Spotlight on: health care administrators

Would you make a good health care administrator?If your leadership skills have you thinking that you would prefer a health care career beyond medical assisting or nursing, perhaps you should consider becoming a health care administrator. It’s a rapidly growing and well-paying career, and allows individuals to meld their love of health care with very analytical and technical skills.1

What does a health care administrator do?

Health care administrators are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating both the day-to-day and long-term operations of medical services. Some health care administrators are responsible for specific clinical areas and departments while others manage an entire facility. As a health care administrator, you would use your skills to improve the efficiency and quality of health care services, create work schedules, manage finances and keep up-to-date on new laws and regulations, in addition to other duties. Hospitals and health care facilities rely on administrators to make sure that everything runs smoothly.2

What sort of training do I need?

At a minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree to become a health care administrator. However, you must eventually earn a master’s degree in order to work your way up to a top-level position.3 On-the-job experience is also valued, as are qualities like being analytical and detail-oriented and having well-developed problem-solving skills. While in school, be sure you are taking a variety of courses that will cover all aspects of health care administration, including accounting and budgeting.4

How is the job outlook?

As with many careers in this field, the job outlook for health care administrators is exceptionally bright. Employment is expected to increase by 22 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is 8 percent faster than average. The median pay for health care administrators comes out to $40.52 per hour, or $84,270 per year.5

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical and Health Services Managers,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-1
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical and Health Services Managers,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-1
3 The Princeton Review, ‘Career: Health Care Administrator,’ 2013 – http://www.princetonreview.com/careers.aspx?cid=76
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical and Health Services Managers,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-1
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Medical and Health Services Managers,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-1