10 Health Care Careers in the C-Suite

Reaching the C-suite, or highest level of executives, is a goal for many hospital administrators. At this level, administrators have a large scope of responsibility. For professionals in the health care field, earning a Master of Health Administration (MHA) is almost essential to be selected for a position at this level. Dr. Leonard Friedman, MHA@GW’s program director co-wrote, 101 Careers in Healthcare Management to outline the many career possibilities in the field. Here are 10 jobs in the C-suite for aspiring health care leaders:

1. Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)

Chief compliance officers are responsible for all hospital compliance activities. This can include planning, implementing and monitoring a hospital or private practice compliance plan. A CCO can earn between $101,650 and $187,200 annually.

2. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Chief executive officers serve as the liaison between an organization and the board of directors. The CEO spends time managing day-to-day operations; ensuring high-quality care is provided to patients; overseeing fiscal decisions; assuring compliance with regulatory agencies; and responding to medical staff, patients and employees. The CEO can earn more than $190,000 annually with salaries increasing in tandem with organizational reach.

3. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Chief financial officers are responsible for the financial operations of a hospital, private practice or corporation. Financial operations include accounting, insurance and auditing. CFOs can expect to earn between $150,000 and $330,000 annually.

4. Chief Operating Officer (COO)

A chief operating officer is responsible for the smooth operations of a medical facility. A COO manages profit and loss statements for the business, integrates organizational strategic plans and serves in the absence of the CEO. COOs can expect to earn between $95,000 and $200,000.

5. Chief Learning Officer (CLO)

Chief learning officers are responsible for the learning initiatives in a health care setting. CLOs direct training, education and development programs to empower staff and ensure their effectiveness. CLOs can earn up to $300,000 depending on the size and scope of the organization for which they work.

6. Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO)

The chief medical information officer is responsible for ensuring that IT is used correctly and effectively in medical settings. As the use and need for health IT grows, the need for medical information officers will also increase. CMIOs can earn up to 400,000. This number largely depends on whether they practice medicine as well as provide medical information technology support.

7. Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

Chief medical officers are usually board-certified doctors who work to promote quality of care; establish good working relationships with medical staff; participate in the review of medical staff applicants and members; and work to establish, monitor and improve aggregate clinical outcomes. CMOs can earn approximately $277,000 annually.

8. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

Chief nursing officers are usually board-certified nurses who are primarily responsible for providing leadership in patient care and other care services in a hospital, private practice or other medical setting. A CNO can expect to make between $80,000 and $180,000 annually depending on experience.

9. Clinical Department Manager

Clinical department managers are responsible for a specific department in a medical organization. They ensure the department meets its goals and objectives, in addition to preparing budget reports and hiring employees for the department. Clinical department managers can earn between $60,000 and $105,000 each year.

10. Chief Quality Officer (CQO)

Chief quality officers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of quality management regulatory requirements and improvement processes. The CQO can expect to earn between $90,000 and $136,000 annually.

Interested in learning more about earning your MHA? Contact our MHA@GW admissions team by phone at 1-855-642-2849, or via email.


  1. Friedman, L., Kovner, A. 101 Careers in Healthcare Management. (Springer Publishing Company, 2013).
  2. Chief Nursing Officer Salary. September 20, 2015. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Chief_Nursing_Officer_%28CNO%29/Salary
  3. Chief Medical Officer Salary. September 20, 2015. Available at: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Chief_Medical_Officer_%28CMO%29/Salary