What does a hospital administrator do?
A hospital administrator works to create an environment where medical professionals have the skills and resources they need to monitor and ensure compliance with state and federal healthcare regulation. Their duties differ day to day, and an administrator might specialize depending on their work environment. A hospital administrator typically focuses on the management of staff and patient care.
Examples of an administrator’s duties include:
- Completing performance reviews for doctors and nurses
- Planning professional development opportunities for hospital staff
- Scheduling the shifts of doctors, nurses, aides and other staff
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health service managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in health administration or a related field, like business administration or nursing. BLS notes, however, that education requirements may vary by employer. While a bachelor’s degree is typical, a master’s degree may be preferred by some hospitals or healthcare facilities. At others, an associate degree may be required or work experience in an administrative role can suffice.
A college degree in health administration can help students learn important business-related topics, such as medical terminology, the fundamentals of electronic health records, healthcare ethics and other necessary work functions. An understanding of how to provide healthcare is important to the position, which can be learned in a healthcare degree program.
Additionally, health services managers are often responsible for the business aspects of the company, such as accounting, budgeting and financial management. Business courses usually teach such skills.
Individuals with work experience and education in nursing or other medical administrative or clinical roles might be able to shift their career path to hospital administration as well. Registered nurses (RN) with experience working as nursing home administrators or other roles, like a medical records specialist or administrative assistant, might have skills that apply to this career path.
Industry certifications and advanced degrees
BLS reports that some states may require a state-issued license to work in this field. Additionally, some employers may also require that medical services managers be licensed as an RN or a social worker. That said, industry certification may not be a requirement for this role.
If you are interested in pursuing higher-level administration positions, then advanced degrees and certifications can help you reach your goals. For example, a master’s degree in healthcare administration shows a level of knowledge and expertise in your chosen field. This level of expertise can help provide opportunities to take on more responsibilities or higher-level roles in healthcare administration.
Hospital administrator salary and job outlook
According to BLS, medical and health services managers earned an annual salary ranging between $60,780 and $205,620 based on May 2021 data of the top and bottom 10% of earners.
This field is expected to grow by an estimated 28% between 2021 and 2031, a rate much higher than the projected average for all other occupations. An estimated 56,600 jobs will be open each year in medical and health services management.
Between the possible earnings and the projected growth of the field, aspiring administrators are entering the workforce at an opportune time.
Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.
BLS Occupational Employment Projections, 2021-2031 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This data reflects BLS’ projections of national (not local) conditions. These data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.
Gaining experience in healthcare administration
While education, such as earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration, is helpful, aspiring administrators should also seek out opportunities for on-the-job experience.
Work experience allows healthcare professionals to use skills learned in a practical setting. The practical application of these skills can lead to increased proficiency and potentially new career opportunities.
Internships and entry-level positions
Internships in hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics are one way to gain valuable work experience.
Aspiring hospital administrators can also seek out entry-level positions as administrative assistants, medical billing specialists, nursing assistants and community health workers. These entry-level positions teach valuable skills and provide networking opportunities.