, making it a financially and emotionally rewarding career.

Mapping Your Path in Health Administration Careers

With the growing demands and complexities of the healthcare industry, the need for skilled and knowledgeable health administration professionals is more critical than ever before. Their tireless efforts are essential in navigating the ever-changing healthcare landscape and ensuring that patients receive the care they need and deserve. 
WGU provides an innovative and flexible approach to earning a degree in healthcare administration that is tailored to fit your needs. WGU's competency-based education model allows students to study at their own pace and ensures that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in this field. With access to experienced faculty and industry professionals, WGU students are empowered to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry and achieve their career aspirations.

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