Earning your MHA/healthcare management degree online is becoming more common as online educational opportunities continue to grow. The application process for an online MHA program is similar to that of a brick-and-mortar school; you must have already obtained a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a GPA concurrent with a given school’s requirements. Most online MHA programs are geared to be completed within one to two years, though taking classes over the internet often allows you more flexibility in how many credits you take at one time. Tuition rates vary from school to school and program to program.
A major advantage to online learning is the scheduling flexibility you are awarded. While some MHA online programs require a hybrid online and on-campus format, others allow you to take classes completely asynchronously and on your own time. Even schools with a hybrid-style course plan allow for at least some level of scheduling customization. Some schools require students to be on campus at least one day/night per week for a group meeting or a laboratory course, while others only require in-person meetings as infrequently as once per month. Online MHA programs, like brick-and-mortar MHA programs, generally do have requirements for at least nominal hands-on experience. In the case of fully online MHA degree options, this requirement is often satisfied with concurrent employment in a relevant position.
Top Online Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management Degree Programs
Job Outlook for MHA/Healthcare Management Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of jobs in healthcare is expected to continue. The healthcare management field specifically is expected to grow by 17% between 2014-2024; this growth is markedly faster than job projections in other fields. Most careers in healthcare management require that candidates earn, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining an MHA online increases your marketability to potential employers. Obtaining a master’s in healthcare management greatly increases your likelihood of earning more money throughout your lifetime; for example, physician’s assistants with a master’s degree earn approximately 44% more than PAs with a bachelor’s degree.
MHA/Healthcare Management Salaries
The core responsibilities for people with an MHA/healthcare management degree focus on ensuring that a given healthcare facility runs smoothly. Roles in healthcare management are available primarily in administrative capacities and can be found at all levels of healthcare facility. As a general rule, the larger the facility, the higher your salary (it also can be said that those with higher degree levels are more likely to be hired to work in larger facilities). For example, healthcare administration professionals working in a general medical/surgical hospital can expect to earn a mean salary of $117,000 a year, while the same position at a physician’s office will net you an average of $105,140 per year.
Salaries also vary based on the type of degree obtained. According to 2015 findings by the BLS, the estimates of earning by individuals in the healthcare management field break down as follows:
- Associate degree in healthcare management: $30,000 – $42,000/year
- Bachelor’s degree in healthcare management: $59,000 – $100,000/year
- Master’s degree in healthcare management: $82,000 – $117,000/year
Even if you elect to sign up for one of the many online MHA programs out there, you will not necessarily be occupationally limited to working in a hospital or physician’s office. Rather, an online MHA program would open doors to positions in a number of industries, including human resource management, administrative services, health insurance administration, and more. Examples of positions expected to grow the most over the next decade are as follows:
- Health insurance specialist: 22% growth rate, $37,710 current mean salary
- Social and community service manager: 21% growth rate, $65,750 current mean salary
- Practice manager: 23% growth rate, $87,862 current mean salary
It also should be noted that job prevalence and salaries vary from state to state and city to city. Some of the highest paying states are New York, Connecticut, California, and Alaska. States with the highest rate of expected growth in the field of healthcare management include California, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. As you enter the job market, it is important to remember that starting salaries are often lower than the mean average, but are likely to rise throughout your time in a given career.
How We Rank Online Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management Degree Programs
Online colleges and Master of Health Administration (MHA) and Healthcare Management degree programs vary widely in terms of quality, name recognition, and value. To assist those looking for quality, accredited online health administration and health management degree programs, we’ve put together this ranking of what we consider to be the very best online schools offering Master of Healthcare Administration and Health Management degree programs for 2017. Our rankings of the top online schools offering healthcare management and health care administration degrees are based on publicly available data evaluated according to several different criteria, including market reputation, accreditation, student satisfaction, ratio of students to instructors, and tuition. All schools in our rankings are regionally accredited, the highest form of accreditation a school can achieve. You can read more about our rankings philosophy and find a list of our other top college and degree rankings on our rankings page.
Types of MHA/Healthcare Management Degrees
Larger hospitals and corporate offices where business-people outnumber clinical clientele occasionally seek out those with more training in business while smaller hospitals or hospitals with more specialized jobs are more likely to fill positions with individuals who have obtained an MHA. To boost your resume still further, it is important to look into school and program reputation, for example, completing the best online MHA program possible.
MHA/Healthcare Management Concentrations
To an extent, there is a measure of overlap between earning an MHA/healthcare management degree and seeking an MBA; to choose between the two, you must decide the level of specialization you are hoping to achieve. If you earn an MHA online, you will be prepared for more industry-tailored positions in the following areas:
- Medical ethics
- Health informatics
- Clinical research
- Health communications/marketing
To determine the best online MHA and Healthcare Management degrees, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 5 best online MHA and Healthcare Management programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.