Five Emerging Careers in Healthcare Administration (2023)

Healthcare is a rapidly changing industry. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, emerging issues surrounding big data, complications arising through healthcare regulations, and new integrations between healthcare and business are all transforming how care is delivered. Not to mention the transition to telehealth services precipitated by the pandemic. However, many of these innovations aren’t being implemented by doctors and providers themselves; healthcare administrators are implementing them.

Healthcare administration is one of the fastest-growing careers in the US. Still, in an increasingly complex and fragmented landscape, healthcare administration is becoming more of an umbrella term than a specific career. New innovations in healthcare aren’t simply upgrading the old, they’re entirely reinventing the new, and new job titles and career opportunities are emerging as a result. And while hospital administrators are generally still largely in demand, there’s also a renewed call for specialists in the increasingly complex and separate areas of healthcare innovation.

Read on to get a look at the top five emerging careers in healthcare administration.
Please note that unless otherwise specified, all salary data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Emerging Healthcare Administration Careers: 2023 Edition

Become a Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Director

Healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) directors manage and implement AI initiatives within their organizations. In this role, they work closely with other healthcare team members to identify opportunities for AI implementation, develop and execute AI strategies, and evaluate and report on the results. They also collaborate with external partners to ensure that the latest AI technology is being used to its full potential. They also provide leadership and guidance to their teams, ensuring everyone is working towards the common goal of providing the best possible care to patients.

Most healthcare AI directors have a background in healthcare administration and a keen understanding of AI principles. In addition to a degree in healthcare administration, professionals in this field may complete a certificate in healthcare AI, such as the online Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Certificate from Michigan Tech or the self-paced certificate in Artificial Intelligence in Health Care from the Michigan Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

Most healthcare AI directors work in the IT departments of clinics, hospitals, or government agencies. Responsibilities for these professionals can include:

  • Managing and monitoring the performance of AI technology in healthcare settings
  • Coordinating with healthcare professionals to identify areas for improvement and implementation of AI technology
  • Developing strategic plans for integrating AI into healthcare processes and decision making
  • Coordinating training for healthcare professionals on using AI technology
  • Conducting research on current and emerging AI technologies in the healthcare field
  • Analyzing data and evaluating the effectiveness of AI technology in healthcare settings
  • Collaborating with IT teams to ensure smooth operation and functionality of AI technology
  • Presenting findings and recommendations to leadership
  • Staying updated on legal and regulatory guidelines related to the use of AI in healthcare
  • Overseeing budget and resources for AI technology initiatives

There are no state licensing or certification requirements for this role. However, a voluntary certification such as the Certified Artificial Intelligence Consultant (CAIC) from the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute can help with employment opportunities or career advancement. While this certification isn’t specific to healthcare, it does demonstrate a high level of competency and understanding in building, implementing, or scaling AI tools and infrastructures.

According to (2023), AI directors earn $187,423 per year. The top 10 percent can earn upwards of $255,000 per year, and the bottom 10 percent $112,000.

Become a Covid Health and Safety Supervisor

As the nation has reopened following the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are hiring Covid health and safety supervisors to help ensure that their employees and customers remain safe. These positions are responsible for monitoring compliance with health and safety guidelines, conducting temperature checks, and providing training on proper handwashing and sanitation procedures.

In addition, Covid health and safety supervisors also play an important role in contact tracing, working with local health officials to identify anyone who may have come into contact with an infected individual. This role is particularly pertinent to movie sets, photo shoots, and theater productions, which may require a Covid health and safety supervisor to work.

There are several degrees students can pursue to work in this field. The University of Houston offers an organizational leadership and supervision bachelor’s of science that can prepare students to prevent accidents, illnesses, fires, explosions, and other events that harm people, property, and the environment, including Covid.

  • Developing and implementing Covid-related health and safety policies and procedures
  • Monitoring compliance with Covid safety guidelines
  • Conducting regular risk assessments related to Covid
  • Training staff on Covid safety protocols
  • Monitoring and tracking Covid cases among employees
  • Coordinating Covid testing for employees
  • Developing and overseeing disinfection and sanitation plans for the workplace
  • Ensuring adequate personal protective equipment for employees
  • Communicating with local health authorities regarding Covid cases in the workplace
  • Staying up to date on relevant government guidelines and regulations related to Covid health and safety

Certification for Covid health and safety supervisors is voluntary but can be beneficial when applying for jobs or promotions. Health Education Services offers a Covid-19 Compliance Officer (CCO) certification, demonstrating that the certificant has the necessary skills and education to keep staff Covid safe.

Since this role is relatively new, salary data varies widely and is not readily available. However, the BLS tracks data for occupational health and safety specialists. On average, occupational health and safety specialists earn $78,740 per year. The top 10 percent of professionals in this field can anticipate earning $118,510 or more annually, while the bottom 10 percent earn $44,040.

Become a Healthcare Recruiter

Staffing shortages have been present in many industries for most of 2022. However, one area that has been harder than most is healthcare. Unlike a restaurant that can close its doors if they don’t have staff, hospitals and clinics can’t simply shut down as they must attend to current and incoming patients. More than ever, healthcare recruiters play a vital role in attracting and retaining quality talent.

Healthcare recruiters are responsible for attracting, screening, and hiring qualified candidates for healthcare facilities. They use various methods to find the best candidates, including job postings, internet sourcing, and referrals from current employees. They also work closely with managers to identify staffing needs and develop recruiting strategies. Once a pool of candidates has been identified, the recruiter will conduct initial screenings and interviews.

After selecting a candidate, the recruiter will coordinate with HR to complete the hiring process. In addition to their recruitment duties, healthcare recruiters also play an important role in retention by developing programs and activities that keep employees engaged and motivated.

A degree in human resources management can be advantageous in pursuing this career. Liberty University offers an online master’s of science in healthcare administration with an emphasis on human resources. This two-year program discusses key concepts like human resource development, labor laws, and contracts, which will help students understand how to be effective leaders within any organization.

Healthcare recruiters can work directly for a healthcare company or a staffing agency that sends candidates to a company. Job duties typically include:

  • Sourcing, screening, and interviewing potential healthcare candidates
  • Creating job postings and advertising open positions
  • Maintaining relationships with hiring managers and department heads
  • Collaborating with the HR team to determine specific hiring needs and qualifications
  • Communicating job expectations and company culture to prospective candidates
  • Negotiating salary and benefits packages for new hires
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal laws pertaining to hiring practices
  • Staying up to date on current healthcare industry trends and developments
  • Attending job fairs and networking events for recruiting purposes
  • Monitoring candidate retention rates and making recommendations for improvement
  • Evaluating applicant tracking systems and other recruiting technology

The National Association for Health Care Recruitment offers a voluntary Certified Health Care Recruiter (CHCR) credential for professionals looking to stand out in this field. This certification demonstrates a deep understanding of hospital administration and recruitment to find the right person for a role. There is no state licensing requirements to be a healthcare recruiter.

Wages for healthcare recruiters will vary based on the employers, level of education completed, and years of experience. According to, healthcare recruiters earn $54,877 per year on average, with wages ranging from $46,902 to $64,633.

Become an Opioid Overdose Prevention Director

In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies promised physicians that opioids were addictive painkillers, leading doctors to prescribe them at a higher rate. Since then, the number of opioid overdoses has grown dramatically, causing the US Department of Health and Human Services to declare it a public health crisis in 2017. Preliminary 2021 data shows a 35 percent increase in opioid-related deaths over 2020.

To help manage this crisis, local, state, federal, and non-profit agencies have created the opioid overdose prevention director role. These directors are responsible for evaluating the current opioid epidemic in their region and working towards implementing solutions to address it. While a degree in healthcare administration is critical to working in this role, an additional certificate, such as the online clinical addiction certificate at Western Michigan University, can provide students with the context necessary to address this crisis expertly.

Day-to-day duties for an opioid overdose prevention director can include the following:

  • Developing and implementing a strategic plan for preventing opioid overdoses in the community
  • Coordinating and monitoring the distribution and use of naloxone
  • Maintaining partnerships with local organizations, agencies, and stakeholders to address opioid overdose prevention
  • Collecting data on opioid overdoses in the community and analyzing trends
  • Implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent opioid overdoses
  • Educating the community about the risks of opioids and safe usage practices
  • Facilitating access to substance abuse treatment services
  • Advocating for policies that support overdose prevention efforts
  • Coordinating response to opioid overdose emergencies, including working with first responders and connecting individuals to follow-up care
  • Writing messaging and communication strategies related to opioid overdose prevention
  • Crafting grant proposals to secure funding for overdose prevention efforts

As this role is relatively new, salary data can vary widely. Wages depend on a candidate’s years of experience and level of education, as well as the employer and location. The BLS (May 2021) estimates that medical and health services managers earn $119,840 per year, with the top 10 percent earning $205,620 per year and the bottom 10 percent $60,780 (Oct 2022).

Currently, there are no certification or licensing requirements to fulfill this role. However, voluntary certification as a Prevention Specialist (PS) through the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) can demonstrate a high level of competency to prospective employers.

Become a Robotic Surgery Research Supervisor

Since the 1980’s physicians and engineers have been working together to develop robots that can be utilized in surgery. For more than 30 years, the research conducted in this field has yielded tremendous advancements.

To help manage this process, most surgery robotics companies employ robotic surgery research supervisors responsible for coordinating research projects and conducting clinical trials involving surgical robots. They work closely with surgeons, engineers, and other medical personnel to develop and test new robotic technologies.

As technology advances, robotic surgery is becoming increasingly commonplace, and the demand for qualified research supervisors is expected to grow. Those interested in this career should have a strong background in medicine and engineering and excellent communication and organizational skills.

Degrees that can help students enter this career include healthcare administration, engineering, and robotics. The mechanical engineering department at Johns Hopkins offers robotics courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. PhD students in this department produce the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) in 2022, which has now completed its first successful test on animals.

Robotic surgery research supervisors can work at universities or companies developing surgery robots. Their day-to-day duties can include:

  • Overseeing and managing research projects related to robotic surgery techniques
  • Coordinating with surgeons and other medical professionals to collect data and analyze results
  • Developing protocols and procedures for conducting research
  • Collaborating with colleagues in the field to advance knowledge and technology in robotic surgery
  • Presenting findings at conferences and publishing research in academic journals
  • Supervising and mentoring team members, including graduate students
  • Writing grant proposals to secure funding for research projects
  • Monitoring budget and expenses for research projects
  • Keeping up to date on current developments in the field of robotic surgery
  • Networking with potential collaborators or partners
  • Ensuring compliance with institutional review board rules and regulations

As there are not many robotic surgery research supervisors, it can be hard to estimate salaries for this role. According to (2023), robotics engineers earn $85,710, and estimates that robotics technicians earn $59,172 per year. However, due to the supervisory nature of this role, actual salaries are likely much higher.

Due to the specialized nature of this job, there are currently no certifications available for this role. Likewise, there is no state licensing requirements to work in this field. The Association for Advancing Automation (A3) offers a Certified Robot Integrator program for professionals with a deep understanding and background in robotics. This certification demonstrates the ability to deliver robotic products, systems, and services at a high level, safely and reliably.

Emerging Healthcare Administration Careers: 2022 Edition

Become a Healthcare Human Resources Manager

Managing staff takes expertise and experience. Healthcare organizations frequently have large staffing pools that include everyone from maintenance staff to the CEO. In order to manage employees, healthcare organizations must rely on their human resources departments and the human resources manager. These managers are responsible for many duties, but primarily they are relied upon to ensure the healthcare organization complies with all applicable employment regulations.

Aspiring healthcare human resources managers can complete either a master’s of health administration degree or a master’s of business administration in order to have the necessary education to fill this role. There are many online master’s programs to help prepare students for this career, such as the online MBA in human resources at Southern New Hampshire University. This program also offers an MBA in healthcare administration so students can choose to take elective courses that will prepare them for work in healthcare.

Healthcare human resource managers work in hospitals, clinics, healthcare facilities, and long-term care centers. Their day-to-day duties can include:

  • Hiring new staff
  • Writing recruitment plans to find new hires
  • Terminating staff
  • Consulting with leadership staff to ensure staffing goals are met
  • Evaluating benefit plans for staff
  • Running training for new and existing staff
  • Responding to employee concerns
  • Preparing long-term strategic plans for recruitment, retention, and hiring

Wages for healthcare human resource managers vary based on level of education, years of experience, employer, and location. According to the BLS, human resource managers earn an average of $136,590 per year, with the top 10 percent making more than $163,360 and the bottom 10 percent earning $75,000 or less (Oct. 2022).

There are no state requirements for licensure in this field at this time. Certification as a healthcare human resource manager is voluntary, although it can be advantageous when applying for jobs or seeking a promotion. The primary certification professionals in this career earn is the American Hospital Association Certification Center (AHA-CC) Certified in Healthcare Human Resources (CHHR). The CHHR demonstrates competency in both human resources and healthcare.

Become a Chief Nursing Officer

As healthcare continues to become more complex each year, healthcare leadership has shifted towards relying on subject matter experts to oversee specialized areas. Because of this, the role of a chief nursing officer has become more common and widely recognized. This is largely an administrative role that oversees staff and patient care. While chief nursing officers have little to no direct interaction with patients, they must be licensed registered nurses and have often earned an advanced degree.

There are many degrees nurses can earn to advance into the role of chief nursing officer. Often it is a combination of work experience and education that will make a candidate eligible for this role. The University of Central Florida College of Nursing offers a five-semester online master’s of science in nursing leadership and management, which can be a stepping stone in a career as a chief nursing officer.

The most commonplace for chief nursing officers to be employed is in hospitals, although they can also be found in long-term care facilities and even managing nursing staff in “ask a nurse” call centers. Duties of chief nursing officers include:

  • Recruiting, hiring, supervising, and terminating nursing staff
  • Writing a long-term plan for the nursing department
  • Collaborating with nurse managers and shift leads to ensure proper supervision of all staff
  • Communicating with senior leadership staff and physicians
  • Setting and managing a budget
  • Ensuring staff and facilities meet applicable federal, state, and local regulations
  • Providing continuing education opportunities to nursing staff

Chief nursing officers must be licensed to practice nursing in the state where they are employed. Licensing requires a combination of education, typically at least an associate’s degree, and passing the National Council Licensure Examination. Each state has its own requirements for nursing licenses, so candidates should contact their local board to ensure they have the necessary qualifications.

Aspiring chief nursing officers can earn voluntary certification to demonstrate their competence and leadership skills. Some employers may even require one or more of the following certifications:

  • Certification in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
  • Nurse Executive, Certification (NE-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Nurse Manager and Leader Certification (CNML) from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
  • Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
  • Nurse Executive, Advanced Certification (NEA-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

The job of a chief nursing officer can be quite lucrative. estimates that chief nursing officers earn $135,546 per year, with the bottom 10 percent earning $96,000 or less and the top 10 percent making more than $203,000 per year (Oct. 2022).

Become a Director of Telehealth

Telemedicine is not new. For years, physicians have been providing care over the phone or, more recently, through virtual video visits. However, due to Covid-19 and social distancing recommendations, in-person medical visits dropped drastically in March and April of 2020, and subsequently, telehealth visits grew by 4,000 percent. It appears that telehealth is here to stay, and surveys show that at least half of consumers and 92 percent of physicians expect to continue to use telehealth, even after the pandemic wanes.

Managing telehealth services has its own set of challenges. Reimbursements by insurance can be lower, there are specific regulatory laws that must be adhered to, and clients, as well as providers, must have a strong internet connection. To help manage virtual services, many clinics are hiring directors of telehealth.

While there are no degrees in telehealth administration yet, students can pursue a master’s of business administration with an emphasis in health care or a master’s of healthcare administration to prepare them for this career. The University of Delaware offers an advanced telehealth coordinator online certificate that can also help prepare students for this field.

This new healthcare administrator role is evolving, and duties can include:

  • Writing policies for delivering telehealthcare
  • Training physicians and staff on how to use telehealth software
  • Keeping up with changing telehealth regulations and implementing policies to stay in compliance
  • Working with vendors to select products to use to deliver telehealthcare
  • Formulating, developing, and executing new procedures for better patient care
  • Communicating with clinical staff, physicians, and leadership

This job is so new there are presently no certifications available. In order to demonstrate proficiency in healthcare administration and business, aspiring directors of telehealth can earn complimentary certifications such as Certified Medical Manager (CMM) through the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) or Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) through the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

The American Board of Telehealth (ABT) offers online courses and certificates for clinical staff and medical providers looking to gain competency in this field., a website that aggregates salary information, reports that directors of telehealth make $154,577 per year on average. This data is based on self-reported salaries. Wages ranged from $136,000 to $244,000 per year (Oct. 2022).

Become a Product Manager

While some product managers may create physical products, they can also create programs, insurance policies, and technologies. In healthcare, this can look like a new wellness program, software to manage chronic disease, or a targeted insurance plan. In order to get these products from inception to the end consumer, healthcare companies hire product managers who have experience designing, building, implementing, and selling a healthcare product.

There are several educational paths to start a career as a healthcare product manager. Some students may opt for a master’s of business administration degree in order to gain the business acumen necessary for this job. Other students may pursue a master’s in healthcare administration, which combines leadership, healthcare, and business.

Short courses such as the online professional certificate in product management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management can prepare anyone from students to seasoned healthcare professionals to step into this role.

One of the primary roles of a product manager is to have a keen understanding of the client, their motivations, and their needs. Other duties of healthcare product managers include:

  • Writing the vision and strategy for a particular healthcare-related product
  • Breaking product development into a manageable timeline
  • Acting as the point person for product details
  • Coordinating with various departments to ensure individual aspects of product development are on schedule
  • Creating a marketing plan for the product launch
  • Meeting with stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page
  • Interviewing potential clients to ensure the product meets their needs
  • Executing a strong product launch
  • Monitoring product performance and adjusting the product as necessary.

Certification as a product manager is a voluntary step but can help with employment and advancement. One common certification earned is the Certified Product Manager (CPM) credential through the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM).

Presently, there are no state licensing requirements to work as a healthcare product manager. estimates that product managers earn between $61,000 to $127,000 per year, with the average salary being $89,938 per year (Oct. 2022).

Become a Training and Development Director

Cohesive company culture and knowledge are essential to smooth-running healthcare businesses. In order to accomplish this, staff must receive adequate training to do their job well. Training and development directors in healthcare are critical to ensuring staff knows what their role and responsibilities are, how to perform their duties, and how the healthcare company functions.

Most healthcare training and development directors have completed a master’s of science in training and development, such as the one-year online program at the University of St. Francis. Most master’s of science in training and development programs do not have a specific healthcare focus, so work experience or additional education may be required.

Typical job duties of healthcare training and development directors can include:

  • Writing training programs for staff
  • Overseeing training delivery by other staff members
  • Delivering training
  • Assessing employees need for training
  • Creating and managing training budgets
  • Selecting training products from vendors
  • Evaluating and updating existing training as necessary
  • Determining the effectiveness of training programs based on staff evaluation

There are several voluntary certification options for healthcare training and development directors who are looking to demonstrate their competency in this field. They include Certified Developer of Training (CDT) from the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) or the Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) from the Training Industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021), the 35,830 training and development managers in all industries in the Us earn $128,800 per year on average.

Emerging Healthcare Administration Careers: 2021 Edition

Become a Nursing Home Manager

The healthcare needs of aging people are on the rise. To meet the unique social and medical needs of older people, an increasing number of individuals and families are choosing to live in assisted living facilities. In order to make decisions that best serve their residents, most facilities are seeking nursing home managers with bachelor’s or master’s degrees in healthcare administration. Those wanting to specialize in this field are encouraged to pursue an online master’s in gerontology (the field that studies aging) and nursing home administration.

Healthcare administration degree programs are open to two types of students: those with clinical and non-clinical backgrounds. In 2021, more and more employers are searching for candidates with master’s degrees to oversee the teams providing health insurance reimbursement, patient care management, patient safety, accounting, and clinical healthcare to residents and patients. Previous clinical experience is preferred, and nursing home facilities are seeking candidates who have registered nurse or medical assisting and administration experience.

Responsibilities of a nursing home manager include:

  • Managing caregivers
  • Onboarding patients and their families to the facility
  • Communicating with clinical teams and families
  • Staying aware of local, state, and federal regulations
  • Ensuring the facility meets accreditation standards
  • Hiring and training new employees

According to, the average annual salary for a nursing home manager is $70,076 (Oct. 2022). Salaries are determined by several factors including the size of the facility and scope of responsibilities. An early-career nursing home manager with one to four years of experience earns an average salary of $30,000, while an experienced nursing home manager with 10-19 years of experience earns an average salary of $75,000 per year.

Licensure for nursing home managers, also known as long-term care administrators, is required in all 50 states and can be pursued through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

Become a Diagnostics & Laboratory Manager

Scientific breakthroughs in medicine and medical research happen as a result of well-managed teams of scientists. A laboratory manager is in charge of directing teams of life scientists to further medical research and development projects.

Laboratory managers lead teams developing new vaccines, medical devices, and researching pharmaceutical drug effects. Laboratory managers have a range of scientific and engineering degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral levels. Those seeking advanced management degrees can seek out professional science master’s degrees (PSM) like the one offered at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

Laboratory managers work in a variety of public and private institutions including manufacturing, state and federal government, and scientific management and consulting firms. Most spend the majority of their time in offices and conference rooms meeting with government or corporate executives and in laboratories overseeing the work of research scientists.

Typical daily tasks of laboratory managers are:

  • Working with company executives and government officials
  • Researching and developing new projects
  • Allocating financial, personnel, and laboratory resources to specific projects
  • Overseeing the progress of scientific research teams
  • Writing and submitting operational and audited reports
  • Taking inventory of laboratory supplies
  • Following regulations set forth for human subjects’ compliance and laboratory animal research
  • Ensuring that laboratory safety accreditation standards are followed
  • Communicating research conclusions and project status reports to management teams

The median annual salary for natural sciences managers (a similar occupational title) is $156,110 per year (May 2021). This career is projected to grow steadily from 2021 to 2031 at a rate of six percent which is slightly slower than the national average for all occupations at eight percent. In the same decade, an estimated 4,600 new positions will be needed nationally.

Certification is not typically required for laboratory managers although most laboratories require scientists to hold laboratory certification such as the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Depending on the specialization of the laboratory, certifications such as the Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR) are given by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Become a Wellness Program Administrator

For those who desire to affect change in their communities, becoming a wellness program administrator is a great career option. Also known as social and community service managers, professionals in this role are most often found leading public health initiatives.

By targeting specific populations and demographics such as children or homeless people, wellness program administrators see to it that public and private organizations meet their targeted goals which can be preventive or corrective. Examples of public health wellness program initiatives include addressing chronic hunger, child obesity, diabetes prevention, mental health support, or services to veterans.

To meet these large and specific goals, wellness program administrators must juggle many duties:

  • Oversee administrative requirements for initiatives
  • Review policy proposals
  • Develop project implementation plans
  • Manage teams of employees working in public health or private organizations
  • Write grant proposals to secure funding
  • Analyze project efficacy using surveys and other data collection methods
  • Solicit community feedback
  • Prepare needs assessments
  • Manage community outreach efforts
  • Gather data to assess efficacy before and after a project

The median salary for social and community service managers is $76,790 (BLS May 2021). Careers in this field are growing at a staggering 12 percent, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations (eight percent). The BLS estimates that 20,400 new social and community service manager positions will be created between 2021 and 2031 and shows that the typical entry-level education for these positions is a bachelor’s degree.

To prepare wellness program managers to combine data-driven decision-making with a community’s needs at the forefront, Walden University offers a bachelor of science in healthcare administration as well as a master’s of healthcare administration. Another popular public health degree option is a master’s of public health (MPH). Earning these degrees helps wellness program administrators create effective healthcare changes in their communities.

While licensure is not typically required for social and community service managers, certifications are available. The Chapman Institute offers four levels of Certified Wellness Program certifications which are available online or in-person.

As well, the National Wellness Institute offers two certifications: Worksite Wellness Specialist (CWWS) for all who want to gain insights into worksite wellness and Worksite Wellness Program Manager (CWWPM) for those with three years of corporate wellness management.

Become a Healthcare Writer

While medical research is technical by nature, its implications are lost on the people who need it most when it’s hidden behind peer-reviewed journals and written in scientific jargon. Enter healthcare writers: professionals who unpack complex ideas and simplify them for laypeople. By communicating the takeaways of complex medical processes, healthcare writers empower people to understand more about their medical needs or insurance coverage.

Empowered with contextualized information, patients can make better-informed decisions about their healthcare. Healthcare writers also attract future talent to a growing industry by creating career guides and promoting educational programs through blog posts and marketing materials. In short, healthcare writers take the hard work out of researching complicated information and use credible sources to authenticate their message. Depending on their areas of specialization, healthcare writers create informative or investigative content.

To create content that connects with readers, healthcare writers need to be skilled in the following areas:

  • Know what information their audiences need
  • Use specific language that’s relevant to targeted audiences
  • Be familiar with the types of content already available
  • Comprehend healthcare-related topics
  • Write in a style that is authoritative, relatable, and objective
  • Knowledge of search engine optimization and analytics
  • Strategic use of keywords throughout an article
  • Organization of articles and headings based on keywords
  • Keep content up-to-date for relevancy
  • Share content across targeted social media platforms

Also known as technical writers, healthcare writers earn median salaries of $81,470 per year (BLS May 2021). As the demand for healthcare careers and services increases, this profession is projected to grow at a rate of six percent which is on par than the national average for all occupations (eight percent). Between 2021 and 2031, the BLS estimates approximately 3,100 new positions will be needed.

Most technical writers work for professional, scientific, and technical services companies and others work in manufacturing, administrative, and publishing industries. Most positions require a bachelor’s or advanced degree in English, communications, or relevant experience. Some technical writing positions may require a degree in science, medicine, or computer science.

Certification isn’t required for all positions, but the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) offers continuing education and certificates in medical writing. To be eligible for the certification exam, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any field and at least two years of paid work experience in medical communication.

Become a Biomedical Engineer Manager

For those who are ready to pivot their biomedical engineering experience into leadership positions, earning an MBA with a healthcare specialization or a master’s degree in healthcare innovation (MHI). Biomedical engineers are responsible for creating and testing medical devices such as pacemakers, minimally invasive surgical equipment, and prosthetics which help people live longer and recover from medical procedures with less pain and fewer complications.

Because of their work, patients can access much-needed medical care and healthcare facilities and insurance companies lessen their liability and save time and money. With a master’s degree in healthcare administration or innovation, bioengineers are equipped to apply their technical backgrounds to meet healthcare-specific administrative needs. With a healthcare leadership degree, biomedical engineers can efficiently lead teams of researchers and developers and create more cutting-edge life-saving technologies.

The duties of a biomedical engineer manager are commonly split between laboratories and board rooms and typically include the following responsibilities:

  • Design new technologies such as artificial internal organs, prosthetics, and more efficient and less invasive medical equipment
  • Repair or coordinate technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Evaluate design proposals submitted by research teams
  • Hire and train biomedical engineers and laboratory staff
  • Ensure that procedures and plans are well-documented prior to testing
  • Publish technical reports and research papers with conclusive findings
  • Make presentations and progress reports to healthcare facility management teams
  • Communicate technical information in non-technical terms
  • Coordinate with teams responsible for securing and sustaining funding for research and development

In 2021, biomedical engineers earned a median annual salary of $101,020. The BLS (May 2021) shows that between 2021 and 2031, this field is projected to grow by 10percent and estimates 1,700 new biomedical engineering positions will be needed in the same decade. Since most biomedical engineers require a bachelor’s degree, it can be assumed that with a master’s degree, leaders in this innovative field can earn higher salaries depending on the industry that employs them. Most biomedical engineers work in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.

The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) provides certification for engineers. All 50 states accept the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) or the Principles and Practice of Engineer (PE) certification as valid proof of credentials.

Emerging Healthcare Administration Careers: 2020 Edition

Become a Health Insurance Specialist

With Americans spending more than ever on healthcare services, insurance is critical. It can reduce out-of-pocket costs and make essential medical treatments affordable. However, getting insurance to pay for treatments can be cumbersome and complicated. Many clinics now hire health insurance specialists to assist with medical coding, billing, and managing the claims process. While this job has been done by entry-level professionals, increasingly the role is becoming more complicated and employers are requiring the expertise learned while earning an MHA.

While this job is frequently performed in the back office, these professionals also interface with clients in person, via email, or over the phone. Excellent customer service skills are a must as is a problem-solving attitude. Professionals in this field are required to strictly adhere to state and federal insurance laws in addition to insurance policies and clinic procedures. Attention to detail and the ability to adhere to rules are very important. Often this role can also be referred to as a claims adjuster or insurance adjuster.

Responsibilities of health insurance specialists include:

  • Access patient medical records
  • Code medical procedures
  • Communicate with insurance companies and clients
  • Analyze claims
  • Verify medical coverage
  • File registration forms with insurance providers
  • Record charges and payments on patient records

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021), insurance and claims adjusters earn $70,960 per year on average. An MHA degree can help prospective professionals in the field be competitive when seeking work. Many MHA programs offer courses such as healthcare management and policy, healthcare reimbursement, and healthcare economics, which provide the necessary background to excel in the field.

Professionals seeking to set themselves apart can also pursue medical coding certifications such as the one offered by the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Become a Social Welfare Administrator

Social welfare administrators, often also called community service managers, are integral to any social service program. These programs work with specific populations such as children, seniors, low-income citizens, to provide them access to resources they may need including housing, healthcare, or education. While this career can be very demanding and challenging because of the lack of resources, many professionals find it to be very rewarding.

Programs that employ social welfare administrators include government agencies, nonprofits, and religious organizations. Within these programs, administrators are the link that ensures things run smoothly by providing direct services to clients and also managing the program as a whole. Leadership skills are essential as these professionals are responsible for the direction and course of an agency. Other necessary skills include the ability to manage staff effectively, good problem-solving abilities, skilled networkers, and the ability to analyze data and performance.

Typical job duties of a social welfare administration include:

  • Establish and oversee procedures and policies for the department or program
  • Apply for and administer grants
  • Meet with clients to assist them with accessing services
  • Train and supervise staff and volunteers
  • Plan and manage outreach activities
  • Participate in advocacy activities with the local and national government
  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of the program

Social and community service managers earn $63,010 per year on average, according to the BLS (May 2021). Professionals in this field have work experience in social services and have obtained an MHA or related degree such as a master’s in social work. Sometimes significant work experience can be substituted for a degree. Those who have already obtained a graduate degree can earn a certificate in social work administration at San Diego State to further hone leadership and management skills and be more competitive in the job market.

Become a Social Media Director

While marketing may not be the first job that comes to mind when thinking of working in healthcare, it is increasingly important for clinics, hospitals, and care centers to manage their social media. As more and more patients and their families utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they can be leveraged as powerful tools. While some clinics hire this service out, many are not creating dedicated marketing roles such as social media directors.

Social media directors in healthcare utilize social media tools to communicate with patients, share information on new research, and engage the public. As directors, professionals in this field are responsible for charting the course for their company’s social media strategy including establishing policies for posting and determining how to handle complaints or disagreements. Creativity, quick decision-making, flexibility, strong communication skills, and good organization are all critical to being successful in this role.

Job duties for social media directors include:

  • Write posts for social media channels
  • Manage advertising budget
  • Respond to posts on social media
  • Meet with senior-level staff
  • Develop the social media strategy
  • Craft and implement campaigns for events, awareness, or other activities to meet goals
  • Analyze data to measure the effectiveness of social media campaigns
  • Hire and oversee staff

While salary can vary widely depending on the size of the clinic and job duties required, advertising and marketing directors—including those in social media—earn an average of $153,440 per year according to the BLS (May 2021). While many professionals in this role have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, or a related field, a master’s is required for more senior roles. An MHA can give professionals the unique advantage of not only understanding how to leverage social media but also having a strong background in healthcare.

Those wishing to enter this field should concentrate on taking courses in marketing, public relations, and advertising while pursuing their degree.

Become a Pharmaceutical Project Manager

Many conditions and diseases can be treated with medicines, but there are many more that still do not have treatments. Pharmaceutical companies and scientists are researching these conditions in order to develop new drugs to help patients recover from an illness or manage chronic conditions. The development process of these new drugs is overseen by pharmaceutical project managers.

Pharmaceutical project managers’ roles are varied and require individuals who are flexible and creative. A background in clinical research helps significantly as does previous experience in healthcare settings. Strong leadership skills are a must as these project managers are tasked with managing a team of researchers and other staff. They also must be astute at managing budgets, timelines, and expectations as developing a new pharmaceutical product requires many moving parts and targets.

The role of pharmaceutical project managers include:

  • Manage a team of engineers, researchers, and doctors to develop a new product
  • Specify project steps
  • Set measurable, incremental goals and measure outcomes towards goals
  • Oversee clinical trials
  • Set and manage a budget
  • Hire staff as needed
  • Create status reports to communicate progress with senior staff

Working as a pharmaceutical project manager can be lucrative as they earn on average $82,798, according to (Oct. 2022). Education requirements for this career vary but most professionals have earned at least an MHA or related degree. A certificate in project management, such as the one offered at California Southern University, can provide targeted education to make an applicant more competitive in the job application process.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) also offers certifications that, when obtained, demonstrate knowledge and expertise in the field.

Become a Healthcare Brand Manager

Managing the perception of a brand in the market is a full-time job that requires expertise and craft. Initially, brand manager positions emerged in product companies, retail or marketing firms, but as markets have grown and adapted, it has become critical for hospitals, clinics, and even physicians to hire brand managers.

Good brand managers set companies apart by building customer devotion through images and key messaging. In healthcare, this is seen as patients and clients feeling confident that they will receive quality care if they chose a given facility, retention of patients, or trusting a practitioner to provide excellent service.

Healthcare brand managers are responsible for charting the course for the brand of a healthcare entity. They are creative, driven, and well versed in the newest brand strategies. As communication is essential to this role, professionals who hold these positions are adept at conveying difficult concepts in simple terms that are accessible to everyone.

Healthcare brand manager responsibilities and duties include:

  • Defining the brand
  • Develop and manage a brand strategy
  • Utilize the strategy to guide marketing efforts
  • Report to senior staff on trends utilizing data gathered from customers and the industry
  • Set strategic goals for the brand such as engagement, perception, or status
  • Coach staff, volunteers, and senior staff on how to communicate using the brand strategy
  • Work with designers, writers, and advertisers to craft collateral materials and ads that are on-brand
  • Direct research to provide data for brand decision making

Depending on education and expertise, brand managers can anticipate earning $72,999 per year, according to PayScale (Oct. 2021). Healthcare employers are looking for professionals who have experience in marketing, clinic management, and strategy. Most professionals in this field have earned at least a master’s degree. An MHA, with courses in marketing and advertising, can be very valuable as it provides the necessary education with the necessary emphasis on healthcare.

Emerging Healthcare Administration Careers: 2019 Edition

Become a Healthcare Data Scientist

Healthcare is poised to be one of the largest beneficiaries of the AI revolution, with applications in disease detection, drug discovery, and care delivery. It’s already being used to optimize facility workflow, image analysis, and clinical diagnostics. But that artificial intelligence requires some very keen data science in order to develop effective learning algorithms. And with billions of investment dollars flowing in, healthcare data scientists are already in high demand.

Using mathematics, programming, and visualization, healthcare data scientists mine raw data for trends, and then find applications for those trends, putting them to work in learning algorithms. Their roles are often client-facing, meaning that they must communicate with their customer on a consistent basis to define the pertinent questions they face, so to best design an applicable solution using a rigorous set of hypotheses.

On a technical level, data scientists need to have comfortability with extracting raw data and manipulating it into actionable insights, often through a programming language such as Python or R. Analytic skills-based in machine learning require a working knowledge of statistics, logistic regression, and neural networks.

Typical responsibilities for healthcare data scientists include:

  • Extracting data from primary sources
  • Utilizing data visualization software to deduce trends
  • Communicating with colleagues and customers to determine pertinent issues
  • Writing and testing software in a variety of platforms
  • Applying statistical models and machine learning to draw scientific conclusions
  • Comparing and synthesizing multiple data sets to reach a peak accuracy

According to (Oct. 2022), an employment data aggregator, the average salary for data scientists is $97,665 a year. The educational requirements for this position can be steep, though they do vary from employer to employer. While some positions may require only a bachelor’s degree, a master’s or PhD in data science is generally preferred, and specialized programs in health data science have already sprouted up, like the MS program at Harvard.

Prospective and current healthcare data scientists can look to the Healthcare Data and Analytics Association (HDAA) as a resource for collaboration and professional development.

Become a Healthcare Information Administrator

Healthcare’s going increasingly digital, and healthcare facilities are facing a data tsunami. According to IDC (Nov 2021), a research firm, the amount of healthcare data created for each consumer over a lifetime will be an estimated 270 GB. This data not only helps physicians care for patients, but it also can give administrators valuable insights into trends, the ability to project needs, and information to make data-informed decisions.

While data scientists sift through that data and work it into actionable insights, healthcare information administrators are in charge of securing, managing, and optimizing the systems which collect and hold that data.

Healthcare information administrators can be parsed into several job titles. Their primary responsibilities will vary based upon the particular needs of the facility for which they work. Some administrators may specialize in the implementation of new IT and data collection infrastructures, while others may focus on the management and operations of those infrastructures. Further sub-specialties exist within that split as well, with compliance, education, and revenue cycle all being areas of expertise for healthcare information administrators.
Some key responsibilities of healthcare information administrators include:

  • Analyzing health records for accuracy
  • Ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations
  • Securing sensitive health data against privacy breaches
  • Creating a standard language for data interoperability
  • Improving data literacy among a medical facility’s staff and patients

The average salary for healthcare information administrators, according to (Oct. 2022), is just $73,000 a year. A bachelor’s degree, preferably in health information management, is the bare minimum for many employers, although there is a strong trend pushing for master’s level education, such as an MHA with an informatics focus.

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the go-to professional resource for health information administrators, and their certifications are well recognized in the industry, often leading to a significant boost in salary.

Become a Healthcare Policy Specialist

Even as President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) saw a sizable increase in the number of newly insured Americans, a debate has persisted over who exactly has been helped by what. The ambition of this massive healthcare legislation has come with an equally massive dose of complexity: some 10,000 pages of policy.

The introduction of the American Health Care Act (ACA), which repeals and replaces parts of the ACA, has only increased the complexity and confusion further. And while healthcare policy specialist is by no means a new career title, it has taken on a new focus and renewed importance in the national landscape.

Healthcare policy specialists can work for government organizations, charities, think tanks, insurance companies, medical facilities, and elsewhere in the private sector. A great deal of specialization exists, and a healthcare policy specialist focus in a specific area such as Medicaid, lobbying, education, or community outreach. Healthcare policy specialists will need a solid understanding of the legislation as it applies to their area of specialty, along with sound research, analysis, and communication skills.

Typical responsibilities of a healthcare policy specialist may include:

  • Researching updates to existing healthcare policy
  • Analyzing impacts of new legislation upon a company or community
  • Advocating for policy adjustment at a state or federal level
  • Developing strategies for compliance with existing legislation
  • Conducting site visits to assess the operations of a healthcare facility
  • Collaborating with healthcare administrators to implement policy changes

According to PayScale (Oct. 2022), an employment data aggregator, health policy analysts earn an average of $64,379 a year. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for some entry-level positions, but graduate-level education is increasingly preferred.

An MHA with relevant specialization, an MPH, or even a law degree may be required for certain positions. The American Public Health Association (APHA) houses a Center for Public Health Policy, where healthcare policy specialists can network, share resources, and collectively advocate for policy changes and implementation that better serve the wider population’s collective health.

Become an On-Site Clinic Administrator

An increasing trend of concern for employee health has resulted in the rise of onsite clinics, where a wide variety of medical and wellness services are provided directly at a place of work. In 2020, two-thirds of large employers (those with 5,000 or more employees) offered general medicine worksite clinics, a significant increase over the just one-third that offered them in 2017.

Customized to meet the needs of a very specific population, on-site clinics can range in scope of services, from acute care to primary care to general wellness services and everything in between. But the need for healthcare administrators is doubly important in an on-site clinic, where one must stand up a medical facility within the walls of a non-medical environment.

On-site clinic administrators work in much the same capacity that off-site clinic administrators do, working to ensure the day-to-day operations of a healthcare facility. But on-site administrators are also working with a very specific population of working-age adults, and need to coordinate their care to match the needs of a particular parent corporation.

Integrating health and wellness within the culture of the workplace is a top priority, and close coordination with the management of the business as a whole is a critical function of on-site clinic administrators.
Typical responsibilities for on-site clinic administrators include:

  • Instituting a culture of health and wellness within the employee community
  • Designing and maintaining an on-site clinic’s budget
  • Managing the staffing and scheduling of clinical staff
  • Coordinating with company directors to procure and distribute clinical resources
  • Squaring a clinic’s care offerings with the parent company’s health plans
  • Optimizing wellness services for the employee population

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021), the average salary for medical and health services managers was $119,840 per year. The bare minimum for entry-level positions is a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but the trend for healthcare administrators is pushing for master’s level education, either through an MHA or an MBA with a healthcare focus.

Professional resources include the National Association of Worksite Health Centers (NAWHC), the Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA), and the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), the latter of which offers certification in compliance and revenue cycle specialties. Additionally, the American Hospital Association (AHA) offers certification as a healthcare facility manager (CHFM).

Become a Healthcare Consultant

Healthcare is one of the fastest-changing industries in the world, but it’s also a disaggregated one, where a state-of-the-art hospital and a paper-based medical clinic may exist on the same street. And while healthcare administration is one of the more in-demand careers of the moment, many facilities are still looking to bring someone in part-time to help them manage the transition from the 20th to 21st century, enough so that healthcare consultancy is a multi-billion dollar industry.

Healthcare consultants shepherd medical facilities, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies through transitions and updates to their practices. While their exact roles and responsibilities will vary based upon the client they are contracted with, it is largely up to a consultant to determine what a client needs, and thereby come up with what needs to be done to improve it. A consultant may specialize in a specific subcategory, such as IT or finance, but they will almost certainly work with a wide variety of clients in the course of their career.
Some typical responsibilities for a healthcare consultant may include:

  • Developing a needs assessment with the client
  • Streamlining a client’s management structure and staffing
  • Upgrading a client’s IT and data-sharing capabilities
  • Introducing cost-effective and efficient new business models
  • Adapting modern, industry-wide best practices in isolated settings
  • Educating staff and execs throughout the course of a transition period

According to PayScale (Oct. 2022), healthcare consultants earn over $80,233 a year, on average. There are many educational pathways to becoming a healthcare consultant, but most will have graduate-level education in the form of an MBA with a healthcare focus, and MHA, or an MPH. Work experience in related fields is at a premium for healthcare consultants, who are often primarily managing other managers in the course of their work.

Certain specialized certifications with particular hardware and software clients (such as Epic, a healthcare software service) may be at a premium, depending upon a consultant’s focus. The National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants (NSCHBC) is a professional organization that allows for networking, collaboration, and continuing education amongst healthcare consultants. It also offers pathways to professional certification.

Kimmy Gustafson
Kimmy Gustafson

With a unique knack for simplifying complex health concepts, Kimmy Gustafson has become a trusted voice in the healthcare realm, especially on, where she has contributed insightful and informative content for prospective and current MHA students since 2019. She frequently interviews experts to provide insights on topics such as collaborative skills for healthcare administrators and sexism and gender-related prejudice in healthcare.

Kimmy has been a freelance writer for more than a decade, writing hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics such as startups, nonprofits, healthcare, kiteboarding, the outdoors, and higher education. She is passionate about seeing the world and has traveled to over 27 countries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. When not working, she can be found outdoors, parenting, kiteboarding, or cooking.

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