Top 9 Healthcare Jobs With an MBA

A hospital executive meets with the medical team.The healthcare industry is growing rapidly, with plenty of opportunities on the horizon for Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 15% increase in healthcare and social assistance employment between 2021 and 2031, which translates to roughly 2.6 million new jobs added to the economy.

As science and technology continue to evolve and converge, old systems are just not working. Instead, healthcare is drawing on practices of innovation and entrepreneurship to navigate the changing waters. This unique expansion — and the opportunities that comes with it — provides the perfect environment for healthcare professionals equipped with a Healthcare MBA degree. These professionals can combine their expert knowledge with business savvy to take on new challenges and leadership positions in healthcare. Individuals seeking healthcare jobs with an MBA have diverse options to explore.

Healthcare Jobs With an MBA

While the expansion of the healthcare industry has created a broader scope of job opportunities, there are some career paths that have remained within the industry’s upper echelon. Some of these roles fall under more traditional healthcare jobs that require strong leadership skills, while others combine healthcare knowledge with business sense.

1. Doctors, Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons rank among some of the top jobs in healthcare, according to U.S. News & World Report. For the most part, these healthcare specialists also earn more than other professionals in the healthcare field. Doctors are responsible for diagnosing and treating patients based on their specialties, and income potential can depend on where they practice and what medical specialty they choose.

According to the 2021 Physician Compensation Report by medical information provider Medscape, general practice surgeons earned a median annual salary of $373,000, compared with a median annual salary of $236,000 for physicians in family practice. The report also reveals that specialists earned more. Cardiologists earned a median annual salary of $459,000, and urologists earned a median of $427,000. However, regardless of their specialty, physicians earn healthy wages while they improve their patients’ lives.

2. Nurses

Like doctors, nurses care for patients in healthcare settings. Some work in large facilities like hospitals, while others focus their skills in smaller practices. According to the BLS, registered nurses (RNs) earned a median annual salary of $77,600 as of January 2023, and job growth is expected to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031.

Nurses seeking a path to a leadership position may choose to pursue a role as a nurse practitioner. These advanced practice nurses coordinate patient care and, in some cases, can provide primary patient care. The BLS lists the median annual salary of this role at $123,780, as of January 2023.

3. Pharmacists

After patients visit a medical facility and interact with doctors and nurses, they often visit pharmacists to receive medications and learn how to take them. According to the BLS, these specialists earned a median annual salary of $128,570 as of January 2023.

While pharmacists can work in a traditional clinical facility, offsite pharmacy clinics also provide a common work environment. In these facilities, pharmacists must work even more closely with other healthcare professionals to meet patient needs. Pharmacy clinics relieve some of the demand for primary care physicians and offer patients a convenient alternative to traditional care.

4. Physician Assistants

As a result of changes to the Affordable Care Act, demand for nonphysician primary healthcare providers, such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners, is massive. The BLS projects a whopping 28% job growth between 2021 and 2031 in this area. PAs usually complete a master’s degree plus extensive clinical training. Their median annual salary was $121,530 in January 2023. For those seeking healthcare jobs with an MBA, this is a very promising path.

5. Practice or Project Administrators

One of the most common ways in which healthcare MBAs are moving into management is by becoming project or practice administrators. In this role, they work behind the scenes to make projects or practices more efficient. Administrators can be found managing departments in a hospital, overseeing outpatient clinics and managing nursing homes. It is also possible to act as an administrator for a pharmaceutical product. In all cases, the position involves collecting data, analyzing resource usage and streamlining efforts.

Budgeting, billing and regulatory compliance are also responsibilities of practice and project administrators. Professionals in these roles generally have consulting experience, and many use administrator roles to validate their experience before moving on to consulting for larger firms.

The BLS places this role under the category of medical and health services managers. It reports a median annual salary of $101,340 for the profession as of May 2020 and a projected job growth of 28% between 2021 and 2031.

6. Systems Information and Analysis Managers

For healthcare MBAs who do not have consulting or management experience, working as a systems information and analysis manager is an option. This role involves gathering and managing the information flow within a facility. Systems information and analysis managers oversee what data is tracked, how that information is stored and perform analysis on that data to tease out actionable details. This information is used to develop budgets, make billing decisions, set schedules and hire staff as needed. Systems information and analysis managers also make sure a facility’s software and hardware are accurate, up to date and sufficient for the needs of the department or facility.

According to the compensation website Payscale, systems analysis managers earned a median annual salary of about $89,000 as of January 2023.

7. Hospital or Center Executives

A healthcare MBA grad who has considerable healthcare management experience may consider becoming a hospital or healthcare center executive, such as a CEO or chief financial officer (CFO). In this executive role, the individual is in charge of meeting and managing the operational needs of the organization. Budgeting and financial planning are important concerns, as are negotiating contracts, analyzing sales information, finding ways to maximize finances, examining financial reports, ensuring regulatory compliance and so on.

A healthcare MBA considering this field will need a strong background in healthcare management as well as a sound understanding of finance, marketing and business best practices.

The BLS categorizes these executive roles as top executives, along with other C-suite professions. The median annual salary for top executives was $98,980 as of January 2023.

8. Health Policy Analyst

Those seeking healthcare jobs with an MBA may also wish to consider the policy analyst position. This role involves evaluating public health policies, noting ways they might be improved. Policy analysts often find work at government agencies, but they may also be employed by private healthcare companies or even nonprofits.

The work of a health policy analyst is meticulous and exacting. Duties and responsibilities include reviewing medical records, conducting investigations and researching potential policy improvements. Those who take an analyst position must be organized and detail-oriented. Above all, they must have a passion for supporting public health initiatives.

According to data obtained from Payscale in January 2023, the annual median salary for this position is around $66,000.

9. Health Consultant

Health organizations are devoted to providing the highest standards of patient care. To do so, they need to have sound business principles in place, ensuring the efficient allocation of resources and personnel. That’s where health consultants come into play. A health consultant helps different health-related organizations run as smoothly as possible, improving revenues but also facilitating better patient outcomes.

Health consultants typically accept short-term engagements with different types of healthcare organizations, making this a great career path for healthcare MBAs who desire flexibility in their work.

According to data obtained from Payscale in January 2023, the annual median salary for this position is approximately $82,000.

Why Earn a Healthcare MBA?

There are many advantages to obtaining an MBA with a focus on healthcare. Some of the most significant benefits include the ability to achieve the following.

  • Gain insight into a changing industry. Healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace, both in terms of business structures and in terms of technology. One of the best ways to stay up to date is to pursue a formal, advanced education in the field.
  • Build a professional network. Pursuing healthcare jobs with an MBA is easier with the support of a professional network. Enrolling in an MBA program is a great way to start developing key relationships.
  • Develop leadership skills. Working in healthcare requires a certain level of clinical know-how, but it also helps to be able to manage and motivate a team. Earning an MBA provides insight into sound leadership strategies and enables developing key skills.
  • Increase earning potential. Advanced degrees often translate into more competitive compensation. That’s certainly true in healthcare, where earning an advanced degree can qualify you for higher salaries.
  • Make an impact. Earning an MBA is often the first step toward finding work as a healthcare decision-maker. In other words, an advanced education can create opportunities to make meaningful, system- or organization-wide improvements that ultimately benefit patients and providers alike.

Shape the Future With a Healthcare MBA

Traditional healthcare roles that are designed to treat illness and injury as they occur will always be needed. At the same time, technology and other innovations are driving big changes in the industry itself. One such change is the move from focusing on curing illness to one that more readily embraces preserving health. This latter shift means hospitals and clinics are being run more like businesses — and businesses need managers.

Learn how George Washington University’s online Healthcare MBA program can help prepare you for the perfect position to apply recognized business and management concepts while providing insight into healthcare as a field.


Indeed, What Is a Healthcare Consultant?

Payscale, Healthcare Consultant

Payscale, Health Policy Analyst

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pharmacists

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Top Executives