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Career Information and Salary for a Doctor of Health Administration

Career News December 31, 2012

Though some health administration jobs require prospective job seekers to hold no more than a master degree, completing a Doctor of Health Administration program will open the door for professionals to seek higher-ranking positions in the field. Some instances candidates can obtain a position as a chief financial officer or chief executive officer. These positions attract high wages, and they are extremely competitive. In this article, we will look at the career path of a Doctor of Health Administration and discuss what an aspiring Doctor of Health Administration must do in order to pursue their career.

Career Options

Healthcare professionals with a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) degree can aspire for top leadership positions in the industry. They can choose to be potential candidates for titles such as hospital vice president (VP), hospital chief financial officer (CFO), or hospital chief executive officer (CEO). While healthcare is not commonly perceived as being a business, running a healthcare institution or system calls for a lot of organization and the industry attracts top executives among job seekers within its field.

Responsibilities of a CFO

Institutions rely on the quality of their financial reports from their respective CFOs who are primarily responsible for the same (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – A CFO works to ensure that the financial statements are accurate; they involve themselves in the formulation of the organization’s goals and devising strategies to accomplish those goals. To fulfill these responsibilities, a CFO must work with a budget and oversee the manner in which money is spent within an organization, such as a hospital.

Responsibilities of a CEO

The responsibility for everything that transpires within a hospital is retained by a hospital CEO. The decision to the ultimate goal of the organization rests with the CEO. In a job that is management-centric, the CEO has to meet and consult regularly with other executives of the hospital in order to ensure maintenance of the organization. There are boards of directors in some hospitals and CEOs of such hospitals are required to function in lockstep with the boards. Though the CFO might have a say in the planning of the overall budget, the final say rests with the CEO.

Other Administrative Roles

The field of healthcare administration encompasses various job titles. For instance, there are nursing home administrators, clinical managers, department administrators, RN site supervisors, surgery center administrators and nursing services administrators, among several others. These are some of the best jobs available in the healthcare industry. Though a master degree might suffice for these kinds of jobs, a Doctor of Health Administration can improve a candidate’s chances of career advancement especially when combined with training, credentials and experience (source: BLS).

Wage Potential

These are high paying jobs, but the average annual salary of a DHA can vary in accordance with the level of education and training of a candidate, and the size of the organization in which they seek employment. In May 2009, the average annual salary of chief executives was $167,280. However, professionals at this level have the potential to earn much higher salaries. In July 2010, the top 10% of CEOs in the United States earned an average annual salary in excess of $1.1 million (source:

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