Health Care Administrator Salary, Job Description and Requirements
Written by: Hilbert College • Feb 1, 2024
Health Care Administrator Salary, Job Description and Requirements ¶
Health care administrators play a key role in ensuring that health care facilities provide high-quality health care to all patients. Also known as medical and health services managers, these professionals oversee the operations that keep the facility functioning optimally, so that the best possible care can be delivered.
The role is complex, but it’s also rewarding in numerous ways. Health care administrator salaries can be lucrative, and the job outlook for the profession is strong. For individuals interested in building a successful health care administration career, earning an advanced public administration degree is an excellent way to gain the knowledge and skills required to stand out.
What Do Health Care Administrators Do? ¶
Health care administrators oversee some or all of a facility’s health services, developing goals that strive toward efficiency and high-quality care. They ensure the facility is compliant with current regulations and federal, state and local laws. They monitor the facility’s financial elements, such as its budget management and billing practices. They also track key care-related metrics, such as inpatient bed usage.
Additionally, they can play an active role in a facility’s staffing via employee recruitment, training and evaluation. In some cases, they may act as a facility’s representative in business settings, such as at board of directors meetings.
Health care administrators can oversee the operations of an entire facility or of a specific department or group of employees. As such, their duties are dictated by the scope of who or what they oversee.
Regardless of what they manage, health care administrators must possess specific skills in order to succeed. They need to have strong leadership skills to confidently guide others toward achieving set goals. They also need to possess solid analytical skills to effectively assess the facility’s or department’s efficiency. The increasing influx of technology-driven health care tools such as electronic health records (EHR) makes technical skills essential to the role as well. Additionally, health care administrators must have excellent communication skills so they can convey critical information clearly and without ambiguity.
Health Care Administrators: Education and Experience ¶
The educational benchmark for the health care administrator role is a bachelor’s degree, which can be in a field related to health care or a relevant field like business. However, earning an advanced degree such as a Master of Public Administration with a focus on health administration can help improve an individual’s range of opportunities, as some employers may set an advanced degree as a prerequisite for open health care administrator roles.
Health care administrators work in several types of work environments, each of which has its own specific duties and responsibilities.
Health care administrators working in hospitals may oversee the daily operations of the entire facility. However, because hospitals can be large and complex, administrators may specialize in a specific area or function of the hospital. Common specializations include financial management, program management, health informatics and human resources.
Private Practices ¶
In a private practice environment, health care administrators may oversee fewer operational elements than in a hospital due to the practice’s size and the limited services it offers. This also means that they may have fewer opportunities for specialization.
Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities ¶
Health care administrators working in assisted living facilities and nursing homes may handle a few unique duties in addition to overseeing the functioning of the facility. For instance, they may provide facility tours for prospective residents. And, because these facilities provide long-term residential care to patients who may need help with the activities of daily living (ADL), health care administrators also may be tasked with making assessments that ensure the services provided by the facility are done in a way that preserves patients’ dignity and conforms to regulations.
Government Agencies ¶
Health care administrators who work for federal or state government agencies oversee public health programs to ensure they are run effectively and efficiently. They also may develop new strategies and programs that can improve weak points in the existing systems. Typically, these agencies focus on specific aspects of public health, such as health care delivery for veterans.
Health Care Administrator Salary and Job Growth ¶
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes health care administrators in its medical and health services managers category. Under this designation, according to the BLS, the 2022 median health care administrator salary was $104,830.
Several factors can influence the precise salary an individual receives in the role, including their education level, their years of experience and the type of environment they work in. The job’s location can also affect what they earn, as individuals working in a city or region with a higher than average cost of living may earn more than individuals working in a city or region with a lower than average cost of living.
Those entering the health care administration field now are doing so at an excellent time. The BLS projects 28% job growth for the profession between 2022 and 2032. This is substantially higher than the 3% average job growth the BLS projects for all professions.
Make an Impact in Health Care ¶
Becoming a health care administrator can mean gaining a well-paying job. But there’s more to the appeal of this role than the health care administrator salary. As a health care administrator, you have the opportunity to directly impact the quality of care patients receive in your health care facility. In the short-term, this could mean reduced wait times or more efficient billing practices. In the long-term, it could mean improved patient outcomes. Knowing that you can have this kind of impact can make the role a satisfying one.
Hilbert College Global’s Master of Public Administration program and its Health Administration concentration can help you prepare to make this kind of impact. Our program is designed to grow each student’s skill set and deepen their knowledge in key aspects of health care administration, from budgeting and health care law to health insurance and the culture of health care. Learn how we can help you become a trusted health care leader.