Healthcare for Women: Aim for the Top

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, with high-paying openings appearing every day. Because it’s such a high-growth industry, it’s a field where a woman can build a powerful career.  Some women work in the front lines of the healthcare industry as doctors, surgeons, nurses, physician’s assistants, educators, and researchers. But women with an aptitude for business and an interest in wellness are finding their way to the top of the field as leaders of the healthcare industry. If you are interested in the business side of healthcare, aim for a role as administrator at a hospital, physician group, biotech company, or pharmaceutical firm.

Work in the Business of Health Care

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Image via Flickr by citirecruitment

If you’re not interested in serving patients directly as a doctor or nurse, you might not imagine yourself in a healthcare career. But health administrators take part in this growing industry as business people, not as service providers. They are the hospital administrators, the executives of health care, pharmaceutical and biotech firms. They might work in government, helping to shape policy decisions, or work in strategic planning in the insurance industry. Specializing in the business of health care gives you an edge over someone with a general business degree in this rapid growth field.

Health Care Is a Growing Industry

The aging of the American population, combined with massive changes in the industry due to healthcare reform, are driving demand for healthcare administrators through the roof. A field that’s growing this rapidly provides lots of opportunities, and the barriers for women tend to be lower when opportunities are plentiful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Outlook Handbook says, “Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.” That makes health care one of the fastest-growing career areas in America. 

Health Administrators Enjoy Outstanding Earnings

As a health administrator, you will bring home a nice paycheck. According to the Occupation Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for healthcare administrators is $88,580. And that’s just the median, which means nearly half of health administrators are probably earning six figures. Senior healthcare executives with significant experience and achievements can earn salaries of $200,000 and more.

How to Get Into the Field

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, with a focus on business or health, to enter the health administration field. An advanced degree is better. You can earn a masters in health administration degree online, which will prepare you specifically for a career as a health administrator and open the right doors for you. 

Historically, women in the healthcare industry were nurses. Some women still choose to serve patients directly as doctors or nurses, but this growing field offers a unique opportunity for women to earn a fair share of seats in the board room.  If you have an interest in business, consider specializing in health administration so you can be part of this new wave of women in health care. 

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