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Master’s in Healthcare Administration Salary + Outlook [2020]


Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

In 2018, healthcare expenditures in the U.S. reached $3.6 trillion or 17.7 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. A business sector that large must depend upon highly trained managers to optimize efficiency. Healthcare administration programs are designed to impart the specific set of skills required to manage a business in the healthcare sector.

Healthcare delivery is unique, though, in that it relies upon a business model that doesn’t depend upon traditional principles of supply and demand. A Master’s in Healthcare Administration will prepare you to monitor budgets, finances, and allocations; organize data collection; oversee human resources, and help perform other business functions within the highly specialized healthcare delivery environment. These are the functions necessary for a hospital, research center, clinic, skilled nursing facility, or other healthcare organization to continue delivering great patient care.

How much can you make with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration degree? In this article, we will take a deep look at the Healthcare Administration salary and provide you with other useful information related to this career.


Is there a Demand for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for medical and health services managers will increase by nearly a third between 2019 and 2029. This is a much higher increase than that found in most other service industries. Demand drivers include the aging of the Baby Boom generation, innovations in chronic disease management, and better access to affordable healthcare. The coronavirus pandemic may also have a long-term effect on the utilization of healthcare services.


What Career Opportunities Exist for a Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates?


MHA-prepared graduates have a wealth of professional opportunities to choose among. Medical centers employ MHA graduates as hospital administrators, admissions and discharge planning coordinators, and health services managers for specific areas within the hospital environment like Intensive Care, surgery, or orthopedic units. MHA graduates with a technical bent can find employment as health information managers where their responsibilities will include collaborating with IT professionals on the secure storage of patient information and medical records.

As an MHA, your options are not limited merely to working in hospitals, though. You can perform administrative functions in other healthcare facilities such as ambulatory care centers, community clinics, and skilled nursing facilities. You can also branch out into fields related to healthcare delivery, such as regulatory government agencies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and social agencies.

The U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Services administers a number of different agencies that support public health initiatives in this country and abroad, and MHA graduates are often hired to help advance the Department’s mission. Law-making bodies at the state and federal level also employ individuals who’ve earned this graduate degree to help them analyze the impact of proposed legislation.

Insurance companies frequently engage professionals who’ve earned a Master’s degree in Health Administration as underwriters charged with analyzing financial risk to determine whether an insurance application should be accepted or rejected. Within pharmaceutical companies, MHA graduates can work as project managers, overseeing teams of physicians and researchers as they develop new products and treatments. Social service programs and community outreach organizations also employ MHA-prepared staff to perform needs assessments and manage staff.


Starting Salary for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates


Starting salaries typically reflect the market pay rate for other individuals doing similar kinds of work as well as the salary range established by any individual employer. On average, the starting Master’s in Healthcare Administration salary is $28.28 an hour, which works out to $4,900 a month or $58,820 a year.

Pay ranges frequently vary according to the region in which a job is located, however. An entry-level MHA graduate who gets hired by a well-known medical research facility in a major metropolitan area is likely to earn more than his or her counterpart who gets hired by a community hospital in a more rural part of the nation.

Per Hour$28.28
Per Month$4,900
Per Year$58,820
(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What is the Average Master’s in Healthcare Administration Salary?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average Master’s in Healthcare Administration salary is $115,160 a year. This means you’ll earn $55.37 an hour and take home $9,600 a month before taxes.

The amount you can expect to earn will vary according to the sector you choose to work in, the size of the organization you work for, its geographical location, and the extent of your experience in the healthcare field. Smaller organizations typically run on smaller budgets, which means they may pay their employees less. For-profit healthcare facilities may be able to offer employees higher salaries than their nonprofit counterparts.

Your years of experience in the field will also influence your earning potential, as will any specialized job-related skill sets you’ve acquired along the way. Many professionals who’ve worked in another capacity within the medical field often go back to school to earn an MHA degree, and this previous experience within the healthcare sector may help these individuals command a higher salary as well.

Per Hour$55.37
Per Month$9,600
Per Year$115,160
(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Master’s in Healthcare Administration Salary by Years of Experience


The longer you work within the health administration field, the higher your salary is likely to be. As noted above, Master’s in Healthcare Administration salaries start at $28.28 an hour, which comes to $4,900 a month or $58,820 a year. By the time you’ve worked one to four years in the field, however, you can expect a salary increase of more than 30 percent to $36.91 an hour, which is $6,400 monthly or $76,770 annually.

With five to nine years of experience, your wages will go up to an hourly figure of $48.55, which works out to $8,420 monthly or $100,980 annually. Employees who’ve been working between 10 and 19 years make $64.19 an hour, which is more than twice the starting salary; this amounts to $11,130 a month or $133,520 a year. If your career as a healthcare administrator lasts 20 years or more, you can expect to earn $90.86 an hour; this means you’ll make $15,750 in a month and $189,000 in a year.

Level of Experience Per Hour Per Month Per Year
Starting (Entry-Level) $28.28 $4,900 $58,820
1-4 Years of Experience $36.91 $6,400 $76,770
5-9 Years of Experience $48.55 $8,420 $100,980
10-19 Years of Experience $64.19 $11,130 $133,520
20 Years or More Experience $90.86 $15,750 $189,000
(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Additional Benefits & Perks Do Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates Get?


In a volatile political and economic landscape, the healthcare career track offers one invaluable advantage: Healthcare jobs are unlikely to disappear regardless of whether the economy is weak or strong. In fact, weaker economies may even give MHA graduates a certain edge: A major part of the coursework you take while earning a Master’s of Healthcare Administration degree will focus on cost-effective ways to deliver healthcare, and in times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for facilities delivering healthcare to operate at optimal efficiency.

Additionally, as a healthcare administrator, your salary will only be part of your executive compensation. You are likely to receive a great benefits package that includes good healthcare, paid time off, an employer-matched contribution to your retirement fund, and other premium incentives.


How Can Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates Make More Money?


The healthcare administration field has a number of professional organizations associated with it, including The Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management, the American Health Information Management Association, and the American College of Healthcare Administrators. Pursuing the certifications offered by these organizations can enhance your marketability and increase your earnings.

Once you’re certified and get some professional experience under your belt, it will be easy to leverage your MHA skills in the consulting realm. Healthcare consultants are typically hired to work on projects involving finance, human resources, information technology, and employee development. If you think you may want to branch out into consulting at some point, make sure you garner experience in one of these areas.


20 Best States for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Professionals – Based on Average Salaries, Career Opportunities & Outlook


1. California: The Golden State’s three major urban centers—Los Angeles, San Diego, and the San Francisco Bay Area—are well known for the excellence of their hospitals and medical research facilities. This means that candidates with specialized healthcare administration skills will be in particularly high demand. The average Master’s in Healthcare Administration salary in California is $133,040 annually or $63.96 on an hourly basis.

Per Hour$63.96
Per Year$133,040


2. Texas: Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area are home to a number of top-ranked medical and research facilities, which bolsters the demand for qualified administrators. The average Master’s in Healthcare Administration salary in Texas is $51.87 an hour or $107,880 a year.

Per Hour$51.87
Per Year$107,880


3. Florida: The Master’s in Healthcare Administration salary in Florida hovers around $106,710 annually, which works out to $51.30 an hour. Nearly 20 percent of the Sunshine State’s population is older than 65, and this means there’s a big demand for administrators with specific skilled nursing home management skills. Miami is also a regional center for medical service delivery.

Per Hour$51.30
Per Year$106,710


4. New York: Some of the most renowned medical centers, medical schools, and medical research centers in the world are located in New York City, so opportunities in the healthcare administration field abound. Pay rates in the highly urbanized areas around New York City are much higher than those in upstate towns and rural areas. You can expect to earn $70.67 an hour or $147,000 a year as your Master of Healthcare Administration salary in New York.

Per Hour$70.67
Per Year$147,000


5. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s biggest city, is not just a hub for medical services but also a center for pharmaceutical firms, which translates into high demand for individuals who understand these specialized firms’ management needs. Master of Healthcare Administration salaries in Pennsylvania average $47.39 per hour, which works out to $98,560 annually.

Per Hour$47.39
Per Year$98,560


6. Illinois: More than 26,000 medical facilities and health-related businesses call Chicago home, making the Windy City an epicenter for the types of medical services that require seasoned management. Other parts of the state are more rural and have fewer opportunities. An MHA-prepared professional in Illinois can earn $60.26 per hour or $125,330 a year.

Per Hour$60.26
Per Year$125,330


7. Ohio: The Master of Healthcare Administration average salary in Ohio is $102,860 annually, which breaks down to $49.45 hourly. Cincinnati and Columbus each boast two major hospital networks as well as a large number of ambulatory clinics and laboratories where MHA graduates can utilize their skills.

Per Hour$49.45
Per Year$102,860


8. North Carolina: Healthcare is The Tar Heel State’s largest industry, and by 2026, it’s projected this sector will add 93,000 new jobs, which will heighten the demand for health professionals with effective management skills. The Durham/Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem are likely to be the areas with the greatest need. MHA-prepared managers can earn $56.74 an hour or $118,020 a year.

Per Hour$56.74
Per Year$118,020


9. Michigan: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector is the biggest private employer in The Wolverine State, highlighting the need for qualified healthcare administrators. With an MHA degree, you could find yourself earning $52.28 an hour or $108,740 a year.

Per Hour$52.28
Per Year$108,740


10. Massachusetts: Massachusetts’s residents had access to affordable healthcare insurance a decade before the U.S. passed the Affordable Care Act, and as a result, people in The Bay State are high utilizers of medical services. This accentuates the need for skilled health administrators. An MHA degree can put you on the track to earning $132,960 a year or $63.92 an hour.

Per Hour$63.92
Per Year$132,960


11. New Jersey: With more than 100 hospitals in all parts of the state, New Jersey’s healthcare sector is its second largest in terms of employment. Many of these hospitals are concentrated in Newark, Jersey City, and other municipalities that are considered part of the New York City metropolitan area. Qualified health administrators in The Garden State can make $58.01 an hour or $120,650 a year.

Per Hour$58.01
Per Year$120,650


12. Georgia: A professional with an MHA degree can make $51.74 an hour or $107,610 a year in Georgia. In 2016, Georgia’s hospitals generated more than $47 billion, making healthcare one of the largest and most rapidly growing industries in The Peach State. The administrative skills that MHA graduates have honed are in high demand when it comes to dealing with those kinds of budgets.

Per Hour$51.74
Per Year$107,610


13. Minnesota: The Mayo Clinic in Rochester is a medical powerhouse that sets a high standard for other medical centers and treatment facilities throughout Minnesota. Delivering excellent healthcare depends upon having qualified administrators and facility managers who understand how to manage budgets and choose the very best staff. Professionals with Master’s in Health Administration degrees can expect to earn $112,780 a year or $54.22 an hour.

Per Hour$54.22
Per Year$112,780


14. Missouri: The growing demand for skilled healthcare administrators in The Show-Me State is bolstered by the expansion in access to medical care services brought about by the Affordable Care Act. Many of the state’s top medical networks are located in the municipalities of St. Louis and Kansas City. Managers who’ve graduated from qualified MHA programs can earn $53.58 an hour or $111,450 a year.

Per Hour$53.58
Per Year$111,450


15. Indiana: Warsaw, Indiana, home to the companies Zimmer Biomet, DePuy Synthes, and Medtronic, is the world’s leading center for orthopedic medical innovation. The state’s thriving medical services sector is also bolstered by the Indiana University School of Medicine, which is the largest research medical school in the U.S. In Indiana, qualified healthcare administrators make $49.18 an hour or $102,300 a year.

Per Hour$49.18
Per Year$102,300


16. Virginia: Virginia’s healthcare system has to work efficiently to meet the needs of the state’s diverse population. The Affordable Care Act gave healthcare access to many previously uninsured individuals, and this means that that hospital networks and other medical facilities have a high demand for skilled managers. As an MHA graduate, you can make $115,410 a year or $55.49 an hour in Virginia.

Per Hour$115,410
Per Year$55.49


17. Tennessee: More than 50 well-known health-care organizations are headquartered in Tennessee, including the Hospital Corporation of America, which is the largest operator of for-profit medical networks in the world. In The Volunteer State, graduates of Master’s of Healthcare Administration programs can make $49.07 an hour or $102,070 a year.

Per Hour$49.07
Per Year$102,070


18. Wisconsin: Health administrators in Wisconsin earn $111,640 a year, which breaks down to $53.67 an hour. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality gives Wisconsin high marks for the overall quality of its healthcare and its residents’ access to medical services, particularly in rural communities.

Per Hour$53.67
Per Year$111,640


19. Washington: Seattle has the largest concentration of hospital networks and other medical facilities in the Pacific Northwest. The demand for qualified health services administrators is very high in the Emerald City. MHA graduates can expect to earn $58.49 an hour or $121,650 a year.

Per Hour$58.49
Per Year$121,650


20. Arizona: Nearly 20 percent of Arizona’s population is 65 or over, and seniors are heavy utilizers of healthcare services. In 2015, Arizona’s healthcare sector accounted for nearly 20 percent of the state’s jobs. Administrators who’ve graduated from qualified MHA programs can make $57.83 an hour, which amounts to $120,280 annually.

Per Hour$57.83
Per Year$120,280


Average Master’s in Healthcare Administration Salary in Every State


Population density is probably the most important factor in determining the salary for Master of Healthcare Administration graduates. Medical facilities in big cities typically pay all employees more than those same employees might make in a more rural setting; so, the states with the most densely populated metropolitan areas tend to offer higher salaries overall to MHA graduates. Keep in mind, though, that the cost of living is often higher in densely populated metropolitan areas as well.

State Salary Per Hour Salary Per Year
Alabama $45.27 $94,160
Alaska $54.80 $113,990
Arizona $57.83 $120,280
Arkansas $41.96 $87,290
California $63.96 $133,040
Colorado $57.71 $120,040
Connecticut $62.01 $128,970
Delaware $63.24 $131,540
District of Columbia $72.14 $150,040
Florida $51.30 $106,710
Georgia $51.74 $107,610
Hawaii $64.09 $133,320
Idaho $45.65 $94,960
Illinois $60.26 $125,330
Indiana $49.18 $102,300
Iowa $42.28 $87,940
Kansas $45.22 $94,060
Kentucky $43.41 $90,280
Louisiana $49.14 $102,210
Maine $45.96 $95,600
Maryland $60.74 $126,340
Massachusetts $63.92 $132,960
Michigan $52.28 $108,740
Minnesota $54.22 $112,780
Mississippi $46.25 $96,210
Missouri $53.58 $111,450
Montana $46.74 $97,230
Nebraska $57.00 $118,560
Nevada $57.23 $119,030
New Hampshire $57.59 $119,780
New Jersey $58.01 $120,650
New Mexico $60.97 $126,820
New York $70.67 $147,000
North Carolina $56.74 $118,020
North Dakota $59.84 $124,470
Ohio $49.45 $102,860
Oklahoma $45.41 $94,460
Oregon $58.51 $121,690
Pennsylvania $47.39 $98,560
Rhode Island $63.22 $131,500
South Carolina $49.03 $101,990
South Dakota $50.61 $105,260
Tennessee $49.07 $102,070
Texas $51.87 $107,880
Utah $50.48 $105,010
Vermont $50.46 $104,950
Virginia $55.49 $115,410
Washington $58.49 $121,650
West Virginia $52.94 $110,100
Wisconsin $53.67 $111,640
Wyoming $48.62 $101,120
(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Work Hours for Master’s in Healthcare Administration Graduates


Healthcare administration is an office job, but in many cases, it’s an office job attached to a facility that’s open and providing healthcare 24 hours a day. That means that weekend and evening hours may be a requirement for some positions. Nor is it uncommon for healthcare administrators to be on call in case there is an emergency that requires managerial intercession.


Job Satisfaction


Healthcare is a vitally important function: There’s a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing you’ve been able to facilitate its smooth delivery to the patients and other individuals who benefit from these services. On the other hand, as with all personnel management positions, it can be stressful to hire, fire, and motivate employees.


Master’s in Healthcare Administration Salary Outlook


Economists expect employment in all healthcare-related occupations to grow at a rate that’s much faster than average across all occupations. Factors driving this accelerated growth include the aging of the Baby Boomer population, the greater access to services brought about by better access to healthcare insurance, and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Wherever there are medical facilities, there will be a need for managers to plan schedules, balance budgets, coordinate employees, ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines and prepare reports for those to whom the facilities are accountable. The demand for medical administrators will continue to grow, and it is likely that salaries and benefits will keep pace with that growth.

While the educational requirements for medical administrators vary by institution and job description, an increasing number of employers in the healthcare sector prefer candidates with graduate-level degrees. Earning a Master’s in Healthcare Administration helps ensure you will earn a good salary throughout your professional career.


Conclusion


Healthcare is a business, but it’s a highly specialized business because its product is an outcome that has a huge personal effect on the consumers who interact with the healthcare system. Nevertheless, like all businesses, healthcare benefits from good managers who know how to keep its operations running smoothly.

If you have strong organizational skills, and you’re interested in the healthcare field—but don’t necessarily want to work directly with patients—a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration is an excellent choice. This degree will draw on your leadership skills as well as upon your specialized knowledge of financial management, human resources, and emerging technologies. Job opportunities are plentiful, and Master of Healthcare Administration salary prospects are strong. If you’re wondering how much can you make with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration degree, the answer is that you can make enough to enjoy a very comfortable life.


Sources

The salary figures on this page are based on the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics Data for Medical and Health Services Managers.