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Healthcare Management: Top Jobs and Salaries

By Ashley Eneriz
June 21, 2019

You don’t have to be a doctor to have a thriving career in the healthcare industry. Healthcare management personnel are the pulse of a hospital’s or medical practice’s business. They are vital in making sure the budget is on track while acting as mediators between medical staff and board members to ensure a smooth work environment and satisfied patients.

The healthcare sector is flourishing, with 346,000 jobs created in 2018, bringing the total number of healthcare professionals to 16 million. Not only are jobs in this sector plentiful, but they are estimated to grow an additional 18 percent by 2026. These careers are popular in part due to their flexibility; there are many possible career paths for skilled professionals to pursue. Healthcare managers have the option to hold different many job titles, advance frequently in their careers, and work in a variety of settings.

Many people looking to advance their careers in healthcare in a non-medical capacity seek out a health management degree to help them get ahead. The Bachelor of Science in Health Management from Northeastern University, for example, prepares students with the skills needed to work in a variety of healthcare management careers, including account financing, health law and regulation, and intercultural communication.

Top Skills of a Healthcare Manager

Healthcare management professionals are expected to wear many hats. In many cases, they are the go-to people for their department, expected to be experts in many different subjects. As such, here are a few of the top desirable traits for healthcare managers.

  • Accounting and budgeting: Healthcare managers are responsible for forecasting costs and keeping their teams within budget. They are often also in charge of securing funding through proposal or grant writing.
  • Scheduling: These professionals manage staff, event, and meeting schedules. In a busy hospital setting, managers will need to ensure all patient medical needs are covered through their staff’s expertise—i.e. all of the pediatric nurses cannot be gone for a weekend training event at the same time.
  • Public speaking and collaboration: Since managers know the in-depth operations of their healthcare facility, they will be expected to be the point of communication for community events or meetings with board members.
  • Problem-solving: Healthcare managers encounter many issues from doctors, nurses, IT personnel, and patients, such as miscommunication between departments or lack of training in new, advanced technology. It is important for managers to investigate these problems thoroughly and think critically to determine the best path to resolution. Healthcare managers must act in the good of the hospital, rather than try to make individual staff members happy.  
  • Staff management and leadership: It is important that people under these managers trust and respect them. A good leader knows their team and individual member’s strengths and can listen and communicate effectively regardless of personality or cultural differences.

Top Healthcare Management Careers 

A degree in healthcare management opens many doors in the medical field. Degree holders can find management positions with hospitals, nonprofit organizations, doctor’s offices, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies, among others.

Read on to learn about eight of the top careers that health management graduates pursue.

1. Pharmaceutical Project Manager

Average annual salary: $147,810 

A pharmaceutical project manager oversees a company’s new product development, such as the creation of new medical equipment or medicine. They also may oversee the improvement of existing products. They assign target completion dates and minimize risks and costs at each step of the project.  

2. Chief Nursing Officer

Average annual salary: $126,630 

A chief nursing officer (CNO) is responsible for monitoring the quality of service in a healthcare facility. They act as liaisons between facility management and nursing staff, ensuring effective communication and that government and facility regulations are upheld. The BLS reports that there will be an eight percent job growth for top executives, like CNOs, by the year 2026.  

3. Health Services Manager

Average annual salary: $99,730 

Health services managers have many responsibilities, including ensuring their faculty is compliant with current health regulations and laws. A health services manager can also be in charge of recruiting and training staff and managing budgets to stay within government spending limits. Health services manager careers are growing at a faster rate than all U.S. jobs and will grow 20 percent by 2026.

4. Hospital Administrator 

Average annual salary: $96,180

A hospital administrator implements the strategy of the hospital CEO and COO  so that each department is run efficiently. They work toward ensuring the quality of patient services and maximize profits for the hospital. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that all administrative service managers are expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026.

5. Medical Records Manager 

Average annual salary: $90,642 

Being a medical records manager entails keeping a healthcare organization’s medical records within compliance. A medical records manager must keep all records accurate, complete, confidential, and secure.

6. Healthcare Consultant

Average annual salary: $76,809 

A healthcare consultant helps healthcare systems run more effectively. They conduct organizational studies and evaluations of healthcare organizations and hospitals and then design systems and procedures to help healthcare managers run their teams and departments better.

7. Clinical Manager

Average annual salary: $70,170 

A clinical manager is expected to keep all areas of care and scheduling organized and running smoothly in a healthcare setting. Clinical managers can work in a smaller organization, such as a doctor’s office or clinic, or they can be put in charge of a department in a large facility. They ensure that all needed equipment and supplies are budgeted for and purchased in order to meet treatment needs.

8. Insurance Underwriter

Average annual salary: $69,380

Insurance underwriters assess insurance applications to determine whether an individual qualifies for insurance. They determine the amount of coverage and the cost of premiums. The insurance underwriters act as the link between an insurance agent and the insurance company.

If you want to make a positive impact in the healthcare industry without picking up a scalpel, a degree may be the next step. Learn how a Bachelor of Science in Health Management from Northeastern can advance your career in the medical field. Our flexible term options allow you to earn your degree on your time, in your home.

About Ashley Eneriz
Ashley Eneriz is a contributing writer for Northeastern University.