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Top 5 Reasons to Get a Healthcare Management Degree

At a glance

  • Healthcare management oversees the daily operations of healthcare facilities and manages employees.
  • The average salary range for healthcare managers is around $59,000 to $195,000, according to May 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Job growth is projected to be 32% for medical and health services managers between 2020-2030.
  • University of Phoenix offers a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management degree that can provide the skills for this exciting career!

Working in the healthcare industry can be both impactful and rewarding. If you know you have an interest in helping people, a healthcare job may be ideal. Moreover, having a degree is often preferred by employers and could even help when it comes to getting hired.

Not all people who feel called to healthcare want to pursue a physician or nursing career. If you're on the road to becoming a health professional but don't want to work directly with patient medical needs, healthcare management jobs are available.

In healthcare management, managers oversee the daily operations of healthcare facilities and manage employees. They ensure that workers have the tools and resources to provide quality care to patients.

You should consider several factors when deciding if healthcare management is the right field for you, and we explore them below.

Should you become a healthcare manager?

If you have a knack for problem-solving and enjoy helping others while working in a fast-paced environment, healthcare might be for you. Moreover, many benefits accompany a management role.

Healthcare manager salary range

Management salaries vary depending on the sector and healthcare facility. However, the pay for healthcare managers is relatively high, ranging from around $59,000 to upward of $195,000, according to May 2020 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

Plenty of job opportunities

Another advantage of earning a degree in healthcare management is that it will help graduates pursue opportunities in an ever-growing job market.

Opportunity for healthcare management employment is presently wide. According to BLS, jobs for medical and health services managers are projected to increase by 32% between 2020-2030, making this an ideal profession to pursue right now and into the future.

Varied work settings

Many healthcare managers work in hospitals, but other management opportunities exist. Candidates may find opportunities in all sorts of healthcare environments, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practices
  • Campus health centers

Additionally, healthcare managers work in both rural and metropolitan areas.

Sense of purpose

As a healthcare manager, you will likely be a significant part of health care provisioning and ensuring healthcare facilities have the tools they need to operate properly.

You'll also be able to give back to your community by ensuring that those who need health care most get the care they require. Although healthcare managers are not directly involved in patient treatment, they do impact patients' lives in various ways. They continuously strive to enhance the quality of healthcare delivery systems in a hospital or medical facility and support innovative medical outreach initiatives.

Leadership opportunities

Healthcare facilities look for management professionals who can lead teams.

Moreover, BLS notes that a career in healthcare management may provide candidates opportunities to pursue positions with higher responsibilities within the industry. For example, some health managers with the right experience, education and licenses may become responsible for overseeing an entire hospital’s information systems. Of course, this depends on the organization and performance of the employee.

After an employee develops experience as a manager, they may be able to inspire change, lead growth, implement best practices and boost productivity. In addition, said employees could eventually take on the responsibilities of recruiting and hiring top talent and other big-picture organizational initiatives.

To summarize, here are five great reasons to get a healthcare management degree:

1.    The annual salary range for a healthcare manager is between $59,980 and $195,630, according to BLS data.

2.    Positions in healthcare management are projected to grow by 32% through 2030, according to BLS data.

3.    Various work settings are available.

4.    Work in the healthcare field is a way to give back to your community.

5.    There’s room to grow through abundant leadership opportunities.

Healthcare management vs. healthcare administration

Disadvantages of being a healthcare manager

Though healthcare management is a rewarding profession, it’s not without disadvantages.

Long hours

First and foremost, healthcare management involves long working hours that may be difficult for some individuals to keep up with. In addition, it may be necessary to be on call at night and on weekends to respond to emergencies.

Challenging industry

Healthcare facilities are an extremely demanding industry to work in. Healthcare management experts must deal with stress and pressure from their work. 

The rising cost of health care, staff shortages and urgent equipment demands can keep a healthcare manager up at night. Managers are under a lot of strain to keep expenses in check while maintaining patient safety and employee morale.

Potentially stressful work environment

Even when healthcare facilities are not experiencing life-threatening situations, managers may need to address daily stressful situations.

Whether it's coping with an uncooperative staff member or ensuring healthcare regulation compliance, managers must always be in control of their emotions.

Healthcare managers may face several stressors, including:

  • Organizational pressure
  • Budget cuts
  • Industry changes
  • Financial concerns
  • Unpredictable healthcare environment

Although healthcare managers may encounter difficult work situations, maintaining positive mental health is essential.

A few ways to boost your mental health after (and before!) you become a  healthcare manager are:

  • Sleep: Health experts recommend adults sleep seven to nine hours a night. Though healthcare managers might not have an option to rest as much as they want, it's essential to do what you can.
  • Eat well: Eating well ensures you get the proper nutrients and vitamins you need for a healthy mind and body. Additionally, a well-balanced diet helps you think clearly, stay alert and improve overall concentration.
  • Regular physical activity is essential: Exercising reduces stress and tension and gives you a meaningful break from work tasks.
  • Delegate: Ask for help or delegate healthcare management tasks that don't require personal involvement.
  • Practice gratitude and forgiveness: Appreciating what you have can improve your mood and perspective on life. Also, forgiving yourself and others for errors might help you feel calmer and relieve stress.
  • Socialize: The greatest happiness comes from being connected with others. Emotions are fueled and sustained by being around family, friends and co-workers.
  • Seek support: Many healthcare managers experience anxiety caused by feeling helpless or isolated. Reach out to people who can support your emotional well-being and offer advice.

Healthcare management may be very mentally and physically stressful and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

How to become a healthcare manager

It takes dedication and continuous learning to pursue a healthcare administration career. Different facilities offer various programs, so you want to figure out which institution will best prepare you for the future you want.

While some hiring managers may prefer graduates have a bachelor's degree, a Master of Health Administration/Master of Business Administration degree may provide students flexibility in their career options.

Earn a degree in business or health administration

There are many educational opportunities available to help you on your way to becoming a healthcare manager. 

Graduates wanting to become healthcare managers may earn degrees in a range of disciplines, including:

To apply to programs like these, talk to an academic counselor to learn more about the application process and which program is best suited for you.

Gain experience

Regardless of the job you're aiming for, experience is crucial. There are several ways to gain healthcare experience to work toward your goal. You might start in a hospital or clinic billing department or as a healthcare recruiter. Other avenues may include:

  • Volunteering at a healthcare facility
  • Completing an internship or fellowship program
  • Working as a healthcare aide or in a healthcare administrative assistant position

To stand out to hiring managers, you'll need to demonstrate expertise. One of the best ways of doing so is by earning certificates. Regardless of your level of expertise, obtaining additional specialized healthcare certificates can help you pursue opportunities in healthcare.

12 common healthcare interview questions and how to answer them

Must-have skills for healthcare management

It takes a particular skill set to work in healthcare management. The following are some valuable skills:

  • Communication: Effective healthcare managers are masters at communication. This means not only being an effective speaker but also a good listener.
  • Critical thinking: When healthcare managers solve problems, they need to be creative and methodical.
  • Organization and time management: Healthcare managers need to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize their workload accordingly.
  • People: Healthcare managers work with healthcare professionals, administrators and patients daily, building strong relationships.
  • Problem-solving: Managers need to be able to identify healthcare needs and offer solutions.
  • Budgeting: Managing healthcare budgets requires you to be familiar with healthcare economics.
  • Leadership: Professionals may be asked to help find solutions to business or staffing problems, so having leadership skills can be beneficial.
  • Healthcare environment: Working in different environments requires a different set of skills.
  • Professionalism: Healthcare managers should be able to effectively lead a team, make decisions and communicate with leadership, patients and patients’ families.
  • Business skills: These can be useful skills for the business side of healthcare and can include budgeting, accounting, supply chain management, finance and economics.

If you want to improve or master these abilities, start by performing simple activities to get yourself into the habit of communicating more effectively. Consider taking another class on budgeting or even taking on an internship where you'll be able to practice in a real healthcare environment.

Tips for choosing the right career

Choosing a career can be a complex process, especially when you’re considering healthcare. But if you weigh the options carefully, you can make an informed decision. Take a moment to reflect on what you value most in a job. If you're unsure, think about your skills and what career path would use them best.

If in doubt, here are a few tips for choosing a college program to help meet your career goals:

  • Choose a goal-oriented program: Choose a program that’s designed to help you achieve your goals — a path that will provide you with the education and skills best suited to achieving them.
  • Use assessment tools: For those who are still unsure about their field of study, try assessment tools to determine talents and interests.
  • Research potential career paths: Think about your long-term goals and what kind of roles you want to play in the future. From there, look for a program that will help you reach those goals.
  • Be flexible: Goals can shift over time, and it's not unusual for objectives to change. As you get further along in your education, you may discover that your goals evolve.

Ultimately, it's important to choose a career you feel passionate about and aligns with your interests.

Want to learn more about health management at University of Phoenix? Click here for more info!