Oregon offers one of the highest average annual salaries for medical and health services administrators, ranking among the top-10 states in the nation at $129,710 (US Department of Labor, 2020).
A mid-decade Gallup survey found that in the span of the preceding year the percentage of Oregonians with health insurance jumped from 80.6 percent to 88.3 percent. This increase can largely be attributed to expanding healthcare coverage resulting from the Affordable Care Act, which has brought with it hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants. As of 2020, 92.8 percent of Oregon’s residents have health insurance according to a report from United Health Alliance. Combined with the fact that 18.2 percent of Oregonians are at least 65 years of age (US Census), these factors signal strong prospects for professionals who are involved with the state’s healthcare administration sector.
This is confirmed by the Oregon Employment Department, which projects the number of jobs for the state’s medical and health services managers will increase by 19.8 percent over the decade leading up to 2028, an impressive rate for any profession.
Oregon Healthcare Administration Degrees
Oregon residents have a number of options to choose from when it comes to selecting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in preparation for a career in health administration, both of which are available either online and through campus-based programs.
Undergraduate Degrees in Health Administration
Prospective students will find relevant undergraduate degree programs include:
- Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA)
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration Health Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management
- Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration
The bachelor’s degree program usually takes four years to complete and consists of at least 120 semester credits. The first 60 credits are made up of general course requirements and the prerequisites that prepare students for more advanced classes specific to health administration. Schools will often accept a transfer associate’s degree to fulfill general undergraduate requirements.
The core upper-division major courses will concentrate on important topics to prepare students to graduate as specialists in their field. Subjects covered can include:
- Health care informatics
- Healthcare resources, payers, and consumers
- Principles of leadership and management
- Accounting and advertising in healthcare
- Analysis of financial statements
- Strategic planning in the healthcare business environment
- Legal issues in the healthcare business environment
- Managerial economics
Students can find relevant degree programs through online schools as well as college campuses located in cities like Portland and Corvallis.
Graduate Degrees in Health Administration
Earning a graduate degree in the field of healthcare administration is becoming a generally accepted industry standard, especially for professionals who want to advance their careers to and move into director and executive leadership positions. Oregon residents can choose from a number of relevant programs of study, including:
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management or Administration
- MSN/MBA dual degree program
- MHA/MBA dual degree program
- Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA)
- JD/MSHA dual degree program
Graduate Program Admission Requirements
While each school has its own specific admission requirements, schools share many standards in common. For example, most graduate schools in this field will consider admitting students who have earned their undergraduate degree in any field. Additional common admission standards include:
- Completion of course prerequisites
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Personal essay
- Letters of recommendation
- Professional work experience
- Current employment in the healthcare industry
The graduate program can take between 12-24 months to complete, and includes between 30-60 semester credits. Some programs culminate with a thesis or capstone research project, while other programs are non-thesis.
Core courses in the program will cover topics like:
- Measuring quality and performance
- Healthcare economics, marketing, and advertisement
- Healthcare policy and law
- Quantitative methods for assessing healthcare organizations
- Service line development
- Decision making based on data analysis
- Advanced healthcare management
- Management of large healthcare organizations
- Macro economics for healthcare managers
- Medical informatics
Prospective graduate students can find relevant schools online as well as on campuses located in cities like:
- Forest Grove
Healthcare Administration Jobs in Oregon
Once students have graduated they will be prepared to start their career search. The following jobs are provided as illustrative examples to demonstrate Oregon’s job market. These were taken from a survey of vacancies that were posted throughout the state in November of 2015:
Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland
- Senior Director of Large Group Sales and Marketing – Holds the responsibility of providing strategic direction, hiring, achieving goals, and fostering an efficient work environment; preferred candidates will hold an MHA, MBA, or MPH
- Account Management IV – As a senior account manager, this professional’s duties include increasing memberships, selling new products, retaining existing clients, and business plan development; preference is given for applicants with an MHA, MBA, or MPH
- Director of Health Plan Regulatory and Contract Management – Carries the important responsibility of ensuring Kaiser Permanente follows the correct procedures to keep its license with state authorities in good standing; preferred applicants hold a master’s degree such as an MHA, an MBA, or a JD
Lane Community College in Eugene
- Health Clinic Director – Carries the important responsibility of ensuring staff and students who seek healthcare treatment are satisfied; applicants must have a master’s degree in a related field, and preferred applicants have an MHA, MPH, MBA, MD, or PhD
PeaceHealth in Springfield
- Program Director of Development – Tasked with meeting annual revenue goals by increasing funding received from high net-worth clients; strongly preferred candidates hold an MHA or MBA
Resources for Healthcare Administrators and Managers in Oregon
Oregon is host to several large players in the healthcare industry as well as organizations that can assist professionals with training, development, and employment.
Largest Employers of Healthcare Administrators and Managers
- Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center in Portland
- Providence Portland Medical Center
- Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portlant
- Salem Hospital
- Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford
- Saint Charles Medical Center in Bend
- Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas
- Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvalllis
- VA Portland Health Care System
- VA Roseburg Healthcare System
- VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center in White City
- Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
- PacificSource Health Plans
- LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon
- Health Net of Oregon
- Oregon Medical Group Management Association
- Oregon Health Information Management Association
- Oregon Society for Healthcare Risk Management
- Oregon Health Care Association
- Oregon Society of Healthcare Executives
- Oregon Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association
- Health Management Associates
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management
- Health Care Administrators Association
2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for Medical and Health Services Managers.
Job growth projections sourced from the Oregon Employment Department and published in the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Long Term Occupational Projections (2018-2028) database – https://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm.
Salary figures and job market projections represent state data, not school-specific information.
Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2021.