Job Growth Opportunities in HealthcareJob Growth Opportunities in HealthcareJob Growth Opportunities in Healthcare

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment in healthcare occupations to grow 16% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than the expected growth of the labor market as a whole. Approximately 2.6 million jobs in the sector, including positions for healthcare administrators, hospital CEOs, and nurse managers, are likely to become available during that period, with growth largely driven by increased demand for services by the aging U.S. population.

Individuals interested in pursuing growth opportunities in their healthcare careers may find that completing an advanced degree, such as an online Master of Health Administration (MHA), can prepare them with the in-demand skills needed to stand out when applying for high-level jobs in this ever-changing field.

A hospital administrator meets with medical staff around a conference table.

How to Advance Your Healthcare Career

Aspiring healthcare leaders should begin by following these steps to develop the foundational knowledge and specialized training needed to further their professional goals.

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Students interested in healthcare leadership positions must complete a bachelor’s degree in a related field. For example, whereas aspiring chief nursing officers should complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, students interested in working as a hospital CEO or healthcare finance director may find that a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management aligns better with their long-term goals
  • Gain relevant experience. Upon completing a bachelor’s degree, graduates should begin to gain work experience in their desired field. Many healthcare facilities throughout the U.S. seek qualified applicants to fill a variety of entry-level positions in finance and healthcare administration, for example.
  • Develop a professional network. Building a professional network can help aspiring healthcare leaders gain contacts who can help them navigate their careers. Industry events, such as conferences and luncheons, and networking websites, such as LinkedIn, can help workers expand their networks.
  • Complete an advanced education. Most healthcare leadership positions require applicants to hold a graduate degree in a related field, such as a Master of Health Administration. An MHA curriculum, which often includes courses such as Healthcare Operations, Healthcare Financial Management, and Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement, helps prepare graduates to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the healthcare field. Students should also consider whether an MHA vs. MPH degree aligns best with their desired career paths.

Skills Needed to Pursue Job Growth Opportunities in Healthcare

Future healthcare leaders will be well-served by developing a variety of skills that are relevant to the position they’re interested in pursuing. In addition to working alongside other managers and stakeholders, such as the board of directors, professionals in this field must also be comfortable leading departments and teams.

  • Communication: Professionals with strong communication skills effectively relay messages to senior- and lower-level staff. Verbal and nonverbal communication skills are essential.
  • Attention to Detail: Attention to detail is imperative in healthcare settings, whether an individual is balancing budgets, managing inventory, or ensuring the correct administration of medications.
  • Organization: Healthcare managers often have busy schedules. Professionals with advanced organizational skills know how to manage their time and resources effectively.
  • Leadership: Leadership skills help healthcare professionals establish trust with the people they work with. Strong leadership skills are also crucial when developing staff and motivating a team.
  • Decision-Making Skills: Professionals with strong decision-making skills can step back from a situation to evaluate how various decisions may impact operations. Decision-making skills are crucial in helping individuals analyze, evaluate, and consider possible outcomes.

Common Job Settings and Work Environments for Healthcare Managers and Leaders

Healthcare managers may work in larger facilities, such as private hospitals and assisted living centers, or in smaller ones, such as outpatient clinics and private practices. They may also work for county or federal hospitals or for home health service providers.

Work environments can vary widely based on factors such as position and institution. For example, whereas finance directors may work Monday through Friday during standard business hours, nurse managers may need to work night, weekend, holiday, and on-call shifts.

Additionally, whereas some high-level professionals, such as hospital CEOs and administrators, may need to travel to attend meetings or conferences at teaching hospitals or convention centers, among other settings, nurse managers and finance directors may not be required to attend off-site events.

Sample Advanced Healthcare Career Paths

Students who have completed an advanced education in healthcare leadership, such as an online Master of Healthcare Administration program, can be well-prepared to pursue a variety of positions. Some examples include the following, which may also require additional licensure or certification.

  • Hospital Administrator: Hospital administrators oversee a facility’s day-to-day operations. The median annual salary for hospital administrators was approximately $88,000 as of June 2022, according to Payscale. Students interested in pursuing this career are likely to find that an MHA, or similar degree, can improve job prospects and earning potential.
  • Nurse Manager: Nurse managers are licensed RNs who oversee and supervise nursing staff in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and hospice centers, among other settings. The median annual salary for nurse managers was about $89,000, according to June 2022 Payscale data.
  • Chief Nursing Officer: Chief nursing officers (CNOs) are C-level executives who report directly to CEOs. Like nurse managers, CNOs must hold a valid nursing license. Payscale reports that as of June 2022, the median annual salary for CNOs was approximately $134,000.
  • Hospital CEO: Hospital CEOs oversee all operations for a facility. In addition to managing and working to improve fiscal performance, they ensure the effective management of various departments. The median base salary for hospital CEOs was about $154,000 per year as of June 2022, according to Payscale. Many institutions prefer candidates who have an advanced education, such as an MHA.
  • Healthcare Finance Director: Healthcare finance directors oversee and supervise an organization’s fiscal health. They review employee compensation, budgets, and financial reporting, among other related tasks. Although professionals in this field are not required to hold specialized certifications, applicants with an advanced degree in a related field are likely to have the best job prospects. The median annual salary for finance directors, including healthcare finance directors, was approximately $116,000 as of June 2022, according to Payscale.

Advance Your Education to Pursue Job Growth Opportunities in Healthcare

The number of jobs in the healthcare sector is increasing rapidly. Students interested in pursuing advanced and managerial positions should develop the in-demand skills they’ll need to move toward their career goals.

Are you ready to take the first brave step toward becoming a well-rounded, decisive leader? Discover how an online Master of Health Administration from Maryville University can help prepare you to pursue high-level positions in this exciting field.

Recommended Reading

5 Important Regulations in United States Healthcare

Skills Every Health Administrator Should Have

Administering Effective Leadership: MHA vs. MBA


Payscale Average Chief Nursing Officer Salary

Payscale, Average Finance Director Salary

Payscale, Average Hospital Administrator Salary

Payscale, Average Nursing Manager Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Chief Executives

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020, Medical and Health Services Managers

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