The healthcare industry is booming and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, predicts that jobs in this industry will only grow in the next 10 years, faster than the national average. The growth in this industry is largely tied to an aging American population as well as other factors like diversification and expansion of a large and important industry. With an important administrative and supervisory role, healthcare administrators are a significant part of the healthcare industry, and the healthcare administration salary reflects the key nature of the role.
In fact, it may come as a surprise that healthcare administrators are paid as lucratively as they are, with many earning well into the six-figure range. Many men and women considering entry into the healthcare industry may be focused on careers in medicine, dentistry, and other technical positions, but there is a demand within the industry for administrators to work for hospitals, managed care companies, insurance companies, or any of the other companies and bodies that are responsible for providing care in this large, important industry.
When it comes to industries like healthcare, the administrators are often overlooked, although they are among the more important cogs in the wheel that keep the whole machinery moving. Like it or not, healthcare is a business and many professionals within the industry have their hands full with providing patient care, training other health care providers, or filling patient information in charts to meet the administrative and management needs of the industry.
The reality that healthcare provision in the United States has a business aspect is important to understanding why healthcare administration has become a buzzword in the last decade. The number of schools, including online educators, offering bachelor’s and master’s programs in healthcare administration, healthcare management, hospital administration, and the like has grown exponentially in the last decade. This represents how important it is from the standpoint of hospitals and other private healthcare entities to be cost-effective, streamline services, and implement cost-saving measures.
Healthcare administrators, or medical and health services managers, are coordinate services in the medical setting on behalf of healthcare companies or medical institutions, like hospitals. It should not be surprising that these administrators work closely with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. They also work closely with other administrators, often supervising teams of administrators in their role as providers and coordinators of high-quality care in the hospital setting.
The scope of work of the healthcare administrator will vary depending on their position, but some administrators supervise entire hospitals or care facilities. They also may occupy high executive positions within healthcare organizations. As one might expect, these administrators do not generally interact directly with patients, leaving that to the healthcare providers. They are, however, often called upon to represent the hospital, and it is an important part of their role that the health care providers who do provide direct patient care are satisfied.
The duties of these administrators are variable, and the healthcare administration salary is also highly variable. Although the specific duties of the healthcare administrator lie within a range, there are certain duties that men and women entering this field should expect to be involved in.
The following are common duties of workers in healthcare administration:
Although there are many facets to the role of a healthcare administrator, the general idea is that these professionals are responsible for making sure the hospital, facility, or organization runs smoothly. This means ensuring the needs of both patients and healthcare providers are met, that the organization is able to maintain a good reputation for providing quality care and that operations are being followed efficiently and cost-effectively.
In terms of the ins and outs of this field, healthcare administrators are frequently well compensated for their work, and the healthcare administration salary can be as high as other executives and managers employed in the healthcare industry. Workers in this field typically receive handsome benefits packages as well as bonuses. With that said, because of the nature of the healthcare industry, these professionals may have schedules other than the typical 9 to 5 and may be called upon to work nights, weekends, or holidays.
It is important to remember that though this career lies within the healthcare industry, there is a strong business aspect to the profession, so students considering pursuing this field should have a business background or an interest in business. Education will be discussed in the following section, but education programs will naturally include courses on finance, accounting, budgeting, reporting, and the like, recognizing the financial side of the administrator’s role.
In reality, because the duties of these administrators straddle the realms of healthcare, management, and business, men and women can enter this field through several different routes. Men and women often began their career in one of the three aforementioned areas and pursue further education in the others to complete their training.
In terms of the long-term outlook of this career, there are opportunities for advancement within this field, with healthcare administrators going on to higher executive roles within the organization, or advancing to manage larger teams of workers. They may also go on to have a greater responsibility on the fiscal side of the hospital or organization though this route will depend on interest and opportunities within the organization.
There is some variability within the educational routes that lead to a career in healthcare administration as we hinted at earlier. The basic requirement for work in this industry is the bachelor’s degree, though the subject of study can be business administration, finance, healthcare administration, or any of a number of related subjects. Many entrants into this field have a background in business, and this is advisable for potential healthcare administrators considering the important financial side of the role.
Although healthcare administrators possess at least a bachelor’s degree, many also possess master’s degrees. There are many master’s degree programs available in subjects that will permit the degree holder to obtain a position in this field. There are both Master of Science and Master of Business Administration programs available in this field available.
Common master’s programs include the following:
Although there are many education routes for entry into this career, educational programs should provide training in economics, management, and strategic planning. There are many factors to weigh when picking the right program, but students should consider factors continued education opportunities and networking when making a final decision.
An interesting aspect of this career is that graduate programs offer field studies in the form of residencies at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This is important to ensure that healthcare administrators recognize the unique nature of the hospital setting, become accustomed to working in this setting, and become comfortable working with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers.
Although licenses are not required for healthcare administrators to obtain employment, many workers in this field choose to obtain voluntary licensure. Like other careers where voluntary licensure is available, licenses may make the job applicant more competitive compared to his peers and may also increase potential healthcare administration salary. A good combination for many workers is to obtain a master’s of science or business administration in healthcare administration along with a certification from the American Health Information Management Association.
HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION SALARY
Salaries in the areas of business and finance are often quite high, serving as an attractive lure to men and women seeking to strike a balance between educational requirements, education costs, and earnings. The healthcare administration salary compares well to others with business backgrounds, especially those that manage to gain roles higher up in their hospitals, facilities, or healthcare organizations. Workers at the higher end can make over $140,000 per year according to data.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean healthcare administration salary was $06,070 per year in 2015. To this would be added benefits packages, bonuses, and other perks. Salaries will vary based on work site, with administrators working at sites where there were fewer physicians tending to earn less than administrators working at sites where there were more. Administrators working for institutions employing 30 or more employees can average $150,000 per year or more. Job growth of more than 22% in the next ten years should also make the salary of these workers more robust.
With predicted job growth in the next ten years well above the national average and important roles in management and financial policy, healthcare administration is an attractive option for men and women seeking an exciting career. With a healthcare administration salary that compares well to others in the business field, there should be no shortage of men and women keen to enter into this industry.