A bachelor’s degree in health care management can open a number of doors in the field. Careers in health care management can be found in clinics, hospitals, physician practices and many other health care organizations, as well as insurance companies and government agencies. Salaries vary by work setting, organization size and the individual’s position.
The Health Care System
Although some health care systems require a master’s degree in health care management, opportunities also exist for those with a bachelor’s degree. The American College of Healthcare Executives reports that as of 2013, salaries ranged from a median annual base salary of $186,000 for a top support services executive to $950,000 for healthcare system presidents and CEOs. The higher salary, however, was for organizations with net revenues greater than or equal to $1 billion annually, so the positions would probably require a graduate degree. In smaller organizations where a bachelor's degree would be acceptable, salaries for the president/CEO position averaged $633,000.
In freestanding hospitals with annual revenues of less than $250 million, a president and CEO earned a median salary of $396,000 a year in 2013, according to the ACHE. In system-owned hospitals, that salary dropped to $290,000. A chief nursing officer earned a median $171,000 while a chief information officer earned $163,000. The top human resources executives earned a median of $151,000. Top ambulatory services executives earned a median $179,000, while top legal services executives earned $193,000. Explore Health Careers, which uses the term healthcare administrator, reports the average salary ranged from $40,000 to $110,000 in 2014.
Medical and Health Services
Medical and health services managers include physician practice executives, nursing home administrators, clinical managers, health information managers and assistant administrators, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some -- such as registered nurses -- might have a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in health care management. Others might have only the health care management degree. The BLS reports the average salary for this group of managers was $101,340 a year in 2013, with a range of $55,470 a year or less to $155,130 or more.
Location and Other Matters
Work setting or industry, as well as location, affected salaries for medical and health services managers in 2013, according to the BLS. Most worked in general medical and surgical hospitals, where the average annual salary was $108,210. Those in physicians’ offices averaged $99,850 a year and those in nursing care facilities averaged $83,340. Outpatient care centers paid $97,920. Idaho was the lowest-paying state, with an average annual salary of $75,110. California and the District of Columbia took top-pay honors, with average salaries of $118,040 and $123,120, respectively.
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