How to Become a
Healthcare Administrator

Businessman reviewing papers with a female doctor

If you think you can excel in the healthcare industry, you may be considering a career as a Healthcare Administrator. JobHero will provide you with all the information you need to learn what it takes to be hired, such as required educational and professional experience, as well as average pay rates and projected job outlook for this field.

What Does a Healthcare Administrator Do?

A Healthcare Administrator, also known as a Health Services Manager and a Healthcare Executive, is responsible for managing health and medical services. As the person in charge, this professional plans, supervises and coordinates everyday operations to make sure the facility is running smoothly and meeting projected goals. Healthcare Administrators oversee that medical services are administered properly, that staff is working productively, that billing is done accurately and that the organization’s mission is being followed. These executives work in medical settings, such as hospitals, clinics, medical and diagnostic laboratories and private practices.

Being a Healthcare Administrator requires knowledge of medical services and regulations, as well as acumen in business administration. Day-to-day responsibilities of this employee may involve:

  • Technical tasks, such as keeping up to date with healthcare regulations and laws

  • Marketing tasks, such as advertising and public relations

  • Managing tasks, such as supervising and evaluate employees

  • Financial tasks, such as accounting, planning budgets and authorizing expenditures

  • Customer service tasks, such as dealing with customer complaints

Healthcare Administrator Skills

Working as a Healthcare Administrator requires a person to possess leadership abilities to supervise, lead and empower staff members to follow the company’s mission and goals. To succeed in this role, a person must be an excellent communicator, able to concisely explain tasks to employees, as well as a careful listener, who will hear employees’ and patients’ concerns. To effectively run the medical facility, this person needs to be business-savvy, authoritative and quick to learn new concepts.

Other key Healthcare Administrator skills include:

  • Critical thinking

  • Multitasking

  • Problem solving

  • Interpersonal communication

  • Team building

How Do You Become a Healthcare Administrator?

Education and Training

To become a Healthcare Administrator, the minimum requirement that employers are looking for is a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, business administration or another business-related field. Most jobs did require candidates to possess a graduate degree in business, commonly a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).

This is not an entry-level position, which requires about five years of previous work experience in either business or medical sectors, or a combination of both. Former physicians, therapists, heads of departments or assistant administrators are example of candidates who may be considered for a Healthcare Administrator position, as they are familiar with the industry.

A passing score on a test-licensing exam may be required for Healthcare Administrators who will be in charge of nursing care facilities.

Finding a job

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a higher than average job growth for Medical and Health Services Managers, which includes Healthcare Administrators, with a 17 percent expected growth in this industry. An aging population who will require more medical care will result in 14,050 new jobs becoming available through 2024.

Prior to starting your job search, view JobHero’s sample Healthcare Administrator resume to make sure your resume highlights your most prominent skills and experience.

Search through our extensive list of job openings around the country to find a position that will be the right fit for you.

To accompany your resume, you must include a professional cover letter to express your interest in this role, and explain how your experience and skills have made you ready for this position.

Insights from a Healthcare Administrator

In the next section, we'll dive deep into the life of a Healthcare Administrator and what you can expect from a job in this industry.

What is the common career path for a Healthcare Administrator?

A bachelor's degree is considered the minimum requirement for becoming a Healthcare Administrator. It might be a good idea to pursue a graduate degree as well because the coursework leans more to what you will be working with as a Healthcare Administrator. Things such as statistical analysis in the public health sector, microeconomics, management of budgets and well as ethical situations will be covered in a post-grad. To go above and beyond, earn industry certifications which demonstrate a high degree of efficient and quality performance skills.

What should someone consider before becoming a Healthcare Administrator?

You should take into consideration that healthcare administrators often work very long hours as with all healthcare-related fields. There is a big responsibility in doing the job right, which creates a lot of pressure. A perfectionist, double-checking attitude is appreciated in this line of work.

What type of person excels in this job?

Healthcare Administrators are logical thinkers with high problem-solving abilities. Good written and verbal communication skills, integrity, and great human relations are qualities of a great Administrator.

What are some of the most important skills for Healthcare Administrators to have?

The ability to plan ahead, coordinate and implement different management structures depending on the demand is the most important skill set a Healthcare Administrator can have. It's important to also communicate well with other staff members and have excellent managerial skills, and the ability to manage a budget.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Healthcare Administrator?

The most rewarding aspect is the impact you can have on someone's life if you do a good job. There are abundant opportunities for an Administrator and you are not constricted to the healthcare industry only.

How Much Do Healthcare Administrator s Get Paid?

Medical and Health Services Managers, including Healthcare Administrators, make an average yearly salary of $94,500. The lowest-paid professionals make $56,200, and the highest-paid earn $165,400.

Top 10 States for a Healthcare Administrator’s Salary

Healthcare Administrators in the following states make the highest median salary in the US.

    District of Columbia

    $121,600

    California

    $117,700

    New York

    $113,700

    New Jersey

    $110,900

    Alaska

    $107,500

    Connecticut

    $107,100

    Hawaii

    $104,200

    Delaware

    $102,600

    Colorado

    $102,400

    Washington

    $102,000

    Healthcare Administrator Resources

    For more information about becoming or working as a Healthcare Administrator, check out these resources.

    On the Web

    Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
    To serve the public interest by advancing the quality of healthcare management education.

    Association of University Programs in Health Administration
    A one stop shop for all things health administration-related.

    On LinkedIn

    Health Care Opportunities
    Established to meet the growing demand for healthcare workers and to simplify the process of acquiring high quality healthcare professionals.

    Healthcare Operations Executive
    A group comprised exclusively of individuals who are serving as COO, VP, Assistant Administrator, etc. or have similar experience in their recent past within the Healthcare industry (i.e. hospital, health system, medical center, clinic, etc.).

    Industry Groups

    Medical Group Management Association
    The resource leader for healthcare administration management and medical practice managers.

    Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)
    The preferred resource for healthcare administrators to stay on the forefront of industry and business issues while enjoying an open exchange of ideas.