5 Careers with a Healthcare MBA

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Healthcare MBA Careers

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Pharmaceutical Project Manager
  • Policy Analyst or Researcher
  • Health Services Managers and Administrators
  • Medical Entrepreneurship

An MBA in healthcare opens doors to lucrative careers in four areas: providers of medical services, suppliers of equipment and pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and administration of healthcare facilities. Each area includes hundreds of job opportunities that range from hospital administration to formulating policies for governmental and health departments.

Salaries and Job Satisfaction of Healthcare Business Management

Healthcare management careers are among the highest paid, most popular and most rewarding of professions. Five very different career opportunities available to people with an MBA in Healthcare include:

1. Hospital Administrator

Hospital administrators run community hospitals, clinics, medical centers, research hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. All management occupations should grow by six percent through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the prospects for growth in medical management are better, because of the explosive growth in medical services, managed care and health technologies. A hospital administrator's duties include hiring doctors, implementing new medical procedures, public relations, developing budgets and ensuring compliance with government security requirements for handling sensitive electronic health records or EHRs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics further reports that salaries averaged $92,810 for hospital administrators in 2014 and that the highest paid administrators of major hospitals and medical centers earned more than $161,150.

2. Pharmaceutical Project Manager

Pharmaceutical project managers oversee developing new drugs, launching advertising campaigns and assembling teams to study the benefits and side effects of drug therapies. Most pharmaceutical firms hire people who have an MBA in Healthcare, strong IT skills and the ability to work with multiple stakeholders that include biochemical engineers, chemists, technicians, physicians and marketing professionals. Research shows that the median starting salary for these professionals is $85,236 but could easily top six figures, according to PayScale. Your duties might include developing promotional plans for drugs, arranging for clinical trials, conducting market-penetration studies and analyzing investments. Most project managers for pharmaceutical companies have strong science backgrounds and another degree in a scientific discipline.

3. Policy Analyst or Researcher

Policy analysts and researchers work with government agencies, insurance companies and private enterprises to test policies that guide decisions in health care and to assist in developing new programs and policies to keep pace with rapidly changing healthcare best practices and new technologies and treatments. Policy consultants often generate major changes in the way that people receive and pay for health care. Health policy analysts earn between $40,880 and $87,128 annually with geographic location as the major factor that determines salary, according to PayScale. These healthcare professionals compile and curate data from many sources to recommend health policies and design models that show the consequences of changing programs for governments, nonprofit organizations, multinational companies, community groups and political action committees.

4. Health Services Managers and Administrators

These professionals plan, manage and coordinate health services for medical practices, groups of physicians, universities, insurance companies, private companies and government agencies. These medical professionals protect people and communities with insurance coverage, education, health services, healthier lifestyles, research and new programs to prevent disease and promote better health. Combining business savvy, healthcare trends and IT knowledge, today's managers and administrators work with EHRs and EMRs to ensure regulatory compliance and plan for the increased medical services and staffs that will be needed to care for baby boomers who live longer lifespans. An MBA, though not essential for all manager positions, greatly improves any student's prospects of finding desirable employment in the field.

5. Medical Entrepreneurship

Medical technologies are among the fastest growing and most lucrative industries, and getting an MBA in health care could qualify you to start or lead a medical technology company or a university-based program that manufactures equipment or develops new treatments using the latest biologic technologies such as those that create drugs from living cells. Companies are racing to develop biologics in one of the biggest trends in pharmaceuticals. This kind of medical entrepreneurship has been credited with decreasing prostate cancer deaths by 25 percent and accelerating research to find other cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, cancers, HIV/AIDS and many other medical conditions according to Harvard Business Review.

Related Resource: Top 10 Most Affordable AACSB Online MBA Programs

Your Master's of Business Administration in Healthcare degree opens a range of careers and workplace settings where you can oversee financial matters, cutting-edge research, policymaking, legal compliance, technology, human resources and public relations.