There nearly 6,000 hospitals in the United States. All of them rely on healthcare administrators to keep them running.
Healthcare administration careers provide a unique opportunity to serve others and improve America's health care system. Keep reading to learn what these careers involve, who should apply, and how to find a position now.
What is a healthcare administrator, exactly? Healthcare administrators are management staff who work within healthcare facilities. This may include:
Healthcare administrators play a key role in keeping facilities operating smoothly and efficiently. Their work directly impacts facility staff, patients, and patients' families. Their job duties typically include:
Depending on the size and structure of the facility, administrators may or may not work directly with patients.
Healthcare Administration and Healthcare Management sound like interchangeable terms, but they are not.
Both careers require excellent organization, initiative, and communication skills. The key difference between administration and management is where the majority of their time is spent.
Healthcare administration careers are primarily people-oriented. Administrators work directly with people every day. They need particularly strong social skills and the ability to adapt to changing demands on the fly.
Healthcare management positions, by contrast, are more business- and numbers-oriented. Managers can expect to spend more time dealing with larger-scale business concerns and paperwork than with people. They need to:
While there is some clear overlap in skill sets and experience, the day-to-day responsibilities of each job will be very different. Understanding the distinctions is key to selecting a position that will be a good fit for your skills, talents, experience, and personal preferences.
Individuals looking for positions in healthcare administration should read job descriptions carefully before applying.
Careers in healthcare administration are appropriate for almost anyone, but here are a few types of experience that could make you best suited to take on the role.
Healthcare administration is an attractive career option for professionals looking for something new. Applicants coming from medical positions often have an advantage.
They are familiar with the roles and daily experiences of the people they will manage. This can give them insight into workplace challenges. It can also create extra credibility among their subordinates.
At the same time, medical professionals moving into administrative roles may face disadvantages. Administration calls for different skills than they likely used in previous positions.
Administration careers can be a great opportunity for managers from other fields. They may face a slight learning curve at first. This will resolve as they adapt to the specifics of the healthcare industry.
Still, their previous management experience will set them up for success. Administrators who have never been medical professionals often find great success.
They can bring innovative ideas and new efficiencies to healthcare facilities.
Healthcare administration allows people to improve the American medical system. It is an excellent choice for individuals who are not interested or able to train as physicians.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' projections are clear that career switching is trending. By 2028, more than 71,000 professionals will switch into health services administration.
This switch is appropriate for anyone with management or administration training and experience. In general, the field has very few age and experience-related pre-requisites. This makes it a good fit for everyone from new graduates to experienced workers.
Opportunities for working in healthcare administration are on the rise.
As of 2019, there were more than 406,100 administration positions in American healthcare facilities. The BLS predicts that the number will grow by 18 percent by 2028. That rate far outstrips average job growth, making the field attractive to enter.
Recent industry surveys suggest the same. There are just shy of 40 new hospitals currently under construction or in the planning phases. Each of these facilities is predicted to cost at least $50 million each.
These figures do not reflect numerous other facility renovations or expansions which are also expected to increase demand.
Generally, individuals pursuing careers in healthcare administration need at least a bachelor’s degree. Applicants may have degrees in business, management, or medically oriented fields. Depending upon the specific position, other degrees may also be accepted.
Master's degrees are typically not required. They may, however, provide a competitive edge to applicants seeking advanced or highly visible positions.
Many positions require less than 5 years of experience to qualify.
Licensing requirements for healthcare administrators vary widely. Specifically, interested parties can expect to see variations between states and types of facilities.
For example, positions at private practices often do not require any licensing. Health administration positions in nursing homes almost always require some form of licensing nation-wide.
In addition to national licensing, administrators may need to pass state exams. Detailed information on these requirements is available from the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and the American College of Health Care Administrators.
Other optional certifications include:
While getting these certifications isn't always required, they may make you a more attractive applicant.
Health services administration careers typically pay well. The average median income currently stands at $99,730. That equates to $47.95 an hour.
Administrators at prestigious hospitals or those in a high cost of living area can expect to make more. Salary growth is predicted to be highest at non-system hospitals.
Now you know how much potential awaits you in a Healthcare Administration career. If this field is appealing to you, here are the nation's top hospitals to consider applying for a position in.
A public research university, U of M has been a mainstay in the medical community since 1817. It operates facilities all over the state, including:
At any given time, the University of Michigan has hundreds of openings in healthcare administration across its facilities. It is widely considered an excellent employer.
UM ranks in the top 5 employers in the state. It has been nationally recognized for its efforts to help employees create a healthy work/life balance.
The UM system offers competitive health, dental, and vision plans, as well as retirement and financial planning programs. Employee perks include access to:
U of M might be an ideal employer for medical professionals looking for a more family-friendly schedule and employment. It may also be a prime opportunity for management professionals looking to move to a position with more opportunities for growth and advancement.
Mount Sinai employs more than 42,000 healthcare professionals. The hospital system encompasses 8 campuses in and around New York City, including:
The Mount Sinai system may be a particularly attractive employment option for healthcare administrators who want to promote efficiency in healthcare. The system prides itself on its ability to leverage economies of scale to bring cost savings and efficiency to the citizens of New York City.
The sheer size of the system also makes it ideal for administrators who are looking for long-term growth opportunities. The system has connections to multiple campuses and more than a dozen smaller centers and facilities locally. This creates an opportunity for administrators to move between facilities or get promoted down the line.
Mount Sinai is also a phenomenal choice for administrators who want to work with very diverse populations.
New York-Presbyterian is one of the largest not-for-profit teaching hospitals in NYC. It has an impressive list of accolades to recommend it.
New York-Presbyterian is fifth on the national Honor Roll of Best Hospitals. It is nationally ranked in 15 adult specialty programs and 10 pediatric programs.
The hospital boasts a level I trauma center and burn center. It has a world-famous cancer treatment program. It is well known for its high-risk neonatal transport service.
The hospital provides medical and surgical care at several campuses including:
The system was officially founded in 1998. It merged two hospitals founded in 1771 and 1868. New York-Presbyterian was the first provider to conduct pediatric heart transplant surgery.
Located in Orlando, Florida Hospital is a not-for-profit teaching hospital. It is part of the larger AdventHealth System. AdventHealth is a faith-based care provider that operates 50 campuses across nine states. Advent promotes holistic care that incorporates mind, body, and spirit.
It is an ideal employer for spiritually-minded persons. Florida Hospital specializes in acute care. It is a central hub for medical care in the Southeast.
Founded in 1908, it has several famous programs. These include cardiac care, diabetes care, and orthopedics programs. The Hospital boasts three unique research facilities and a neuroscience center as well.
The hospital is nationally rated among the best in 7 adult programs and 1 pediatric specialty program. It receives top marks in rankings on 9 separate procedures.
It is also on the cutting edge of technology. Florida Hospital uses smartphone apps and other up-to-the-minute technologies. They are a key part of its plan to deliver the best possible medical care.
Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana is huge in both size and reputation.
It is home to America's biggest critical care neuroscience center, which ranks as a center of excellence. It is also home to one of the country's biggest emergency departments. It has award-winning treatment programs in:
It is also:
In addition to acute care, the hospital is host to a comprehensive suite of community health and education programs.
If none of the top 5 hospitals are quite what you're looking for, don't despair. Check out other opportunities in these attractive cities:
These cities are all known for their appeal to medical administrators and their growing health care career opportunities.
Does a healthcare administration career look right for you? Don't wait to start looking for open positions. Explore open healthcare administration jobs in your area today!