How To Become A Hospital Administrator
A Brief Rundown of a Hospital Administration Leader's Job Role
A hospital administrator is basically the head of operations for an entire hospital. They handle daily business functions of a hospital including personnel management, development of policies and procedures and management of financial issues. In addition, hospital administrators are tasked with staying in the know when it comes to new medical technologies and advances that benefit and advance the facility and programs. Not only do hospital administrators track advances in medical practices and technology, but also in health care reforms and policy changes nationwide.
Hospital administrators are often the public face of a hospital and are highly involved in the community, and with board and investor relations, requiring them to interact with all types of people in order to maintain funding and support.
While a hospital administrator generally works out of an office within the hospital, they must also have a presence in the hospital at large. In order to stay familiar with policies and procedures and be able to recognize when and where changes or improvements are needed, a good administrator is on the floor to ensure operations are running smoothly.
This position requires full time, regular working hours but may also include after hours when needed such as in the case of emergencies. A hospital administrator is on-call for their employees and patients, and is often a key member of ethics committees and planning groups. Administrators also do a good deal of traveling, attending conferences and business meetings within the healthcare group they are a part of.
The Educational Path of A Hospital Administrator
Considering the job of a hospital administrator is so multifaceted, a professional entering the position will be required to have extensive education. In order to find an education that can prepare you for all duties the role requires, you'll need to do some shopping around.
To obtain employment as a hospital administrator, you will need to obtain at least a Bachelor's degree in Health Care Administration. While a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration is the minimum education requirement to qualify for some hospital administration positions, it is just that…a minimum education. Generally, a Bachelor's (along with experience in the delivery of healthcare) is an option only in smaller facilities or rural areas.
If you want to play ball with the big boys, as they say, you'll need to prepare for the fact that most health management positions will require a Master's degree. You can lean toward a Master's in Health Care Administration or a Health Care MBA, especially if you are looking for positions in large or specialty hospitals.
Basically—the more advanced your health admin education—the more prepared you are to lead.
There are no required credentials or licensures for hospital administrators to earn before obtaining or seeking employment, though some more prestigious or executive positions will require some significant experience.
This is where your previous experience in healthcare can be a great benefit. For instance, if you started out in healthcare as a nurse or medical billing and coding specialist, and are moving up the ladder, your on-the-job knowledge is a bonus. Insider understanding of how the medical community and healthcare facilities function can only improve your ability to lead in this setting.
You can find programs ranging from entry level administration all the way to PhD programs on our site, and we encourage you to start where you are…but plan for the best!
Contact the schools you see with healthcare administration degrees today to learn more.
What Do Hospital Administrators Earn?
Due to such a demanding position and the possibility for extra and irregular hours, a hospital administrator is usually compensated with a quite handsome salary. The median yearly salary for hospital administrators in the United States is $94,500 per year (BLS, 2017). The job outlook for hospital administrators is projected to grow at a faster rate than average, increasing your chances of successful employment in the field after graduation.
As you can see, getting into the management levels in healthcare can be a rewarding career choice, especially if you are driven to make healthcare more efficient and effective! If you have a passion for quality, a knack for managing people, and the ability to see the full picture of how a healthcare facility operates – it's time to put your skills to use.
Contact health administration schools near you to find the hospital administration degree you need!