5 Versatile Careers in Health Care Education

Ed.D in Health Care Education student
Ed.D in Health Care Education student

2023 boasted the highest rate of health care job growth in more than three decades. With more than 650,000 new jobs in the course of a single year, the industry achieved job growth that more than doubled that of other industries. There’s no end in sight for this upward trajectory. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that health care occupations will grow much faster than the average of all other occupations between 2022 and 2032. Around 1.8 million job openings are projected each year during that time period.

The term “health care occupations” tends to bring patient care roles to mind. But there are many more opportunities in the field, including health care education professions. As baby boomers age into retirement and health care continues to recover from pandemic losses, more health care education professionals are needed to fill existing positions. Beyond that, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that new health care education roles are emerging as governments, health care providers, and social services are increasingly focused on promoting healthy behaviors.

An Ed.D. in health care education can equip health care leaders to advance their careers and take on leadership roles in their fields of expertise. In academic, community, and health care settings alike, leaders prepared with an Ed.D. in health care education are working as administrators, professors, trainers, and other high-level roles.

Consider how the knowledge and skill development offered through an Ed.D. health care program prepares individuals to succeed in five health care education leadership roles. 

What Is Health Care Education?

The term health care education broadly refers to careers that facilitate learning experiences for people to improve their health knowledge, skills, and tools. Health care education encompasses roles ranging from health care administration to consulting to therapeutic roles such as occupational therapist instructor or physical therapist educator.

Careers in Health Care Education

Across schools, community organizations, and health care settings, there are many leadership opportunities for health care educators. Opportunities in this diverse field also appeal to a variety of working preferences, from flexible to structured work schedules, varying levels of patient contact, and ranges of administrative duties.

Take a look at five of the roles that this growing, wide-ranging field has to offer.

Health Care Consultant

Working in hospitals, private practices, health insurance companies and a variety of agencies, health care consultants leverage analytics and industry knowledge to improve health care organizations. These professionals analyze data and conduct interviews to discover actionable insights and opportunities for improvement. Consultants then serve as educators to leaders and decision-makers, providing them with information and action steps for optimizing patient outcomes, costs, and efficiencies.

Based on research from Payscale.com, the average salary for health care consultants is $86,467. While they  do not report directly on health care consulting, the BLS projects a 28 percent job growth for medical and health services managers between 2022 and 2032 as workers retire and the baby boomers increasingly need health care services as they age.

Health Care Administrator

Health care administrators—also known as health executives or medical and health services managers—direct medical facilities, practices and departments. This leadership role includes setting organizational goals, establishing policies and guiding teams to meet objectives. They are often responsible for:

  • Establishing and monitoring budgets
  • Recruiting and training staff members
  • Supervising various elements of their department such as work schedules and government regulations

The BLS lists a median salary of $104,830 for medical and health services managers as of May 2022. Roles for these individuals are projected to grow 28 percent between 2022 and 2032. 

Senior Training and Development Specialist

Health care professionals who enjoy working with people, giving presentations, and leading training activities may find their fit as a health care training and development specialist. These professionals may work within a specific health services organization or as consultants who take on a range of health care clients. Their position typically includes:

  • Assessing training needs 
  • Designing and creating educational materials
  • Delivering training 
  • Evaluating the costs and benefits of training programs

Based on research from ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for senior training and development specialists is $96,271 as of May 2022. The BLS expects roles for all training and development specialists to grow by 6 percent between 2022 and 2032.

College Professor

For health care leaders who enjoy research and training the next generation of health care professionals, working as a professor can be a great next step. College professors, also called postsecondary teachers or faculty, are often responsible for: 

  • Developing instructional plans, lessons, and assignments, 
  • Teaching courses,
  • Assessing student progress
  • Conducting scholarly research in their field of expertise

The BLS lists a median annual salary of $84,840 for postsecondary teachers and projects an 8 percent growth rate for these professionals between 2022 and 2032.

Department Chair

Department chairs at colleges and universities oversee various aspects of the student experience and faculty performance. In a college of health or health-focused degree program, the department chair may be responsible for:

  • Admissions
  • Recruiting students
  • Hiring professors
  • Leading a faculty team in conducting research in their fields of expertise

Department chairs can play a significant leadership role in generating health research and training the next generation of health care professionals.

The BLS lists a median annual salary of $99,940 for postsecondary education administrators as of May 2022 and expects roles for these professionals to grow by 4 percent, which is as fast as average, between 2022 and 2032. 

Benefits of an Ed.D. in Health Care Education

Health care professionals who are eager to address the health educator shortage and teach the next generation of practitioners in their field will find that an Ed.D. in Health Care Education provides them with the specialized knowledge and skills they need to advance their careers. The curriculum in an Ed.D. health care program includes instruction in how to:

  • Employ teaching methods that are specialized for the health care field
  • Design program assessment plans aligned with accreditation processes
  • Leverage health care information technology for improved health outcomes

As organizations, health care systems, and care facilities such as nursing homes look for qualified leaders to guide the next generation of health care workers, Ed.D.-prepared leaders will find many opportunities to make a meaningful impact in the health sector. 

Become a Leader in Health Care Education with an Ed.D. from Rockhurst University Online

Do you want to provide insightful education to the next generation of health care professionals? Are you passionate about advancing research and practice in your field?

The Rockhurst University Online Ed.D. in Health Care Education can prepare you for the leadership role you aspire to achieve. A two-year, 100% online program, Rockhurst’s online Ed.D. in Health Care Education features a dynamic curriculum that includes courses such as:

  • Policy, Ethics, and Legal Frameworks in Education
  • Technology Leadership
  • Managerial Communications

Students in the program cite direct connections with faculty members as a program highlight. The capstone is another prominent feature — rather than completing a dissertation, students conduct a culminating project that links research and practice to their field of interest.

Prepare to lead with Rockhurst’s online Ed.D. in Health Care Education.

About Rockhurst University's Online Programs

In the heart of Kansas City since 1910, Rockhurst University is dedicated to learning, leadership and service in the Jesuit tradition, and today is the #1 Regional University in Kansas City (2021 U.S. News and World Report).

Rockhurst University’s online programs are delivered by the highly reputable Saint Luke’s ™ College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Education. As an educational leader serving exceptional students in the field of health care and education, we are committed to preparing the workforce of tomorrow with our unique programs designed to prepare graduates to meet the needs of diverse populations and work in various organizations.

To learn more about our highly competitive online programs, please visit onlinedegrees.rockhurst.edu, or read more here: