For years, the health care industry has been growing. Even during periods of recession, health care continued to add to jobs to its ranks. As of 2010, an estimated 14 million people, or 9 percent of the workforce, worked in this industry. But not all employees provide direct patient care. Many help coordinate health services, and the most common path to this employment opportunity is a degree in health care management.
People with a degree in health care management generally go on to work as health services managers. In 2012, half of all managers in this occupation earned at least $88,580 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10 percent of earners brought home more than $150,560, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $53,940 annually. The average salary, however, was just shy of six figures, coming in at $98,460 a year.
As of 2012, the majority of health service managers found themselves working at general medical hospitals, and for good reason. Not only do these facilities provide the greatest opportunities for employment, but also offer one of the higher salaries, at an average of $104,680 a year. On average, those working for physicians’ offices earned $97,330, while managers at nursing care facilities earned $82,240 annually.
Like any career, earnings vary by location. Of the states, health services managers working in New York earned the highest wages, at an average of $114,550 a year. Those in California were a close second, averaging $113,810, while managers in Connecticut ranked third, averaging $111,680. The lowest reported wages were in Montana, where the average salary was $74,700 a year.
The BLS expects employment opportunities in this occupation to grow by as much as 22 percent through 2020. By comparison, this is much faster than the anticipated growth rate for all U.S. occupations, an average of 14 percent. In this relatively large field, the 22-percent growth works out to the creation of roughly 68,000 new jobs over the decade. Expect additional opportunities to develop as health service managers retire or leave the field. Earning a master’s degree in health care management can often increase job prospects as well.