The path to the position of healthcare manager is varied depending on what kind of healthcare management you decide to pursue. Potential career paths include
healthcare office management, nursing management and administration, health information management, hospital and clinic management and administration,
healthcare financial management, health services administration, and the
healthcare executive.

This guide will introduce you to the most common ways to enter the industry. Education and experience are vital, so online programs may be a great way to advance yourself while gaining real-world experience after having earned your undergraduate degree. Below you will find a breakdown of the industry, from information on the healthcare management profession, to explanations of the various types of management positions in the industry, education and experience requirements for the most commonly sought positions and suggestions as to the best of various graduate programs, which are commonly necessary to advancement in the field.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Summary
Villanova Breakdown of the Profession
Forbes: Healthcare Management Masters Among Best for Jobs
The Princeton Review: A Day in the Life of a Healthcare Administrator
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Due to a few factors, namely the aging and retirement of the baby boomer generation and the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare industry is growing by leaps and bounds. The Bureau of Labor Statistics places the job outlook for healthcare managers at a growth rate of 20% from 2010-2020. The median salary for the profession is $84,000 per year. Forbes considers the master’s in healthcare management to be one of the most promising degree programs available for those concerned with employability. Overall, the profession is promising for up-and-coming candidates and is a good choice if you are seeking stability and strong earning potential in the long run.
Nurse Manager and Nurse Administrator
Healthcare Accounting and Financial Management
Medical and Health Services Manager
Health Information Manager
Physician Executive
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There is a wide range of roles for healthcare managers, each with a unique track one must ride to become that particular kind of manager.

Nurse managers must be nurses and have many years of experience or a bachelor’s degree and in most cases both.

Healthcare accounting and financial managers must have a bachelor’s in accounting or finance and five years’ experience in the field, along with other certification requirements that are state-dependent.

Medical and health services managers often begin their career after earning a bachelor’s in healthcare management.

Entry-level jobs are readily available, and advancement in the career is dependent on many factors, including continuing education, experience and job performance.

Physician executives are physicians who often late in their career make the jump into administration, and they are often found managing entire hospitals.
Nurse Manager: Bachelor’s Degree, Nursing Degree
Healthcare Financial Manager: Bachelor Minimum, Five Years Experience Minimum in the Field
Medical and Health Services Management: Bachelor Entry Level, Experience/Masters Mid Level, 20+ Years Experience Top Level
Health Information Administrator: Bachelor’s Degree
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This section breaks down the experience and job requirements for the major types of healthcare management professionals.
These requirements are general
approximations and will vary according to the standards of each individual institution.
Some require certifications in addition to a degree, and most require five or more years’ experience in the field before advancement beyond entry level.
University of Michigan Flint
Clarkson College
Graceland University
Loyola University New Orleans
Duquesne University
SUNY-Stony Brook
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Nurses often choose to pursue administrative graduate degrees in order to reach the administrative levels of their field.

This is often accomplished by earning a management-oriented degree, while having associate and bachelor’s training in nursing. These are some of the top online programs for nurses seeking to increase their education and thereby increase advancement opportunities for their career.
Ferris State University
University of Minnesota Twin Cities (hybrid)
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
University of Massachusetts
Northeastern University
Quinnipiac University
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Healthcare management graduate degrees are often offered by the business school of a university and take a few forms.

The two most common types of degrees are an MBA in Healthcare Management, and a Master of Health Administration.

Both of these degrees are invaluable assets to those seeking to master the skills that will allow them to advance quickly in their career.
University of Michigan Ann-Arbor
University of Pennsylvania
University of Alabama Birmingham
Virginia Commonwealth University
Northwestern University
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These are the top universities offering traditional degree programs in healthcare management.

One important thing to note is that three of the five top programs are offered at state universities, which are often much more affordable and accessible than private universities.
In particular, Virginia Commonwealth University is attached to the top ranked hospital in the state, a perfect place to find placements, internships and jobs while earning your degree locally.
American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management
Health Care Administrators Association
American College of Healthcare Executives
Healthcare Financial Management Association
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These are the primary professional associations for healthcare management professionals.
These organizations provide invaluable professional development resources, networking opportunities and advocacy for healthcare management professionals.
Many of these organizations have student memberships available, so you can start taking advantage of their resources and networking while still earning your degree.
Formal education is a fundamental requirement for virtually all leadership positions in healthcare. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required in most fields, the only exception being nursing, where on occasion copious experience in the field may allow a nurse to work themselves into a leadership position without additional academic education. Even for nurses though, attaining a bachelor’s degree or higher helps speed career advancement.

The other important requirement of leadership positions in healthcare is experience. This is very much a long career through which you can rise in the ranks of administration and management. In healthcare, administration is extremely important, and lives depend on efficient, competent managers. The best way to prove your abilities to superiors is by demonstrating your abilities in an entry level position, and working your way up. No organization is hiring healthcare managers straight out of college into positions of significant responsibility. Succeeding in this profession is a long hard road for most, but can be very rewarding at every step along the way.