Should You Pursue a Career in Healthcare Management?

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You probably know by now that the healthcare industry is pretty much the fastest growing in the nation. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in the next decade, one out of every five new jobs will be in healthcare. It’s also quite a wide-ranging category, with jobs at every level of salary and experience and for every different kind of care. In a single hospital alone, you find a staff of people with varying skills and specialties, performing many different kinds of jobs. It might surprise you that one of the fastest-growing areas of healthcare is in administration and management. With all the many qualifications of applicants in a competitive job market, it’s actually harder for hospitals, private health care agencies, and other healthcare companies to find strong candidates to be the boss. Do you have what it takes to be one of them?

1. You Have Strong Business Skills

When you think about healthcare careers, most people envision doctors and nurses providing care using their extensive knowledge of medicine. But hospitals and healthcare facilities are businesses. They keep records, promote services, bill patients and insurance companies, and manage their expenses. Managers and administrators who understand how to run a business are an incredibly valuable part of the health industry. Healthcare managers and administrators also delegate staff, negotiate contracts, and oversee finances. If you want to work in healthcare but your strengths lie more behind the scenes, you could be very successful.

2. You Want Flexibility

Not only do healthcare administrators work on a wide variety of tasks; they can also be employed in a variety of environments and settings. Qualified professionals can work at mental health facilities, nursing homes, public clinics or health departments, rehabilitation facilities, private practices, and more. They’re all essentially run the same way – the difference being mainly in the size of the staff and the facility. That means a greater availability of jobs you are qualified for and a greater chance of working in a location you really enjoy.

3. You Want a High Salary

The top ten percent of healthcare managers and administrators make around $70 per hour. That’s over $140,000 a year. While you might not start out at the top, having a job with a specific skillset and an unprecedented demand means your chances of getting there are excellent. Even entry level administration positions can pay much more than a comparable position in another area of healthcare – the median salary is still $90,000. Accountants and administrative assistants in hospitals can work their way up to being CEOs in a decade or less, depending on the level of education and ability you bring to the table.

Healthcare management is a great option for those workers who want to take advantage of the enormous growth in the healthcare industry but aren’t interested in becoming doctors and nurses. When you work behind the scenes keeping a medical facility running, you are providing an irreplaceable service to patients without having to put the bandages on them yourself. While an understanding of the medical profession is a must, an understanding of how to supervise workers and run a business is even more important. If that’s the niche you want, the benefits are many.

Natanya Pulley is a full-time writer for higher education blogs and journals nationwide. Several schools offer degrees in the health field, including University of Southern California and Berkeley University

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