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What Can You Do With a Health Care Administration Degree?

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Jun 20, 2024

A health administrator meets with medical professionals.

What Can You Do With a Health Care Administration Degree?

The primary goal of any health care facility is to provide high-quality care that can potentially improve patient outcomes. Achieving this seemingly straightforward end goal can be complex. It can involve maintaining a safe environment, incorporating the latest technological innovation into care delivery strategies, ensuring policy compliance, and maintaining efficient billing systems. Any deficiencies in these areas can make providing optimized care a challenge.

Managing the intricacies of this journey is what makes health care administration careers so vital to a facility’s overall success. Those in these roles help control, influence, and maintain a health care facility’s ecosystem, whether it involves overseeing an entire facility or managing a specific segment of care delivery. The concept of health care administration casts such a wide net; those seeking a degree in health administration can pursue several unique paths designed to help a facility operate effectively and efficiently. Explore what you can do with a health care administration degree, and how these roles can impact care delivery.

What’s a Health Administration Degree?

A health administration degree is a degree that focuses on the organizational side of health care. It prepares students to take on leadership roles that ultimately impact how smoothly a facility can operate daily. While they may not directly interact with patients in the same way that physicians or nurses do, their work can have a direct impact on patient interactions and ultimately affect patient outcomes.

The degree can prepare students for diverse paths within the health administration field. For example, it can prepare them for overseeing entire facilities and managing multiple elements that tie into high-level health care delivery concepts, such as evidence-based practice. It can also prepare them to supervise crucial elements of health care operations more deeply, such as medical records or health insurance. A health administration degree can even prepare them to oversee concepts that directly tie into the functional side of health care delivery, such as human resources.

Regardless of an individual’s path, health care administration roles are critical to helping patients consistently receive the best care possible. Their work eliminates system vulnerabilities and mitigates potential hiccups that may otherwise impede care efficiency. Having a significant impact on patients’ lives and medical facilities makes these health administration career paths uniquely satisfying.

What Students Learn In a Health Care Administration Program

Health care administration undergraduate programs focus on the foundational elements of health care operations and systems. The key concepts and theories examined within a program include the following:

  • Administrative roles within a health care system

  • Leadership strategies within health care administration

  • Achieving financial stability within a health care facility

  • Promotion of health equity within a community

  • Ethical codes and legal considerations in health care

In addition, some programs require students to take courses pertaining to health care and the medical field, such as anatomy and human nutrition. These courses can enable students to approach health care administration from a more holistic viewpoint. Health care administration programs also typically feature an experiential component, such as a capstone project or a practicum, allowing students to apply their knowledge in a controlled real-world environment.

Health Care Administration Career Paths

There are many options for what you can do with a health care administration degree. While each role focuses on health care administration differently, they share the same goal of ensuring that a health care facility can run as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Long-Term Care Administrator

Long-term care administrators oversee the daily functions of long-term care facilities. Their goal is to ensure that patients receive holistic care within a safe, dignified environment. The key duties include supervising staff; managing budgets; and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations, as well as guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Those in the role may also collaborate with physical therapists to develop individualized care delivery strategies.

As of October 2023, Payscale lists the median annual salary for long-term care administrators at approximately $88,300.

Health Care Consultant

Health care consultants help health care facilities evaluate operational procedures to find ways to improve care delivery. Those in the role typically work with a facility’s administrators or C-suite executives to determine the optimal balance between minimizing costs and maximizing revenue without disrupting patient satisfaction. In addition to working with health care facilities, health care consultants can work with health insurance companies, pharmaceutical organizations, and government agencies.

As of May 2024, Payscale lists the average annual salary for health care consultants at approximately $86,350.

Health Care Manager

Health care managers oversee a health care facility’s workflow to maintain an efficient environment. Their scope of work can be at the macro or micro level: encompassing an entire facility or a specific health care department or team. Some of the tasks executed within this role include staff hiring and training, schedule and budget management, and the implementation of facility policies and regulations.

As of March 2024, Payscale lists the median annual salary for health care managers at approximately $73,300.

Clinical Manager

Clinical managers oversee administrative and procedural duties to optimize facility effectiveness. While their work has some similarities to that of health care managers, they tend to focus on the strategic goal-oriented elements of care delivery. These strategies can involve evaluating the budget, determining staffing needs, ensuring compliance with evolving federal and state regulations, and evaluating potential new procedures and innovations.

As of May 2024, Payscale lists the median annual salary for clinical managers as approximately $76,030.

Patient Care Manager

Patient care managers evaluate patients’ needs and create personalized care strategies based on their findings. They also assess strategies to ensure that they’re meeting specified goals and recommend strategic modifications to improve any vulnerabilities. Those in the role also educate patients on procedures and referrals and maintain patient records.

As of April 2024, Payscale lists the median annual salary for patient care managers at approximately $72,860.

Make a Difference in Care Delivery

The health care administration field provides numerous ways for individuals to move care delivery forward as the field continues to evolve. Whether their work focuses on an entire facility or a specific department, they can make it possible for patients to get the best care possible that could potentially improve their outcomes.

North Carolina Central University’s online Bachelor of Science in Health Administration program can get you ready to guide a facility’s care strategies. Our program’s focus on the complexities of health care operations will help you gain the skills and insight needed to understand the business of care delivery; this can allow you to develop strategies with confidence. Learn how we can help prepare you to make a difference in a critical field.

Recommended Readings

Long-Term Care Administrator Salary & Job Description

How to Become a Health Care Consultant

How Community Health Programs Promote Public Health


BMJ Open, “Evidence-Based Practice Models and Frameworks in the Healthcare Setting: A Scoping Review”

Cureus, “Improving Patient Outcomes Through Effective Hospital Administration: A Comprehensive Review”

Indeed, 18 Jobs You Can Get With a Degree in Health Care Administration

Indeed, What Is a Healthcare Consultant? (And How to Become One)

Payscale, Average Clinical Manager Salary

Payscale, Average Healthcare Consultant Salary

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