Health care professionals, including those who hold the top jobs in the industry, can combine their expert knowledge with a health care MBA degree to take on new challenges and leadership roles within the industry. These professionals may want to grow in their roles for several reasons, including the fact that the health care industry is one of the fastest-growing in the country today. It’s expected to grow nearly 30 percent over the coming decade and add over 5 million jobs to the economy. In fact, as of May 2015, the country’s hospitals ended 10 straight months of job growth, with over 100,000 jobs added in the past year.
With this growth, certain important roles have remained at the top. These include doctors, nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants:
Physicians and surgeons rank among some of the top jobs in health care, according to U.S. News & World Report. For the most part, these health care specialists also earn more than other professionals in the health care field. Doctors are responsible for diagnosing and treating patients based on their specialties, and income potential can depend on where you practice and what type of medicine you choose.
The Atlantic reports that doctors, such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, earn more money than physicians in other specialties, such as endocrinology. However, physicians of all specialties earn healthy wages while they improve their patients’ lives. Additionally, job growth in this profession will continue to grow at a fast rate through 2022, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Like doctors, nurses care for patients in health care settings. Some work in large facilities like hospitals, while others focus their skills on smaller practices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses earned a median pay of $65,470 per year in 2012, and job growth is expected to increase by 19 percent through 2022.
Professionals with health care MBAs can combine their nursing skills with their business acumen. Knowing how to lead a team of other health care workers and understanding how medical facilities function as businesses can give students an edge in their future careers.
After patients visit a medical facility and interact with doctors and nurses, they often visit pharmacists to receive medications and to learn how to take those medications.
Additionally, Time magazine reports that pharmacy clinics are becoming increasingly common. In these facilities, pharmacists must work even more closely with other health care 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 in the Affordable Care Act, demand for non-physician primary health care providers, such as physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners, is on the rise. In 2015, the unemployment rate for PAs was 1.2 percent, and an additional 33,000 job openings are projected by year’s end. The BLS expects demand for physician assistants to grow by an explosive 38.4 percent through 2022.
PAs usually complete a master’s degree plus extensive clinical training. The median salary in 2013 was $93,000, with top earners making slightly more than $130,000 per year.
The future is bright for graduates with degrees in healthcare-related fields, with an abundance of well-paying jobs and potential for growth.