How To Become a Healthcare Administrator

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The medical industry has struggled due to needing more employees in the field in recent years, now more than ever. Specifically, one of the positions is to become a healthcare administrator. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of healthcare administrators (also called medical and health services managers) will grow by up to 32% by the year 2030. Why the sudden growth in this field and position? The biggest cause is said to be the baby boomer generation growing older. Overall, they tend to live more active lifestyles leading to them living longer. However, with a longer life, the need for them to receive assistance from nursing care facilities or hospital care increases. This means those facilities will need an increase of healthcare administrators as well.

What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do? 

Healthcare Administrators work directly with the doctors, nurses, and other staff to help make important decisions for the facility. Their overall tasks include dealing with policies, budgets, safety, and providing a better patient experience. This career is a great choice for those interested in a career in healthcare but who don’t want to work directly with patients in a hands-on way. 

Healthcare Administrator’s often work in nursing homes, hospitals, surgery centers, or physical therapy facilities. Some of their day to day responsibilities may include creating staff schedules, managing patient billing, improving facility quality, and communicating policies with the doctors, nurses, and other staff. 

If this is a position that sounds of interest to you, there are a few steps you would need to take to become a Healthcare Administrator. This includes specific educational requirements such as a Master of Health Administration, licensing requirements, certifications, and necessary skill sets. Let’s go over each one of these steps a little more in depth.

How To Become a Healthcare Administrator 

Educational Requirements

While some Healthcare Administrator roles accept a high school diploma, many prefer a bachelor’s degree as a minimum starting point. If someone is looking for a more senior role or looking to seek a promotion within their current position, one could advance with a Master of Health Administration

According to Medical Field Careers, most in-person and online Master of Health Administration programs take 2-3 years to complete.  In a master’s program there are a few different types of classes that one would take. Some of the most common course topics in a Master of Health Administration program are health economics, law and ethics, accounting, and hospital management.

Licensing Requirements

In order to become a Healthcare Administrator, some states or facilities may require specific licensing requirements. In fact, Learn.org states that although only some states require licensure for long-term care administrators who work in assisted-living facilities, all states require a license to work as a nursing home administrator. At Healthcare Pathway, you can learn more about what you need and how to obtain your Healthcare Administrator licensure requirements.

Certifications

If you wish to move up to a more senior role in the field, or have a competitive edge against other job candidates, you might want to look into receiving certifications specific to the Healthcare Administrator role. Here is a list of certifications for healthcare administrators and other professionals in similar fields. These certifications teach skills in areas of healthcare management, IT, finance, and quality control.

Essential Skills Required

To become a Healthcare Administrator there are also quite a few essential skills that you should have. Certainly, this includes a great deal of industry knowledge, communication, technology proficiency, leadership skills, organizational skills, relationship management, patience, and empathy. 

Where Can I Work As a Healthcare Administrator?

They typically work in a hospital, nursing home facility, or physical therapy facility. With advanced degrees like a Master of Health Administration or doctorate degree, they can work in research settings. Or leadership positions that influence healthcare policies. 

How Much Do Healthcare Administrators Earn? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Administrators, or Medical and Health Service Managers, can make around $101,000 a year. This predicted salary is based upon someone with a Bachelor’s Degree and some relevant experience in the field. Also, for those who seek a Master of Health Administration degree, the opportunity to make a higher salary or apply for promotions may be more readily available. To get started on your Healthcare Administrator career path today, here are the top 25 graduate healthcare management degrees.

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