Not every person interested in healthcare as a profession is cut out to wear the white doctor’s coat or the nurse’s scrubs. Some people get queasy at the site of blood, vomit and needles. For these individuals a career as a healthcare administrator may be just what the doctor ordered.
Who are Healthcare Administrators?
Healthcare administrators are the individuals who work behind the scenes to make sure the sick are able to receive the care they need. It is the administrator’s job to run and manage the healthcare organizations. Examples of these companies are the local doctor’s office, hospitals, nursing homes or home healthcare agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics healthcare administrators are those individuals who “plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of healthcare.”
Why Choose a Career in Healthcare Administration?
People who need to make a decision about their future career choices should strongly consider healthcare administration. This is especially true for people with experience in the medical industry or those individuals with above average business management abilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics ( BLS) reports that healthcare administration is growing “faster than the average for all occupations.” The BLS projects that from 2008 – 2018 the healthcare administration field will grow by 16%. The fastest growth is expected in the local healthcare provider’s offices as more services previously found only in hospitals are shifted to these locations. This shift in services generating the need for administrators in the local doctor’s office is a by-product of increased technology.
Additionally, people choosing a career in this growing field can expect to be well compensated. The BLS reports that the median salary in May 2008, for a healthcare administrator was between $71,000 and $87,000 depending on the type of facility being managed.
What are the Qualifications for a Career in Healthcare Administration?
While a few lucky individuals might be able to find a job as a healthcare administrator with a bachelor’s degree, the standard education requirement is a master’s degree in one of the following fields: “health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration” (BLS). A potential graduate school student should expect between two to three years to complete the program. Courses will cover topics like healthcare organization and management, healthcare information systems, human resources, healthcare law, ethics, marketing, accounting and business planning. Some post-graduate work may include some type of supervised internship experience.
License May be Required
After graduating with a master’s degree potential healthcare administrators may also need to obtain a license. The BLS reports that all fifty states and the District of Columbia require administrators at nursing care facilities “pass a licensing examination, complete a state-approved training program, and pursue continuing education.”
What are the Career Opportunities?
With the growth of the healthcare administration there are a number of potential job opportunities in a vast number of settings. Healthcare administrators could find employment at hospitals, minor medical facilities, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home healthcare organizations and rehabilitation companies. The work and work environment will depend greatly on the specific job title and setting. Administrators in a small doctor’s office with six to ten physicians might be the only administrator on staff and would be responsible for all management duties including personnel and payroll, budgeting, planning and equipment needs. However, at larger facilities there would likely be a senior manager with several assistants who would each be responsible for individual and more specific areas of administration. An assistant healthcare manager at a hospital might be in charge of areas like “nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records and health information.”
This is a great time to consider a career as a healthcare administrator. It is still early in the decade of growth from 2008-2018 predicted by the BLS for this industry. While competition for these positions may be high, it is an exciting time of expansion. Individual who chose a career in healthcare administration can expect to find a good job with good pay.