Healthcare is a huge part of the labor market. More people work in healthcare than in any other profession. Plus, the demand for healthcare employees is expected to grow faster than in any other industry. More doctors and nurses will be needed, but the demand for managers and administrators will grow as well.
Health administration is what keeps hospital, clinics, nursing facilities and countless other healthcare settings running. Health administrators handle essential issues like accounting, human resources, marketing, project management, finance, strategic planning and many more. Without their efforts, healthcare providers could not provide treatment and patients could not get the help they need.
The demand for health administrators reflects the broader labor trends in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force will require 20% more administrators in 2026 as it did in 2016. The average rate of growth for all professions is just 7%, almost a third of what it is for health administrators. In just one decade, an additional 72,100 professionals are expected to enter the field.
Healthcare Administration Growth for Mississippi
Demand is similarly strong in Mississippi. The number of health administrators is forecast to grown by 13% between 2014 and 20204, bringing the statewide total to 2,890 professionals. Since demand is so strong, compensation is competitive. The median salary for health administrators in 2017 was $78,670. For the highest earners in the 90th percentile, it was $152,810.
In addition to high demand and generous compensation, health administrators enjoy strong job security. The growth of the healthcare sector is going to make qualified and competent managers more important than ever, and their work can’t be outsourced or automated. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health administration or advancing an existing career, use this overview as your guide.
Undergraduate Program Overview
Most health administrator jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree. It may be possible to get a job with any degree from a four-year institution, especially if it relates to science or business. However, many colleges now offer a health administration degree, and having one sets entry-level applicants apart from the rest of the pack.
No matter what you choose to pursue, the first decision is what type of program to attend. A number of different options now exist to accommodate as many of today’s learners as possible. Find one that fits your learning needs, schedule, and budget, then get more information about their health administration bachelor’s degree.
Undergraduate Learning Options
- In-Person Students work in a traditional classroom and interact directly with teachers and other students.
- Online Students work in an online classroom and rely on digital resources and communication channels.
- Hybrid Students work in a combination of online and in-person environments.
- Nights/Weekends Students attend in-person classes at times that are more convenient to working professionals and parents.
- Accelerated Students complete both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in health administration as part of one condensed and continuous program.
Health administration is the most common name for this major, but it’s not universal. Here are some examples of what a similar major might be called.
- Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Health Administration
- Bachelor of Health Administration
- Bachelor of Health Sciences
- Bachelor of Healthcare Management
Students typically have to earn 120 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. In the first two years, classes will focus on broad topics and general issues in health administration. Students will primarily learn about organizational principles like managing finances, recruiting staff, and measuring performance. In the final two years, classes begin to focus more specifically on healthcare settings and topics. Every program has a different curriculum, but students should expect to take most or all of these classes:
- Medical Terminology
- Health Personnel Management
- Legal Aspects of Health Administration
- Financial Management of Healthcare Institutions
- Marketing of Healthcare Institutions
- Management and Information Systems
- Population Health Management
- Quality Assurance in Healthcare
- Principles of Risk Management and Patient Safety
- Analysis and Evaluation of Health Care Services
In addition to required and elective coursework, students may be asked to complete an internship, practicum, or acquire some other hands-on experience under the supervision of an actual health administrator.
Mississippi does not require health administrators to have a license or certificate in order to work legally. That means graduates with a bachelor’s degree have all the credentials they need to begin pursuing entry-level health administration jobs.
Graduate Program Overview
Health administrators work at all levels. Entry-level positions may have oversight over small teams, specific projects, or very narrow initiatives. But as professionals move up in the career they take responsibility for large numbers of staff, huge budget items, and mission-critical projects. As a result, most high-level health administration jobs require a graduate degree.
There are graduate programs available throughout Mississippi in both online and in-person formats, but it’s not necessary to attend an in-state program. It’s also not necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in health administration. Students from other backgrounds are admitted as long as they have the right experience, grades, test scores, and recommendations.
Types of Graduate Programs
Graduate programs tend to be more specialized, allowing students to pursue a general degree in health administration or to emphasize their own interests and career goals. These are some of the most common types of degrees:
- Master of Health Services Administration
- Master of Science in Health Services Administration
- Master of Health Administration
- Master of Long-Term Care Administration
- Master of Business Administration in Healthcare
- Master of Public Health
The curriculum varies depending on the program and the degree. Some focus on the business aspects of healthcare while others focus on others on the legal and policy aspects. In any case, students are likely to take courses similar to these:
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Services Management
- Managed Care and Health Insurance
- Fundamentals of Management for Healthcare Organizations
- Foundations of Organizational Leadership
- Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
- Strategic Planning
- Human Resources in Healthcare Organizations
- Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
- Health Management Information Systems
In the second year of the master’s program, most students complete either an independent research project or some form of internship. After graduating, students may elect to get a doctoral degree at a later date, but there are few health administration jobs that have this as a requirement.
Health Administration Job Openings in Mississippi
Health administration is a huge field, requiring professionals to draw on a diverse background of education and experience to tackle a wide range of responsibilities. To give you a sense of how extensive the industry is and what you need to do to prepare, consider some actual health administration job openings from July 2018. Please note that there is no guarantee these jobs are still available, and consulting this site is not a guarantee of employment:
- Practice Manager, Jackson, MS A cardiology clinic is looking for a health administrator to coordinate all aspects of operations. Responsibilities include supervising staff, ensuring quality patient care, handling scheduling and budgeting, and providing leadership at all levels. Candidates must have a relevant bachelor’s degree and at least 7 years of experience in a similar role.
- Credentialing Specialist, Gulfport, MS A regional hospital is looking for a health administrator to ensure that all members of staff are properly credentialed according to state, federal, and other guidelines. The primary responsibility is verifying that all information is current and accurate. The ideal candidate has a bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years’ experience in a healthcare setting.
- Program Director, D'Iberville, MS A wound-care center is looking for an experienced health administrator to fill a high-level role. Responsibilities include budgeting, revenue and cost management, reimbursement, quality management, community education, marketing, and performance management. Candidates must have a bachelor’s in health administration and 3-5 years of relevant experience.
Leading Health Administration Employers in Mississippi
Health administrators work throughout Mississippi, in both the smallest towns and the biggest cities. However, there are some employers throughout the state that employ an especially large number of administrators. These are the leading examples:
- North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS
- Baptist Health Systems, Jackson, MS
- Forrest General Rehabilitation, Hattiesburg, MS
- University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
- Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg, MS
- Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Gulfport, MS
Mississippi Health Administration Associations
Having the right education and experience are essential for a career in health administration, but they are not all that it takes to excel. Administrators must also participate in professional development, networking opportunities, and continuing education, all of which are available through health administration associations in Mississippi. Consider joining or participating in these state-wide groups:
- Mississippi Hospital Association
- Mississippi Primary Heath Care Association
- Mississippi Rural Health Association
- Mississippi Health Information Management Association
- Mississippi Dental Association
- Mississippi Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Mississippi Center for Nonprofits