Healthcare Management

Some careers are dependent on a thriving economy. Demand for financial planners, economists and even some manufacturing jobs can ebb and flow depending on the condition of the global economy.

One career field that isn’t subject to the whims of the economy is that of healthcare. Qualified medical professionals and treatment facilities always are in demand.
Properly trained medical personnel and top-notch facilities are only a piece of the healthcare puzzle. Even the best doctors in the world can fail in pleasing patients if the overall experience of those patients is not positive. That’s why every good medical practice and healthcare facility in the healthcare industry understands the value of having a healthcare manager on staff. 

Healthcare managers are charged with keeping a facility operating efficiently, while also maintaining a level of happiness among staff and patients.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 303,000 jobs in the healthcare industry as of 2010 were held by healthcare managers. Thirty-nine percent of those employed in the position worked for state, local or private hospitals, while another 9 percent worked for physicians’ offices. Another 7 percent worked for nursing homes and elder-care facilities, 6 percent worked for home healthcare agencies and services and the final 5 percent were employed through outpatient treatment/care centers.

Education Requirements

Due to the fact that this is a management-focused career, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree will be required to work in the industry. A number of schools offer both online and traditional classroom programs for healthcare management.

Bachelor degree programs will take four years to complete and focus on the basics of healthcare management. A concentration of study in the following areas also should be included in any quality undergraduate degree program in healthcare management: business management, accounting, computer/technology skills, marketing/public relations, communications and employee management.

Master degree programs in healthcare management can take an additional two years beyond a bachelor’s degree to complete. Graduate-level programs focus mainly on the financial and management aspects of the job.

Doctorate degree programs in healthcare management also are available through a variety of reputable schools. However, they are not required in order to work in the industry. Candidates who wish to teach at the college level, or who wish to focus on the research and development arm of healthcare management, will require an advanced degree such as this in order to pursue their career choice.

Future Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for qualified professionals in all healthcare sectors will increase by 22 percent between now and 2020. The growth rate is faster than average in comparison with other business and industry being tracked for the same time period.

The average annual salary for healthcare managers ranges between $84,000 and $145,000.

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