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7 Top Cities for Aspiring Healthcare Leaders

Thanks to high demand and competitive salaries, healthcare careers have consistently topped “Best Jobs” lists across the media landscape for years, and if recent projections prove accurate, that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Medical and healthcare careers are one of the more profitable and secure fields you can get a masters degree in. Some of the up and coming leadership careers in the field are:

  • Division Director
  • Residency Program Director
  • Quality and Risk Manager
  • Healthcare Advisor
  • Practice Manager
  • Director of Operations
  • Director of Performance Improvement
  • Director of Admissions

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19–25 percent growth in health care jobs in the next seven years.1 Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010, the healthcare industry has gained approximately 1 million jobs.2 As healthcare jobs continue to boom nationwide, aspiring healthcare leaders with an MBA in healthcare management should find themselves well-positioned to pursue a variety of career opportunities — especially if they’re willing to relocate.

Since a majority of healthcare administration jobs are based in hospitals, major cities with large healthcare networks typically offer the most job opportunities. However, candidates who are pondering relocation should consider a number of factors when deciding where to plant their professional roots; cost of living, average annual salary and economic growth play a big role in a city’s overall quality of life. While professionals are likely to find employment most anywhere in the country, the following metropolitan areas (in no particular order) are some of the best cities to consider for healthcare administration jobs.

1. Austin, Texas

Austin is known as one of the best cities in United States for starting a health career. With a population over 2,000,000 people, the greater Austin-area is continuing to grow, making this city a hot bed for healthcare graduates.

With a handful of top medical facilities and a new medical school, healthcare administration opportunities abound in Austin. The Texas capital ranks among the top 10 cities for job growth projections in general,3 and the unemployment rate has remained steady since the start of the recession. According to the Austin Business Journal, six out of the 10 highest-paying jobs in the city are in the healthcare industry. Major healthcare players include St. David’s Healthcare, Cornerstone Hospital and Austin State Hospital.

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As Pennsylvania’s biggest city, Philadelphia is a highly sought after city to find jobs in healthcare. Philadelphia has established itself as a hub for biomedical and pharmaceutical firms, making it a premier destination for healthcare professionals.

The city’s robust medical network includes the University of Pennsylvania’s largest teaching hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Six of the city’s top 25 employers are hospitals or medical facilities and the cost of living is lower than the U.S. national average.4,5

3. Columbus, Ohio

The largest city in Ohio boasts one of the top 10 healthiest economies in the nation, offering a low cost of living and a low unemployment rate.

More than 45,000 Columbus-area residents are employed at one of four of the region’s award-winning healthcare systems. Recent studies have also shown that healthcare employers are challenged to find qualified candidates, leaving the playing field wide open for healthcare hopefuls with the right education.6 Major healthcare players include OhioHealth, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State Medical Center.

4. Houston, Texas

When you consider that Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States and No. 1 job creator in the country, it’s no surprise the Bayou City made this list.7 It doesn’t hurt that Houston is great city to live and raise a family in as well. They’re known for their cuisine and international vibe.

Houston plays headquarters to the Texas Medical Center, “a medical center larger than downtown Dallas.” It is the world’s largest network of research and healthcare institutions. Patients from around the U.S. travel to Houston to seek treatment in some of the world’s best cancer care clinics, psychiatric treatment centers and long-term acute care providers in the U.S.

5. Cincinnati, Ohio

Dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of life, Cincinnati prides itself on being a great city to live. With some of the nation’s best parks and museums, Cincinnati has positioned itself as a great option for those looking to grow in the medical field.

According to a recent study, new job growth and replacement needs will create 51,664 healthcare jobs in Cincinnati between 2010 and 2020.8 While the unemployment rate remains somewhat high, Cincinnati is experiencing major growth. With two major hospital systems plus various laboratories, clinics and private practices, Cincinnati is a budding healthcare hub that was also named America’s third most affordable big city by Forbes Magazine.

6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The second-largest city in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is known for offering its residents one of the best cost-of-living ratios in the country.

Healthcare, education and social services are the top three industries driving economic growth. Pittsburgh is home to two large hospital networks and has a high level of doctors per capita, a sure sign that healthcare jobs are plentiful.

7. San Antonio, Texas

Although cities like Austin and Houston are great options to start a healthcare career in Texas, San Antonio is the state’s dark horse. Healthcare is by far San Antonio’s largest industry, pumping $32 billion into the local economy every year. Since the South Texas Medical Center was established in the 1960s, the medical community has continued to grow.

San Antonio also boasts a healthy cost-of-living ratio and is a thriving tourist destination. Major healthcare employers include Methodist Healthcare System, University Health System and Nix Healthcare System.

Regardless of what city presents the best opportunities for you, the right qualifications and specialized education are essential to pursuing a successful career in healthcare administration.

If you’d like to learn more about leadership in healthcare, check out out MBA: Healthcare Management Specialization program page.

1 Recruiting Division, “A Look at Healthcare Talent Today.” http://www.recruitingdivision.com/industries/healthcare/

2 Forbes, “Since Obamacare Passed 50 Months Ago, Healthcare Has Gained Almost 1 Million Jobs” June 6, 2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2014/06/06/since-obamacare-passed-50-months-ago-healthcare-has-gained-almost-1-million-jobs/

3 Time Warner Cable News, “Healthcare Industry Offers Highest Paying Jobs in Austin.” September 24, 2015. http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/lifestyles/2015/09/14/healthcare-industry-offers-highest-paying-jobs-in-austin-.html

4 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1222720&mode=2

5 Sperling’s Best Places. http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/pennsylvania/philadelphia

6 U.S. News. “Jobs in Healthcare on the Rise But Skills Gap Prevents Hiring.” February 17, 2015. http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/02/17/op-ed-jobs-in-health-care-on-the-rise-but-skills-gap-prevents-hiring

7 Business Insider, “18 Facts That Make Houston the Best City in America.” June 1, 2014. http://www.businessinsider.com/houston-best-city-in-america-2014-6

8 Cincinatti Business Courier, “Cincinnati Health Care Industry Creating More Jobs than Local Grads Can Fill.” July 7, 2015. http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/07/07/exclusive-cincinnati-health-care-industry-creating.html