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Career Paths with a Master of Healthcare Management

Image: Career Paths with a Master of Healthcare Management

One sign of fertile ground for job potential is a field offering a wide variety of opportunity. Career paths with a master of healthcare management degree are so varied it can be challenging deciding which to follow. A graduate degree in particular can open doors to mid- and upper-level management positions.

Healthcare Management Jobs

The job outlook for medical and health services managers shows opportunities to be growing much faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which predicts that the number of jobs will grow by 23 percent through 2022. According to the BLS, healthcare managers plan, direct and coordinate medical and health services. No matter where they work, some tasks are common to any healthcare manager. For example, you might be responsible for:

  • storing and protecting the privacy of records and documentation
  • knowledge of everything related to finances
  • maintaining staff schedules
  • physical operation of the facility
  • knowing appropriate laws and regulations
  • serving as a spokesperson

Where Healthcare Managers Can Work

Many thousands of healthcare providers deliver every imaginable medical service, and every one of them must be managed by somebody. Provider managers share similarities but also have their own unique way of approaching the management role. So what are some of the locations where healthcare managers can work?

  • Hospitals: Not surprisingly, these are the top employer of healthcare managers, at 39%, per the BLS. While entry-level managers may lead individual departments, with a master's degree you may supervise managers as a facility director.
  • Outpatient ambulatory care: Clinics specializing in arenas ranging from diagnostic imaging to cancer care centers and everything in between hire 26 percent of managers, second to hospitals.
  • Skilled nursing facilities: According to the BLS, 11 percent of managers are hired by nursing facilities.
  • Physician offices: Some doctors choose to manage their own practices, but healthcare managers direct most.
  • Urgent care clinics: Managers looking for fast-paced work may gravitate toward ERs and urgent care.
  • Mental health services: This option may appeal to managers looking for challenges and who can achieve more with less.
  • Home health agencies: Delivering healthcare to patients at home likely will become an increasingly important alternative to hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Medical laboratories: Perpetually needed labs need skilled managers.

Healthcare Management beyond Clinical Care

For those who want to work as a manager in the healthcare industry but in a less clinical setting, career paths with a master of healthcare management degree branch into these possibilities as well:

  • Government: Governments at all levels hire healthcare managers. County health departments, state health institutions or the U.S. Armed Forces are just a few examples.
  • Research: Many of the miracles of modern medicine occur quietly in research labs across the country.
  • Education: Healthcare managers, especially those with a master's degree, can both manage or teach prospective managers.
  • Consulting: Facilities of all kinds often need the advice of healthcare managers.
  • Support providers: From durable medical equipment to medical transportation services, many healthcare manager jobs are on the periphery of healthcare.

Baby boomers with higher rates of chronic diseases will bring massive demand for healthcare services. What new directions for a healthcare management degree will emerge is unpredictable. You may follow a path already made or perhaps blaze a new one.

Interested in learning more about opportunities in healthcare management? Download our Healthcare Management Career Outlook Guide.

Career success will depend largely on the effort put into studies, job search efforts, experience and attitude.