What Can You Do With An MHA Degree?

Raychel Ria

Raychel Ria

Agramon-Gacayan, BSN, RN, MPM

Updated & Fact Checked: 04.03.2024

A Masters in Health Administration (MHA) can open your horizons to numerous employment possibilities. Depending on what you want to do and where you want to specialize, you are sure to make a great fit in any of these 21 rewarding and lucrative career opportunities:

1. Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

The hospital CEO is the senior executive in charge of the institution’s overall performance. They help define and fulfill the facility’s goals, as well as oversee all the high-level or final decisions, especially when it comes to operations, finance, and human resources. 

Hospital CEOs often lead a team of executives, which includes chief operating officers, chief financial officers, chief medical officers, chief nursing officers, and other hospital heads. 

Almost all hospital CEO openings require their applicants to have an MHA or MBA degree (or a combination of both) and 5+ years of administrative experience. 

Hospital CEOs earn an average of $447,094, according to salary.com. New CEOs often start with $385,647, while the more experienced ones get paid as much as $514,870. 

2. Hospital Chief Operations Officer (COO)

As the second-highest executive in the hospital, the COO is in charge of the hospital’s day-to-day operations. They share the CEO’s initiatives as actionable plans with the staff and work with other department heads to ensure that the hospital is performing and earning well. They also meet with stakeholders to discuss the hospital’s goals and operational performance. 

Like the CEO, Hospital COOs must have an MHA or MBA under their belt as these programs best prepare them for the challenging duties of a C-suite executive. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the annual pay of Hospital COOs clocks in at $151,203, although it can go as high as $269,500. 

3. Hospital Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

CFOs are C-suite executives who oversee the financial aspect of hospital operations. They usually have a financial-related undergraduate degree (such as Business Management or Accounting) and years of related experience. Many are required to have an aligned graduate degree, such as that of an MBA or MHA.

CFOs review budgets and other financial reports, which guide them in making high-level financial decisions for the institution. Together, they work with the other executives to ensure seamless hospital operations. 

CFOs receive an impressive median pay of $414,968, according to salary.com. The lower range of the pay is still high at $300,650, while the upper end of the pay range registers at a whopping $529,585.

4. Hospital Administrator

A hospital administrator is in charge of managing the ‘business side’ of institutional operations. They are responsible for ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare services while keeping everything under budget. Other duties include strategic planning, complying with policies, ensuring adequate supplies, and overseeing the staff.

A hospital administrator may cover one or two departments or the entire facility itself. They may work alone or with a team of other administrators.

According to salary.com, hospital administrators earn an average of $268,926. The usual range is from $185,528 to $388,713.

5. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

The CNO, sometimes called the Vice President of Nursing, is the highest executive in the nursing department. Those who qualify for the position must have extensive nursing experience and a postgraduate education, such as that of an MHA, a Doctorate in Hospital Administration, or a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. 

CNOs are in charge of leading the nursing staff, implementing protocols, evaluating departmental performances, and reporting the results to upper executives, to name a few. 

Salary.com places the annual median pay of CNOs at $258,360. The typical salary range in the US can go from $186,699 to as much as $338,771. 

6. Nursing Director

Nurses who obtain an MHA degree are qualified to work as nursing directors, who are responsible for the nursing side of the facility. Duties include setting departmental objectives, creating and enforcing policies, overseeing nursing staff, and ensuring the department is in line with applicable statutes and regulations. 

According to salary.com, nursing directors earn an average of $165,690. The lower range pay is considerably high at $126,084, although this pales in comparison to the upper range pay of $213,996. 

7. Director of Patient Safety

Safety is paramount to healthcare operations, which is why many hospitals and other healthcare institutions require the expertise of a patient safety director. As the name suggests, this position focuses on patient safety, protection, and quality assurance. This is in a bid to minimize the harm that may occur to patients due to examinations, treatments, and/or medications. 

Glassdoor reveals the median pay for patient safety directors to be at $166,652. The pay range can extend from $126,000 to $222,000. 

8. Patient Admissions Director

As the name suggests, this professional is in charge of a healthcare facility’s admission processes. The admission director is crucial for institutions that receive multiple clients a day, such as hospitals, clinics, and colleges/universities.

Admissions directors are responsible for creating and maintaining guidelines, screening applicants, making reports, and resolving any patient issues. In some institutions, they may be in charge of promoting the facility as well. 

According to salary.com, patient admissions directors get paid an average of $122,300. But depending on one’s experience and education, the salary can go as high as $162,801. 

9. Medical Records Manager

The medical records manager is in charge of creating and maintaining filing systems, as well as reviewing the current systems to ensure their efficiency.  And, depending on the institution, this may mean overseeing thousands of documents. 

According to salary.com, the average salary of medical records managers is $104,286. The salary range, meanwhile, is at $79,821 to $130,808.

10. Health Informatics Manager

Health Informatics Managers (HIM) are responsible for overseeing patient health data. They work to maintain the accuracy, quality, and security of both paper-based and digital information. They also use the data to study trends and analyze them for research, reports, and quality improvement. 

HIMs are crucial to the operations of many healthcare facilities, such as that of hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies, to name a few. 

HIMs often have a graduate degree in Health Information Management, though MHA graduates who specialize in Health Informatics may take on this position as well. 

The median pay for HIMs is $125,410, according to salary.com. The starting pay is about $99,504, while experienced HIMs may earn as much as $156,799. 

11. Clinical Director

The clinical director is responsible for clinical operations, particularly those that focus on patient care delivery. Duties typically include overseeing staff and creating schedules, to name a few. 

Clinical directors make an average of $94,603, according to Indeed. The starting salary can be quite low at $56,402, but with experience and the education that an MHA brings, compensation can go as high as $158,677.

12. Medical Practice Manager

The practice manager is in charge of the policies and day-to-day operations of medical practices. Responsibilities include creating practice guidelines, ensuring operational performance efficiency, budgeting and allocating funds, and overseeing staff. 

Salary.com places the pay range of medical practice managers at $123,157 to $169,608. 

13. Urgent Care Administrator

Urgent care administrators oversee facility processes, all in a bid to ensure quality patient care. Specific duties include:

  • Hiring, training, and managing staff
  • Creating and implementing policies
  • Ensuring strict adherence to HIPAA policies
  • Performing risk assessments
  • Overseeing finances
  • Monitoring supplies and inventory 
  • Addressing patient concerns

Glassdoor puts the annual average salary of urgent care administrators at $82,931. The usual pay range, meanwhile, is from $62,000 to $110,000.

14. Long-Term Care Administrator

This position entails the provision of administrative services for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The duties of a long-term care administrator include:

  • Planning and overseeing service delivery
  • Managing finances
  • Creating staff schedules
  • Coordinating with staff
  • Planning classes and activities

According to Payscale, long-term care administrators receive an average of $88,300. However, those with 20+ years of experience can get paid as much as $128,000.

15. Rehabilitation Facility Administrator

This position is similar to a long-term facility administrator, yet the focus is overseeing a rehabilitation facility. In a nutshell, this professional is responsible for:

  • Overseeing facility operations and equipment 
  • Allocating and managing finances
  • Improving service delivery
  • Boosting facility profitability

According to Glassdoor, the median pay for rehab facility administrators is $61,000. The range, meanwhile, is at $49,000 to $76,000 a year. 

16. Clinical Research Facility Administrator

A clinical research facility administrator oversees the day-to-day operations of facilities or laboratories that conduct clinical or biomedical research. The administrator makes sure that the institution meets its goals, whether it’s developing new medications or assessing the long-term effectiveness of such treatments. 

Glassdoor puts the median pay for clinical research facility administrators at $89,026, with the typical range being $70,000 to $113,000. 

17. Clinical Trials Manager (CTM)

The CTM plays a big role in biomedical research by overseeing and coordinating clinical trials. They make sure that all participants are treated according to ethical standards and regulations. On top of having an MHA or related graduate degree, a CTM should have extensive prior experience in running clinical trials.

CTMs earn a median pay of $128,886, according to Glassdoor. The salary range can go anywhere from $107,000 to $156,000. 

18. Corporate Healthcare Manager

The corporate healthcare manager is in charge of the healthcare department that renders medical care to company employees. Duties include managing staff, communicating with company executives, and informing employees about their healthcare options. 

Healthcare managers earn an average of $77,368, according to ZipRecruiter. That said, the pay can go as much as $125,000, commensurate with education and experience. 

19. Pharmaceutical Executive

This senior-level position entails the overseeing of the medication-use process. Specific duties include ensuring regulatory compliance, creating and maintaining client relationships, overseeing pharmaceutical patents, and ensuring appropriate production levels. 

Pharmaceutical executives earn an astounding average salary of $294,589. According to salary.com, the pay can range from $255,836 to $349,136. The higher salary amount is typically reserved for highly experienced and educated executives. 

20. Health Insurance Administrator

This office-based position deals with the insurance documentation of companies and/or individuals. Their duties include:

  • Determining the right insurance coverage for the client
  • Filing insurance documents
  • Developing policies for risk management
  • Reviewing insurance policies for efficiency and updating them as needed 
  • Ensuring the compliance of insurance certificates with current regulations

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary of an insurance administrator is $69,621. Depending on the facility or the administrator’s qualifications, the salary can range from $54,000 to $90,000.

21. Healthcare Consultant

Healthcare consultants are professionals who provide advice and counsel healthcare staff regarding improving facility performance and efficiency. An MHA degree, even an accelerated one, arms the healthcare consultant with the knowledge and skills needed to guide facilities into improving services while minding profitability. 
According to Glassdoor, healthcare consultants earn an average of $129,085. The starting salary is usually $97,000, but it can go up to as much as $176,000.