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What is an MBA in Healthcare Administration?

With high salaries and a job growth rate of 17%, it’s not hard to see why so many people are seeking careers in the field of healthcare administration. Yet with growth comes competition and it can be tricky to set yourself apart on the job market. Earning an online MBA in healthcare administration can help! The best online schools for healthcare administration teach you the skills you need to succeed in the field while putting you on the path to getting the career you want.

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By the middle of their careers, individuals with MBAs earn around $30,000 more annually than those with bachelor’s degrees.

Getting a healthcare MBA online can drastically increase your earning potential. By the middle of their careers, individuals with MBAs earn around $30,000 more annually than those with bachelor’s degrees. Even in entry level positions, graduates earn significantly more than those without MBAs.

Comparison of Healthcare Master’s Degrees

With so many options available, choosing an online MBA in healthcare program can be difficult. Each of these graduate programs offer an online master’s with healthcare concentration, but each one emphasizes a different aspect of the field. An online MBA in healthcare administration offers a comprehensive, less specialized curriculum that teaches universal management skills.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA) Emphasizing managerial theory and practice, this professional degree provides students with the foundational knowledge they need to manage hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Coursework highlights contemporary ethical and economic issues in the healthcare field, while developing the analytical skills required for policymaking. Programs typically include hands-on learning via internships and residencies. $58,900 2 Years
Master’s in Occupational Health and Public Safety This program is designed for individuals seeking careers in public health and safety. Students gain a broad understanding of workplace health and safety laws, environmental issues, and risk analysis while developing management and leadership skills. Graduates may find employment developing public safety policies or workplace protocols. $69,000 3 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Administration Providing students with a range of broadly applicable skills, an MBA in healthcare administration can lead to a variety of career options. Coursework places a strong emphasis on finance, marketing, and the business of healthcare. While gaining an understanding of the healthcare industry, students also develop management skills that can be applied in many different settings. $49,500 1-3 years

Earning your healthcare MBA online is a great way to gain the skills and practical knowledge valued most by employers. Coursework differs from school to school, but all curricula are designed to build a solid foundation in the core concepts of health management. Take a look at the impact these courses can have on your career below.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Healthcare Operations Improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare service delivery

TITLE: Hospital Administrator

SALARY: growth of 8%

Health Information Systems Organize and store data according to federal privacy laws

TITLE: Health Information Manager

SALARY: growth of 3%

Healthcare Laws and Ethics Ensure compliance with regulation and develop departmental goals and priorities

TITLE: Health Information Manager

SALARY: growth of 3%

Graduates who have earned their healthcare administration master’s degree online find that they have a wide variety of available career options. Here are just a few of the paths they take:

Health Information Administrator Median Salary: $61,270
  • Hospitals
  • Home health agencies
  • Clinics
  • Consulting firms
  • Long-term care facilities
Health information administrators are in charge of the collection and upkeep of medical records. They maintain database security and ensure that all patient information is kept confidential.
Healthcare Director Median Salary: $100,000
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Pharmaceutical companies
A healthcare director’s responsibilities include designing and implementing programs within a facility or department, and ensuring that all operations are running smoothly.
Health Facility Administrator Median Salary: $83,342
  • Clinics
  • Long-term care facilities
Health Facility Administrators are multitasking experts who manage a facility’s personnel and finances. They sometimes act as a patient’s primary advocate, or as a liaison between patients and doctors.

If you’ve decided that an MBA in Healthcare Administration is right for you, then it is time to start narrowing down the list of schools you are interested in. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy having the ability to visit campus if they want to. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When looked at side-by-side, this information can give you an easy glimpse of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs will require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses/hospitals

    The main objective of getting your MBA in Healthcare Administration is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. To that end, attending school that is well connected with local hospitals and businesses can be a fantastic leg up upon graduation. Many of these partners will offer internships to students that can lead to full-time employment or provide the network and experience you need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess a degree from a school that is not accredited, and schools will not accept academic credentials from an unaccredited program.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    One of the best resources when it comes to making a final decision on an online MBA in Healthcare Administration program is actual students and graduates. They can give you an unbiased, real-world take on how the program has served them, what they have liked, and what they have disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumni. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

An online master’s in healthcare administration can open up new career opportunities, but some positions call for more than just a degree. Depending on state laws, licensure or certification may be required for certain jobs. While online MBA healthcare programs don’t include licensure exams, they can provide you with a solid understanding of many concepts included on the assessments. Here are some common certifications you may encounter while looking for a job in healthcare administration:

Liscense Description
Nursing Home Administrator License All 50 states require nursing home administrators to receive this license. Some additional training is necessary.
Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrator License Only some states expect licensure of residential care administrators, but many people opt to seek this certification as a resume booster.
Registered Health Information Administrator Recommended but not required, this certification is granted for those who have earned their healthcare MBA online or traditionally through approved programs.

Anyone pursuing an MBA in healthcare administration online should be aware of the many scholarships available for this area of study. Not only do scholarships help pay for tuition and other school-related expenses, they look great on resumes and show potential employers that you’re serious about your studies. Eligibility requirements can vary as much as reward amounts — while some may offer several hundred dollars, others cover an entire semester’s tuition. Scholarships you may wish to apply for include: