Career Development

Health Care Management StudentsAs one of the largest sectors of US enterprise, health care offers multitudes of opportunities for young adults who are looking for a career that affords:

  • professional challenges
  • advancement potential
  • diversity in terms of organizational settings and scope of responsibility
  • personal satisfaction derived from service to others.

An unquestioned fact is that health care is a business with all the challenges of effective and efficient business operations. In today's environment, successful health care managers are expected to demonstrate strong business skills tempered with the traditional medical mission of service to others. Additionally, health care managers must operate effectively in a constantly changing environment. Factors such as rapid advances in technology and increasing demands from purchasers and consumers for better quality health care are causing tremendous change in the US health care industry. Such an environment needs managers who demonstrate enthusiasm and excitement and who can apply creative approaches to health care delivery.


The health care industry encompasses a diverse array of organizational settings and management opportunities within these organizations. Trained health care managers can work either in organizations where health care is delivered or in organizations that support health care delivery. Entry-level managers can expect to hold positions such as supervisor, section head or department manager in larger organizations, or managing directors of small organizations.

The potential for advancement in the field is great because many health care organizations are large, with multiple levels of management responsibility. Some examples of the organizational settings where health care managers work are:

Health Care Provider Organizations:

  • Hospitals and hospital systems
  • Physician office practices
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Home care agencies
  • Hospices
  • Outpatient clinics
  • University or research institutions

Health Care Support Organizations:

  • Medical supply and equipment manufacturers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Advocacy groups and associations
  • Health-related local, state and federal government agencies
  • Health insurers, managed care organizations


Students choosing a career in health care management can expect their first job to be an entry- to mid-level management position in specialized areas with opportunities for advancement. The typical starting salary for an entry-level position ranges from $30,000 to $45,000. Some examples of duties a new graduate may expect include:

  • Human resources management
  • Information systems analyst
  • Marketing; public and/or customer relations
  • Financial operations; billing and reimbursement analyst
  • Business planning and development
  • Supervisory positions in patient care areas

Appalachian State University's Health Care Management degree program prepares graduates well to assume important leadership positions in health care organizations. With the combined preparation in basic business education and health care management coursework, our graduates are in high demand and at the forefront of our industry.

For more information on a career in health care management, visit Your Career as a Healthcare Executive.