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Part of Western Governors University

Master of Healthcare Administration at WGU

Are You Looking to Get a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration?

If you’ve chosen WGU as your preferred online university, but your area of focus is healthcare administration, you’ve probably noticed we don’t currently offer a master’s degree in healthcare administration. But we have some good news for you: You can get all the skills, credentials, and educational foundation you need with health-based degree programs, such as a Master of Health Leadership or a Master of Business Administration–Healthcare Management. The healthcare degrees offered by WGU are crafted to help you gain the knowledge you need to prepare for a job in healthcare administration and become a leader in your field. Learn more about the healthcare degree programs at WGU and how they can help you achieve your goal of becoming a healthcare administrator.

Pathways to a Career in Healthcare Administration.

It’s estimated that 300,000 people work in healthcare administrator roles across the U.S., ranging from middle management up to CEO positions. But to succeed as a healthcare administrator, you need more than just industry knowledge. Healthcare administrators also need to have strong business skills, leadership qualities, management capabilities, and more. Because so many different skill sets are needed to be a successful healthcare administrator, WGU’s degree programs can give you the background you need to pursue this rewarding and lucrative career.


Master of Health Leadership

A master’s degree in health leadership is excellent preparation if you want to move into health administration. Each of the themes, areas of study, and courses are crafted around the concept of value-based care, balancing informative lessons surrounding the industry and how it works with business knowledge, including risk management, information technology, financial management, integrated health leadership, and more.

This degree program is also designed to blend the business side of the industry with a more ethical approach to healthcare, while still maintaining professionalism and strong leadership qualities. Not only is this information important in healthcare administration roles, but this depth of knowledge can help you move up the professional ladder quickly.

Career options in health administration for those with a health leadership degree include:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Clinic Manager
  • Department or Division Director
  • Department or Division Manager/Supervisor

 

MBA—Healthcare Management

If your goal is to work in the upper management levels of healthcare administration, an MBA in healthcare management will give you the educational background you need. With a stronger focus in business, this degree program can give you important insights that will be crucial for some higher-level positions—especially if you already have a background in healthcare. And as the healthcare industry continues to change with new regulatory requirements, standards, and expectations, the skills taught in this program will prepare you to become an effective leader that can help navigate these changes.

In addition to preparing you with a background in business and strengthening your leadership skills, your MBA will also address how you may be influencing decisions in healthcare and changing the future of the industry. Some of the courses include subject matter such as operations management, data-driven decision-making, global economics, marketing, ethical leadership, and more.

Career options in health administration for those with a healthcare management degree include:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Administrative Director
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Policy Analyst

 

Whether you’re a healthcare professional looking to take the next step in your career or you’re new to the world of healthcare but your passion is encouraging you to go for gold, getting a master’s degree in a healthcare program is the best way to stand out in a crowded job market. A master’s degree in this field can signal to higher-ups that you’re ready to take the next step in your career and infuse you with the knowledge you need to be a strong manager and effective leader. Similarly, a healthcare-based master’s degree program can effectively prepare you for your first healthcare administrator role, while helping you plan and prepare for the future as you gain the confidence to apply for more senior roles.

A young therapist speaks with a colleague.

$99,000

is the average annual salary for healthcare administrators.

Careers in Healthcare Administration

A man in a suit talks to a group of doctors.

A career in healthcare administration can be as rewarding as it is challenging and offers a ton of opportunities for professional growth. To ensure you’re set up for success, a degree in a health-based program can give you valuable skills and important credentials that can grab the attention of hiring managers everywhere. At WGU, there are two degree options for healthcare administration careers: Master of  Health Leadership and MBA in Healthcare Management. An MBA can give you a strong background in business, while an MHL can give you the management and healthcare focus that you may need for your role of choice.

Once you’ve obtained your degree, you can pursue any number of different career paths in healthcare administration. Many offer salaries that are above the national average, but having a health-based degree can help you in securing a role at the higher end of the salary scale. Learn more about the variety of roles you can choose from once you’ve completed your health degree program.

What does a hospital CEO do?

A hospital CEO is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the facility they work for. Internally, they're the key leader for staff and in charge of upholding the hospital's mission, policies, and vision. They also manage the hospital's finances and compliance. Externally, they're tasked with ensuring patient safety and satisfaction, while promoting healthcare quality and supporting the community.

What does a chief administrator do?

Chief administrators in the medical field are often tasked with managing and organizing the facility's health services, including managing operations, helping with strategic planning, creating policies, and ensuring the hospital is delivering exceptional patient care.

What does a home health agency president do?

Being the president of a home health agency means developing the programs and operations for home health care, which includes establishing and implementing patient care standards, developing a variety of care programs, and maintaining operations and financial goals.

 

What does an ambulatory services executive do?

In this senior management role, ambulatory services executives coordinate outpatient care. This includes securing the strongest financial, operational, and clinical care to give patients top-notch support as they heal. They may liaise with departments such as urgent care, surgical care, nursing personnel, and more.

What does a behavioral health director do?

Being a behavioral health director means directing and supervising staff in relation to mental health and drug and alcohol services. In addition to representing activities and services associated with the department, people in this role also organize, direct, and manage facility programs and community outreach.

What does a clinical director do?

Clinical directors oversee and develop clinical departments for a health or medical facility or organization, creating opportunities for growth both internally and externally. They hire and train staff and interns, manage scheduling, and monitor facility operations to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Two business women wearing masks point at a laptop.

32%

career growth is expected by 2029 in medical and health services manager positions.

Why choose WGU?

When considering your options for a healthcare administration degree, know that choosing WGU for a master’s in healthcare management or health leadership can offer more freedom and support to help you reach your educational goals. For example:

  • We have low, flat-rate tuition that charges you the same amount per six-month term, no matter how many classes you take.
  • We offer competency-based education that allows you to accelerate your learning and graduate faster if you choose (which can also save you money!).
  • We help you cover your tuition fees by sharing scholarships and financial aid, so our already-affordable tuition becomes even more affordable—and accessible.
  • We offer health-based degree programs that are career-focused to give you meaningful skills that will directly translate to your post-graduation career.

 

They're Prepared

95% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

96% said they would hire another WGU graduate

96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers

Which Degree Should You Choose?

Any of the healthcare-focused bachelor's degrees at WGU can prepare you for a future career advocating for patients and making a difference in the lives of others. These degrees are a great alternative to a Master of Healthcare Administration degree program and can make sure you have training and credentials that will help you succeed in your career.

Master of Health Leadership

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive,...

A master's focused on managing comprehensive, value-based care, directly in line with innovations in health and healthcare.

  • Time: 78% of grads finish within 18-24 months. 
  • Tuition and fees: $4,485 per 6-month term.

Examples of careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Managed care executive
  • Director of integrated care management
  • Health center manager/clinic manager
  • Director of integrated facilities

Your rich experience in a health-related field can mean more when you bring a master's level of understanding to the problems that organizations need to solve.

Compare degrees
This program is not the only degree WGU offers designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

MBA Healthcare Management

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare...

Prepare for a career leading private or public...

Prepare for a career leading private or public healthcare organizations.

  • Time: 72% of graduates finish within 24 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $4,325 per 6-month term.

Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • President and CEO
  • Vice president
  • Administrative director
  • Chief financial officer
  • Other executive-level roles

Healthcare is big business in today's complex economy.  Steer your career with this specialty MBA.

Compare online business degrees

This program is not the only online business degree WGU offers that is designed to create leaders in the field of healthcare. Compare our health leadership degrees by clicking the button below.

Compare Similar Degrees

Frequently Asked Questions about Healthcare Administration Degrees

An MBA can give you a solid foundation in general business practices, which can be applied to any role in the healthcare sector. An MHA may give you more background in healthcare, such as policy and procedures, but you can also gain this knowledge in other degree programs such as a master’s in health leadership or healthcare management.

Healthcare managers can expect an average annual salary of $65,000 per year once they’ve attained 10 to 20 years of seniority, while healthcare administrators start at an annual salary of $49,000 and advance to an annual salary of $64,000 once they’ve gained 5 to 10 years of experience.

The best master’s degree to get in healthcare depends on which area of the healthcare industry you wish to work in. Getting a master’s in health leadership can prepare you for upper management administration roles, while a master’s in healthcare management can support a variety of different roles within the healthcare administration sphere.

Hospital administration roles require at least a bachelor’s degree from a health-based program, but getting a master’s degree in a program such as health leadership or healthcare management can help you stand out to hiring managers.