For many people, a significant benefit to being a health services administrator is the chance to help others. But as with any job, salary also plays an important role in career satisfaction. Many factors, including education level, experience and location, can impact your earning potential. As you consider your next career move, it’s important to understand what goes into a health services administration salary. Here are just a few of the factors to consider.
According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), 52 percent of health care administrators have just a bachelor’s degree. However, as with many other careers, earning further education can lead to better pay as well as better job opportunities. According to Payscale.com, those with a Bachelor of Science in Health Services earn, on average, $48,573 annually. Entry-level administrators with a bachelor’s degree earn between $24,730 and $58,175 annually, and that figure increases with experience. Health care administrators with a Master of Science in Health Services Administration can command a higher range of salaries. On average, these graduate degree holders earn $83,413 annually. Furthermore, at $36,827 and $75,000 annually, the salary range for entry-level positions that require a master’s degree is higher for than positions that require only a bachelor’s degree.
Approximately 10 percent of health care administrators have attained post-baccalaureate certificates to transition into the field. Although there is not much data on how these certifications affect salary, the programs are typically designed for those newly entering the health care field; thus, it is reasonable to assume the salaries will be more similar to bachelor degree levels than to graduate degree salaries.
As with anything else, experience comes at a premium. Salaries for those with experience are typically higher than for those new to the field, because the assumption is that the employees are able to accomplish more, faster. This holds true in health services administration, as well. As discussed above, having a bachelor’s degree in health services administration can lead to an entry-level salary ranging from $24,730 to $58,175. With five years of experience, the salary range moves to $35,161 to $72,985 annually; after 10 years of experience, the salary ranges from $45,781 to $80,957 annually.
The increases are even more notable with a master’s degree. Again, as discussed above, entry-level positions have a salary range of $36,827 to $75,000. After five years of experience, however, administrators can expect between $55,730 to $97,154 annually, and after 10 years of experience, the range increases to between $95,990 and $130,000 annually.
In terms of salary, simply having a graduate degree is essentially the equivalent to having five years of experience with a bachelor’s degree. Not only do those with a master’s degree start with a higher salary, they also can expect an increase to the ceiling on their earnings as their careers extend past a decade.
Where you work can be just as integral to your pay as experience or education. Working in a larger city typically includes an increased salary, but it also means a higher cost of living. There are some cities where it is far more advantageous to pursue a health services administrator career than others.
Cities where the health services administrator salary is higher than the national average:
- Chicago 47%
- San Antonio 20%
- Seattle 19%
- Orlando 16%
- Washington 16%
- Boston 8%
- Denver 7%
- Houston 4%
Cities where the salary is lower than the national average:
- Atlanta 2%
- Dallas 7%
- Miami 10%
- Los Angeles 15%
- Richmond 22%
- Columbia 34%
If you’re interested in seeking a degree and possible career in health services administration, there are plenty of options available to you. But as you can see, a graduate degree can help increase your earning potential both when beginning your career and over your lifetime. The Sage Colleges offers an online Master of Science in Health Services Administration for students across the country. Students learn both managerial and analytical skills, from professors with real-world experience. The flexible, convenient format is designed for working adults, and the small class sizes and personal attention ensure a high-quality education. Learn more today.