The Field of Health Administration

Raychel Ria

Raychel Ria

Agramon-Gacayan, BSN, RN, MPM

Updated & Fact Checked: 05.06.2024

Health Administration refers to the management and leadership of various healthcare organizations, such as that of hospitals, government institutions, physician offices, and care facilities. It usually involves the following key processes:

  • Budgeting and financial management
  • Staff recruitment, training, and supervision
  • Work schedule creation
  • Record management
  • Facility compliance
  • Goal/objective development and implementation

Those who are tasked to perform such roles are called health administrators, health executives, or health managers.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Services, there is a great job outlook for such professionals. The employment rate is expected to grow to 28% from 2022 to 2032; which translates to about 54,700 job openings per year on average. 

Other management occupations are expected to have 5% job growth, while all other professionals will only see a 3% increase in employment opportunities.


Apart from the high employment demand, health administrators enjoy commensurate pay. The median wage for health executives is $104,830, with the highest 10% earning as much as $209,990 per year. 

Pay rates vary according to the organization, with hospitals paying the most at $125,280. Coming in next are government institutions, which pay an average of $119,100 annually.

Salaries vary according to location as well. Northeastern states often pay top dollar, with New York health administrators earning an average of $171,620. DC and New Jersey health managers, meanwhile, earn about $156,870 and $153,300 respectively.

Types of Health Administration Degrees

If you’re interested in delving into a career with great wages and high employment demand, then you need to obtain a degree in health administration. There are four educational options for aspiring health executives, namely.

Bachelors in Health Administration

A bachelor’s degree in Health Administration (BHA) provides graduates with an opportunity to secure entry-level management positions in healthcare industries. It also serves as a good platform for further Health Administration studies, which will be discussed below.

The four-year program is designed to help students learn important concepts in healthcare, such as:

  • Financial Management
  • Health Services Research
  • Health Economics
  • Regulation, Policy, and Legal Aspects
  • Program Planning and Evaluation

A bachelor’s degree in Health Administration may be completed through in-person learning. Online and hybrid learning are also available for those who have busy schedules or live far from campus.

Masters in Health Administration

A Master’s degree in Health Administration provides students with the competencies they need to assume higher leadership roles in healthcare industries. This is open to those who hold aligned degrees, such as that of BHA, Nursing, Pharmacy, Doctor of Medicine, etc. 

Many programs are offered on campus, and you’ll find them all here categorized according to state.

With the convenience of distance learning and the hectic schedules of most students, many universities have launched fully online MHA programs as well. Check the complete list here. 

Career-wise, an MHA program helps prepare students for these challenging employment paths:

  • Hospital Administrator
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Director
  • Clinic Manager
  • Healthcare Consultant

In fact, there are so many other things you can do with your MHA degree as you’ll see in this guide.

Top-Ranked MHA Programs

There are many MHA programs out there. But if you want to be the best, you need to be educated by the best. 

Programs are usually ranked by institutions such as US News & World Report and Intelligent. While school placements vary according to the ranking body, scores are often measured by the following metrics:

  • Academic Quality
  • Cost and ROI
  • Student Resources
  • Graduation Rate

We’ve ranked MHA programs according to these metrics—and more that were not taken into consideration. Be sure to check our guide on the top-ranking MHA programs here.

Accelerated MHA Programs

MHA programs usually take two years to complete—even longer for those who are enrolled part-time. But with accelerated MHA programs, you can obtain your degree in a year—or less.
To save you from the hassle of looking up these programs, we’ve compiled a list of 48 schools that offer accelerated MHAs. View the article here to get started.

No GRE MHA Programs

The Graduate Record Examination or GRE is an admission requirement for MHAs and other graduate programs. Preparing for the GRE requires a lot of time—and some money—which many aspiring students don’t have. 

Fortunately, many schools don’t require their MHA applicants to submit their GRE anymore. In fact, here’s a list of 49 programs that have waived the GRE requirement for admission.

Most Affordable Programs

According to the Education Data Initiative, Master’s degree holders rack up an average student loan debt of $83,651.

This doesn’t have to be the case. Aspiring for a higher-paying health administrator job doesn’t always mean having to break the bank. With our list of cheap MHA programs, you can take your pick from any of the 30 reputable schools that offer affordable in-person, online, and hybrid MHAs.

MHA Scholarship Programs

Another way to avoid excessive student loan debt is to apply for an MHA scholarship program. While most are merit-based, some are offered to certain populations, such as home agency/hospice care employees, members of select organizations, veterans, and people of color. 

Explore the many scholarship opportunities for MHA students here.

Doctorate in Health Administration

A Doctorate in Health Administration (DHA) is different from the traditional Ph.D., which often involves academic research. A DHA is an advanced degree that equips students with the knowledge and skillset required of impactful administrators and problem-solvers. 

Offered through on-campus, online, or hybrid learning, DHA programs range from 54 to 63 credits for a typical completion time of three to five years. Many require a Master’s degree prior to admission, but this may vary according to school. 

If you’re ready to take your career one step further, then be sure to explore our guide on DHA programs here.


A Certification in Health Administration provides working professionals with the opportunity to expand their career horizons. They differ from a degree in a way that certification credit requirements only range from 12 to 18 hours. The program is quite brief as well, with programs running from a few hours to a few months. 

The type of certification you receive will depend on the degree you hold. If you have completed a BHA or any other related degree, you will get a post-bachelor’s certification. If you’re a Master’s degree holder, then it would be categorized as a post-graduate certification. 

The beauty of Health Administration certification programs is that it’s often stackable. Some schools will apply the units you have finished towards the completion of your MHA program. 

Learn more about the different Health Administration certifications here.

CAHME Accreditation

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education or CAHME accredits MHAs and other graduate-level healthcare programs in the US and Canada. 

Of the many MHA programs in North America, there are only a few that are accredited by CAHME. This means that these degrees are academically excellent and cater to the evolving needs of both students and employers. They also promote the use of best practices through practical and theoretical opportunities.

On top of getting a quality education, students from CAHME-accredited schools also enjoy the following: 

  • A bigger professional network
  • Opportunities to apply for competitive financial aid programs
  • A higher chance of gaining admission to other advanced healthcare-related degree programs

Make the most out of your educational opportunity by applying to any of these CAHME-accredited programs today.

MHA Dual Degree Programs

There are various dual degree programs available through in-person, online, or hybrid learning. 

Students may finish their Bachelor’s and Master’s in five years through a BS to MHA combined/dual degree program. This track is often offered to students with exceptional academic performance.

Graduate students may also complete their MHA alongside another degree. Many universities offer their MHA in combination with the following degrees:

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Juris Doctor/Law
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Gerontology

Additional Healthcare Administration Resources

Here are some resources that can help you in your health administration journey: 

MHA Programs by State

Online Programs


New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota

Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC
West Virginia