How to Become a Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare Administrator Key Stats
Education 1-3 Years
Job Outlook 18%

Healthcare Administrators are professionals who are experienced in managing healthcare facilities or departments.

The facilities these professionals manage can range from a specific clinical department or hospital quarters to an entire medical facility or private practice for a group of doctors.

Also referred to as Healthcare Executives or Health Services Managers these professionals manage the day to day activities occurring in a medical office and strive to keep the flow of office organized from scheduling to coordinating medical and health care services.

Individuals who want to become a Healthcare Administrator can expect an environment that is always busy, fast-paced and always changing.

Education Requirements to Become a Healthcare Administrator

The minimum educational requirement needed to become a Healthcare Administrator is a bachelor’s degree.

Some employers look for candidates with an advanced degree, such as master’s degree in order to work in this profession.

In addition, some individuals become certified in order to increase their prospects of getting hired.

Some licensure may also be required although this varies by state and type of facility an individual is seeking work in.

For many entry level positions, an individual needs a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to become a Healthcare Administrator.

A bachelor’s degree in health administration will prepare individuals to gain the necessary knowledge needed to work as a Healthcare Administrator and prepare students for higher management positions.

Typical programs may include the following courses:

  • Health information systems
  • Health economics
  • Law and ethics
  • Strategic planning
  • Human resources administration
  • Accounting and
  • Hospital organization and management

Depending on the program an individual is enrolled in, they may also be able to specialize in a specific healthcare facility.

Through these programs, individuals have the option to specialize in managing a nursing home, hospital or department (such as an emergency room), mental health facility or a group medical practice.

Healthcare Administrator Job Description

Healthcare Administrators are professionals who are experienced in managing a medical facility or department.

They are in charge of planning, directing and coordinating a variety of medical and medical services.

In order to keep up with the ever changing healthcare environment, these professionals must be well versed in a variety of health care laws, regulations and technology.

In order to manage a medical office or department, Healthcare Administrators must have strong communications skills as they are required to communicate with several medical staff including physicians, nurses, schedulers, administration, clinical, front office staff and a variety of other medical office staff.

These professionals will also be responsible for supervising a group of staff including assistant administrators, schedulers, receptionists and other administrative staff.

They will also create schedules for administrative staff, doctor appointments and the overall office schedule.

Healthcare Administrators will also work to improve efficiencies within the office including making scheduling easier, improving other efficiencies within the office and work on providing quality healthcare to their facility.

They will be responsible for managing and organizing records for the office including keeping records of supplies and managing billing information.

Healthcare Administrator Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median annual wage for medical and health service managers, including Healthcare Administrators was approximately $88,580.

Wages will heavily depend on the medical facility’s size and a Healthcare Administrator’s duties.

Healthcare Administrators managing a facility with or less physicians earned a median wage of $87,862 per year, those who managed a facility or department with 7 to 25 physicians earned an annual wage of approximately $126,478 while individuals who management a facility or department with 26 or more physicians earned a median wage of approximately $148,604 per year.

These different levels indicate that individuals have plenty of opportunities to grow and advance in this career.

The job outlook for Healthcare Administrators is expected to grow by about 23 percent through the year 2022.

This expected growth is considered a faster than average rate and is attributed to the overall growth the healthcare field will experience due to the aging population.

Individuals interested in a career as a Healthcare Administrator have plenty of incentives to enter this filed including a healthy job outlook, high wages and the ability to move up in the profession.

An individual easily has the ability to enter managing an office with 5 physicians and work their way up to managing a staff with over 25 physicians.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Administrative Services and Facilities Managers, OCC Code 11-3010, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a healthcare administrator do?

Healthcare administrators manage and supervise health care organizations.

Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes but also pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies hire healthcare administrators.

Healthcare administrators have a multitude of job responsibilities, including recruiting and supervising staff, preparing and monitoring budgets, keeping records, communicating with medical staff, and creating work schedules.

They need knowledge in a variety of fields, including staffing, budgeting, marketing, health management, and leadership.

Healthcare administrators also need critical analysis skills, writing and communication skills but should also be good negotiators.

As a healthcare administrator, you will work with physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals but you will also interact with patients and insurance companies.

Some healthcare administrators have to work more than 40 hours a week and they may have to work during evenings or weekends if they are employed by healthcare facilities that are always open.

How much does a healthcare administrator make?

The median annual wage for medical and health service managers, as of May 2018, was $99,730, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salaries in this field vary widely, depending on the level of experience, the region but also the facility where the administrator works.

As a healthcare administrator, you can earn anywhere between less than $60,000 and more than $200,000 a year.

How much does it cost to become a healthcare administrator?

Healthcare administrators usually need an undergraduate degree in healthcare administration but many also hold a master’s or doctoral degree in the field.

Bachelor’s degree programs in healthcare administration can cost anywhere between $10,000 and more than $30,000 a year, depending on the school you choose.

What is the demand for healthcare administrators?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health service managers is expected to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028.

As the population ages, the demand for healthcare services is expected to grow.

As a result, more healthcare facilities will open and more administrators will be needed to manage them.

Employment opportunities are expected to be better in the offices of health practitioners because medical advances will make possible for smaller healthcare facilities to perform many of the procedures that were previously provided only in hospitals.

How long does it take to become a healthcare administrator?

If you want to become a healthcare administrator you will typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management but a master’s or doctoral degree can give you better job prospects.

Bachelor’s degree programs in this field are usually 4-year-long while master’s degree programs can be completed in 1.5-3 years.

As a newly graduate, you can begin your career as an administrator of a smaller clinic and, after gaining experience in health management you can find employment at a larger facility.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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