Thinking about a career in healthcare administration, but don’t know what it really is or how to work your way towards this growing medical career?
Have no fear. Our guide will get you started on the quick and easy path to understanding the who, what, where, why, and how of healthcare administrative jobs.
What is a healthcare administrative job?
Healthcare administrators, or also known as public health professionals
, are the leading force behind the successful operation of a hospital, healthcare system, or healthcare organization.
Along with working closely with other healthcare professionals, they administer, lead, and manage their hospital, healthcare system, or healthcare network to ensure the best possible care is given — and continues to be given — to patients and their families, as well as the surrounding community.
What kind of job duties does a healthcare administrator perform?
Job responsibilities of a healthcare administrator will vary by location and by the scope of the system.
According to Public Health Online’s “A Guide to Careers in Health Administration
,” the following types of duties and skills are usually required by someone looking into a career as a healthcare administrator:
- Plan, coordinate, and implement medical and health services
- Deeply understand healthcare policy and laws, as well as current and upcoming issues
- Attend and contribute to high-level meetings with investors or governing boards
- Supervise assistant administrators
- Maintain open communication with medical staff and heads of departments
- Attempt to improve overall efficiency and financial effectiveness
- Pay attention to staff scheduling, hiring and salary issues, patient fees and billing, and supply records
- Operation management skills
- Budget managing skills
- Human resources knowledge and understanding
- Leadership and motivational skills
- Work closely with a variety of strong personalities
- Peacemaking skills
- Listening, communication, and detail-oriented skills
- Decision-making skills that are in the best interests of the team
- Analytical and creative problem-solving skills
Where do healthcare administrators work?
The skills of healthcare administrators are needed in hospitals and healthcare jobs of every size.
Certain positions involve working on larger scales — overseeing many systems or hospitals — while others only require the healthcare administrator to manage a single medical practice or department.
Here are the different areas of responsibility that health administrators can be found:
- Overseeing several large health companies
- Overseeing several hospital systems
- Managing a group of medical practices
- Managing a particular department in a hospital system
- Managing a single medical practice
Healthcare administrative jobs are extremely diverse, and they are not always found in a hospital. In fact, hospital and private practice administration offer the fewest job opportunities.
In terms of current job opportunities, the following types of jobs offer the most to least healthcare administrative job opportunities:
- Pharmaceutical and health insurance
- Nursing homes and home health
- Ambulatory service and laboratories
- Hospital administration and private practice
Where is the greatest growth, currently, for healthcare administrators?
Growth in healthcare administrative careers is booming. Here are a few of the roles that may prove to show the greatest opportunities for healthcare careers in the upcoming years:
- Nursing home administration
- Physician office management
- Human resource managers
- Social and community service managers
- Training and development managers
- Administrative services managers
- Practice manager
- Health insurance specialist
- Home health manager
- And more!
The job you seek should depend on your personality, if you like to work with people directly, if you like working in high or low volumes, if you like working in quiet or lively environments, and more.
When should you seek a career in healthcare administration?
Now! Healthcare administration careers are growing! Booming even. As healthcare systems grow and evolve, there will continue to be a demand for support staff, like health care administrators.
Remember, the primary role of the healthcare administrator is to make sure the hospital, clinic, system, or network runs efficiently and effectively for everyone. Without these vital management roles, the systems likely won’t operate in the most ideal fashion. That’s why healthcare administrators will always be needed — and necessary.
How is someone eligible to apply for a position as a healthcare administrator?
To secure an entry-level job as a healthcare administrator, an individual must typically have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree in health administration
— or a closely related field. For higher-level positions in healthcare administration, however, a bachelor’s degree may not be enough.
Therefore, if you are seeking upper management positions or greater pay, consider increasing your qualifications by obtaining a master’s degree in health administration
. Along with greater pay, this may also increase your responsibilities.
A doctorate in a management-related field
is another option for those who wish to reach even higher levels of employment in the healthcare system.
No matter which educational path you choose, remember to get some experience along the way. Employers look for candidates with strong experience managing in a healthcare setting, as well as a those with specialized experience in one area of healthcare.
How much does someone make as a healthcare administrator?
This answer varies just as much as the job titles themselves. However, median salaries range
anywhere from $49,909 to $299,275.
Why you should job shadow or intern as a healthcare administrative professional.
The best way to find out what each particular healthcare administrative role entails is to witness it firsthand. See if you can interview someone working in each level of responsibility — managing several locations versus managing single locations. Best yet, see if you can set up an internship or job shadow a professional for valuable, real-world experience.
Find Careers in Healthcare Administration
We hope this quick guide has served you well! If you’re interesting in finding jobs in healthcare administration, be sure to check out our ever-growing list of healthcare administration jobs