Healthcare administrators, also referred to as medical or health service managers, work in management level positions and can be found in all types of medical facilities and nursing homes. Healthcare administration involves the planning, directing, and coordination of all health and medical services under their control within a facility. They may manage an entire hospital, nursing home or may be responsible for a specific department within either. Some may work in clinics or physician offices that are large enough to require a manager.
National Average Healthcare Administration Salary
Hourly Wage Annual Wage
Upper: $77.47 $161,150
Median: $44.62 $92,810
Lower: $26.87 $55,890
States With Highest Salary
State Avg. Hourly Wage Avg. Annual Wage
- District of Columbia $63.06 $131,160
- California $58.85 $122,410
- New York $58.62 $121,930
- Connecticut $56.58 $117,680
- New Jersey $55.47 $115,370
*All statistical data is from the U.S. Department of Labor and is updated quarterly
A healthcare administrator may work in many different types of healthcare facilities. Whether they are running a small department of a hospital or are in charge of an entire nursing home, the majority of the responsibilities remain the same. The fields of medicine and healthcare are continually changing, therefore healthcare administration is continually evolving. Because of this, managers must stay up to date with the latest technological advances as well as any changes in regulation and laws.
A successful healthcare administrator must be familiar with the inner workings of their healthcare facility. They are responsible for such things as maintaining records, accounting and budgeting, and setting up work schedules. The majority of people working in this field have at least a Bachelors degree in healthcare administration, though some facilities may require a Masters in healthcare administration.
Some of the common responsibilities found in healthcare administration include:
- Supervising facility staff
- Providing work schedules
- Managing the finances of the facility or department
- Familiarity with current regulations and health-care laws as they pertain to the facility or department
- Meeting with and updating Board of Directors and investors
- Act as the public figurehead for the facility
- Development and implementation of sound management strategies
- Evaluating and improving current strategies
- Meeting with department heads and staff
- Effectively communicating policy to staff
The majority of healthcare administrators work in offices on the premises of the facility they work in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 39% percent of healthcare administrators work in hospitals, the rest can be found in either nursing homes, physician offices, clinics, and other similar facilities where healthcare is administered.
Healthcare administrators will usually work full-time for the facility. Due to the fact that emergency situations can necessitate them being physically present, they may also work weekends or overnight.
The type facility that they work in as well as their job responsibilities will determine their job title. Healthcare administrators working in nursing homes are referred to as nursing home administrators. Administrators who manage a specific department within a facility are referred to as clinical managers. Health information managers maintain patient records and ensure that all information is properly secured. Assistant administrators can be found in large facilities and can be found working in specific areas under the direction of a senior administrator.
How To Become A Healthcare Administrator:
Healthcare Administration Schools:
The majority of health service managers will have completed a Bachelors degree in health administration before starting their careers. Some facilities will require a Master’s degree in health administration or another closely related major such as business administration or health services.
A bachelors in health administration will provide future administrators with the proper training on how to work in an upper level management position. Course work for the degree program will include classes in accounting, ethics and law, health information systems, hospital organization and management, and human resources administration. Concentrations in specific areas such as nursing facilities or clinical practices are also offered by some schools.
In rare occasions, individuals may be hired who do not have a Bachelors or Masters degree but instead have work experience relevant to the field. An example of this may be a nurse who was in a management position. In cases like this, the facility would provide on-the-job training.
Healthcare Administration License:
The only time that a healthcare administration license is mandated is when working in a nursing home. Licenses are issued by the state the facility is located in. Licensing requirements will be determined by each individual state.
For administrators working in nursing homes it is usually required that they have at least a bachelors degree, pass a state examination, as well as successfully complete a certified state training program. Certain states will require licensing for administrators working in assisted living facilities.
Who Should Become A Healthcare Administrator:
Healthcare administration jobs are not for everyone, they come with many responsibilities and can be mentally and physically demanding. These individuals must act and be seen as leaders. They can be responsible for the operations of an entire hospital. If the system fails, it will fall in their lap.
Having a strong analytical mind is very important for being successful in this career. Managers must have the ability to process and integrate new information into existing systems quickly and efficiently. Due to the ever-changing rules and regulations as well as the never ending advancements in medical technologies, this process can take place at a very quick pace. Being able to constantly adapt and evolve is critical to success.
Though as with any management position, having a keen intellect will only get you so far. Creative thinking is what will allow you to a apply your intelligence most effectively when encountering the never-ending problems that will arise in your facility. Coming up with quick and sound solutions will require thinking outside of the box.
Since these are management positions, interacting with staff will be a daily occurrence. Having a good demeanor as well as a natural ability to communicate ideas is also of the utmost importance.
How Much Does A Healthcare Administrator Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual healthcare administration salary is $103,680. Salaries can range from $55,890 for the bottom 10% to $161,150 for those in the 90th percentile. The state with the highest average salary is The District of Columbia with an annual mean salary of $131,160.
Factors That Can Influence Salary:
A healthcare administrators salary can be influenced by many factors. As with every other career, location and experience will one of the most important things in determining salary. The size and type of facility will also directly correlate to salary level, larger facilities will pay more than smaller ones.
Another factor for determining salary will be the amount of responsibility an administrator is given. Most entering the field will start off as assistant administrators, usually in charge of a department. Promotions to hire levels of management within the facility will come with greater responsibilities as well as a higher salary level. Attaining a higher position will sometimes require the completion of a Masters degree in healthcare administration or related degree.
Many who work in healthcare administration will have completed a Bachelors degree that will have prepared them for this line of work. Completing a Masters degree in healthcare administration or in another specific area relative to the work you will be doing can lead to top level management positions in large facilities.
For individuals coming from another area of the healthcare industry such as nursing or physical therapy, who have management experience, healthcare administration offers a great opportunity for developing their career. Often these individuals can find positions as department heads or in other areas of upper-level management. Completing a Masters degree in healthcare administration or another related field lead to further upward movement.
The job market for health service managers is expected to increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024. This is above the national average of 7% for all other careers. Due to the rapidly increasing growth of the overall healthcare industry, facilities are expanding and new ones are being built every day. All of these facilities will require healthcare administrators to manage the day-to-day operations. This represents an excellent opportunity for employment and career advancement.
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