Career opportunities in the healthcare field are rapidly expanding, making this a field well worth exploring for those with a healthcare background or interest. For those who are currently serving in the military or who have a military background, the field of healthcare management may be of particular interest as it offers many military career opportunities.
In the military, healthcare managers perform an array of duties, which might include overseeing a global healthcare delivery organization and managing the logistics of providing healthcare for service members around the world in a variety of settings. Military healthcare managers might also be involved in financial management, project management and policy and procedure implementation. In some cases, they may have a role in conducting research to continue to develop and incorporate best practices in military healthcare.
In the civilian sector, healthcare management positions often involve planning, coordinating and directing health-related services. This might include managing an entire facility, overseeing a specific clinical area or managing a medical group practice.
If the healthcare field interests you, exploring your options and acquiring the education needed to pursue this career path can prepare you for a promising military career that can also be converted into a rewarding civilian career.
One of the benefits of being in the military is being able to take advantage of paid training and education. Within the military, there are numerous healthcare-related positions that can give you hands-on experience including clinical and nonclinical roles such as physician assistant or medical specialist that can help prepare you for a position in healthcare management.
Specific military career opportunities in healthcare management vary across the branches of service and depend on whether the applicant is an enlisted service member or an officer. Training is provided for some positions while others require a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university in healthcare administration, public health or a related discipline. A master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in healthcare administration may also be accepted for many positions.
Civilian career positions share many of the same requirements as their military counterparts, but typically require at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field with master’s degrees becoming more common. As with most fields, the more experience and education you have, the more likely you are to be qualified for higher level and possibly higher paying positions.
Different branches of service within the military offer different positions in healthcare management. It’s often best to consult your specific service branch’s internal job postings to view available jobs and associated requirements and qualifications. You may also find job opportunities that specialize in a specific aspect of healthcare management, such as facilities planning, financial management, patient administration and logistics management. In the civilian sector, the majority of healthcare managers are employed by hospitals. Others may work in physician offices, nursing care facilities or outpatient care centers.
In addition to military job postings, online employment sites and job boards are excellent resources to get an overview of career opportunities or to pursue specific job openings. Social media sites and networking forums can also be helpful in finding job openings as well as training and networking opportunities and information on professional association meetings and other networking events.
For those interested in a career in healthcare management, there are several educational and degree programs that can make the most of skills and experience gained in the military. Pursuing military-based training and taking advantage of tuition reimbursement programs can help give you a distinct advantage when competing for healthcare management positions in the civilian job market and set you up for a long term and successful career in a growing field.