How to Become a Healthcare Administrator
Read Monster’s tips on how to get hired for healthcare administrator jobs.
Healthcare facilities and departments treat countless patients each day, providing services for everything from routine check-ups to lifesaving surgeries. Staffing, technology, and resource needs can get very complex when facilities have to meet a variety of patient needs. That's why hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities need skilled leaders who can keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently. If managing healthcare interests you, you might want to know how to become a healthcare administrator.
When you pursue a career in healthcare administration, you'll set out on a path to good pay and plenty of room for advancement. Plus, the healthcare administration job outlook is looking pretty good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in healthcare administration are projected to grow by 32% over the next 10 years. Ready to start your career in healthcare administration? Here is our comprehensive guide on how to become a healthcare administrator.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
Healthcare administration—also known as healthcare management—involves overseeing the day-to-day operations of healthcare facilities and systems. You can choose from among many different healthcare administration careers, including a job as a:
- Clinical manager
- Nursing home administrator
- Health information manager
- Hospital CEO
- Hospital CFO
- Hospital department manager
- Dental office manager
What Do Healthcare Administrators Do?
Healthcare administrators are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing health and medical services. Depending on their credentials, they may manage entire healthcare facilities or specific departments within a facility.
Most healthcare administrators work for state, local, and private hospitals. Some work directly for physician's offices, nursing homes and residential care facilities, government agencies, and outpatient care centers. Most of them work full time, including nights and weekends. Some remain on call in case of emergencies.
The typical duties of healthcare administrators include:
- Establishing clear goals and objectives for facilities and departments.
- Communicating with department heads and medical staff.
- Keeping facilities in compliance with state and federal regulations.
- Recruiting, training, and supervising facility staff members, as well as creating work schedules.
- Managing patient fees, billing, and other financial matters.
- Ensuring that departments operate within available funding.
- Representing facilities and departments when meeting with governing boards and investors.
- Organizing and maintaining records of healthcare services.
To get the full scope of the day-to-day responsibilities of a healthcare administrator, you can read Monster's healthcare administration job description sample.
How to Become a Healthcare Administrator
Employers are looking for candidates in healthcare administration who have strong analytical skills, technical skills, keen attention to detail, and experience using healthcare technology. Below, we discuss the education you'll need to learn how to become a healthcare administrator and the credentials and qualities you'll need to land a job in this lucrative field.
Healthcare Administration Education Requirements
In order to be eligible for entry-level healthcare administration jobs, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration, nursing, public health, or a related field. There are plenty of colleges where you can get a healthcare administration degree online or in person. An undergraduate degree can take about four years to complete.
If you want to maximize your employability in this field, it might be a good idea to pursue a master's in healthcare administration, public health, or business administration. With a Ph.D. in healthcare administration, you're eligible for an advanced position as a health information manager or clinical manager.
Do I Need a Healthcare Administrator License?
Not all healthcare administration jobs require you to be licensed. Nursing home administrators must be licensed by the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards, but requirements can vary from state to state.
Most states require nursing home administrators to have a bachelor's degree before they can complete a state-approved license training program. Depending on which state you're in, you may have to pass an exam or simply have previous facility work experience to get a license. Some healthcare administration employers may require you to be licensed as a registered nurse or social worker before considering you for a job.
Should I Get a Healthcare Administration Certificate?
While certification isn't required for most healthcare administration jobs, credentials can boost your competency and employability. You may want to consider pursuing any of the following certificates:
- Certificate in medical management from the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management
- Health information management certification from the American Health Information Management Association
- Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives
- American Association of Healthcare Administration Management certification
How Much Do Healthcare Administrators Make?
According to Monster's salary data, the median healthcare administration salary in the U.S. is $68,422 per year. But as a healthcare administrator, you can earn an annual salary of up to around $114,134 a year. It all depends on your location, experience level, and job title and the type of facility you work at.
You can look up the median salary for healthcare administrators in your area using Monster's Salary Tools.
How to Find Healthcare Administration Jobs
Now that you've learned the basics of how to become a healthcare administrator, your next step is to put your job search into focus. Start by updating your resume so you can market your skills and credentials to potential employers. Monster has several resume writing tips and visual samples you can refer to. We can also show you how to write a cover letter that sets you apart from other qualified candidates. If you need help with formatting and organization, check out our free cover letter samples.
Once you've polished your resume and cover letter, you're ready to start applying for healthcare administration jobs at Monster.
Don't know where to start? Check out these five states with the highest levels of healthcare administration employment:
Also, consider applying to jobs in these five U.S. cities with the highest employment in healthcare administration:
If you don't plan on moving to any of these areas, no problem. You can also find plenty of remote healthcare administration jobs on Monster.
Ready to Become a Leader in the Healthcare Industry?
Now that you know how to become a healthcare administrator, get your resume uploaded on Monster and set up your profile for free. When you join, we'll ensure that your resume is seen by the top recruiters and employers in healthcare administration, who are always on the look-out for qualified candidates to become the next generation of healthcare-industry leaders.