North Carolina Finance

Mar 12 2018

Healthcare Administration – Salary, Training, Schools, Job Description & More

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Healthcare Administration

Median Salary

Years of School

Job Outlook

Healthcare administrators also known as healthcare executives or health services managers are responsible for the planning, direction, and coordination of medical and health services.

Healthcare administrators manage hospitals, specific departments or clinical areas within the hospital, medical and diagnostic laboratories, private medical practices, and other medical facilities.

Healthcare Administration Salary

The medical administration salary median is a little over $84,000. The lowest 10% of health services administration salaries earned less than $51,000, while the highest 10% earned over $144,000. Earnings for healthcare administrators can vary significantly depending on the experience level of the manager and their given level of responsibility.

The size and type of facility where the healthcare manager is employed also factors significantly into compensation. Those who worked in offices with six or less physicians earned a little under $87,000 on average. Other administrators who worked for larger institutions with around 30 or more employees averaged around $150,000 according to the Medical Group Management Association, the MGMA.

Managers are often paid based on an annual salary and bonuses, rather than an hourly wage. Because of the nature of their job, they might have to come in on their off days, weekends or holidays as necessary.

Healthcare Administration Job Description

Healthcare administrators – also known as healthcare executives or medical services managers – are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating health services. Unlike most employed within the healthcare industries, healthcare administrators typically do not work directly with the care of patients. Instead, they help to ensure that their facility is properly marketed, that the employees are satisfied and working efficiently, and that the facility is meeting the projected finances.

Healthcare Administration Duties

What is healthcare administration?

  • Research and understand healthcare laws and regulations
  • The “face” of the medical facility when speaking with the public and possible financial backers
  • Scheduling
  • Supervision
  • Communicate new policies and other changes with employees
  • Financial management of the facility

Alternative Jobs Titles:

  • Medical Services Manager
  • Health Services Manager
  • Healthcare Executives

How To Become A Healthcare Administrator

In order to become a healthcare administrator, one will typically need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. However, most of these managers will have a master’s degree or higher in a business-related field; possibly with a specialization in the healthcare industry. It is also important that aspiring health services managers be very self-motivated and goal oriented.

Healthcare Administration Education Training Requirements

Healthcare administration employees need to have a background in business. The majority of them will have at least a bachelor’s degree in a business-related major. However, many healthcare administrators will also possess a master’s degree. Some go the alternative route of working in the medical field as a therapist or physician, and they are able to transfer over to administration because of their extensive industry knowledge. Usually, medical professionals who move into administrative roles will pursue an MBA.

Another option is to get a healthcare administration degree rather than a general business degree. This is the recommended option for those who are specifically interested in healthcare management, rather than business management in general. The main difference between this a specialized healthcare administration program and a general business administration program is that the course work will revolve around common issues in the specific niche. For example, hiring nurses and doctors involves a lot more liability than an ordinary business hiring a new sales person does. The curriculum will also offer specialized courses focused on the healthcare industry.

Sample Healthcare Administration Degree Courses

  • Basic business-related courses, such as economics, introductory accounting and finance
  • Healthcare system and functions
  • Healthcare quality analysis
  • Health services improvement
  • Health services-based marketing techniques
  • Health services-based personnel management

Healthcare Administration Certification Licensing

Healthcare administration certification is only required in nursing home facilties in all states, and assisted-living facilities may require it in some states. Administrators in ordinary medical offices and hospitals do not need the certification.

To earn healthcare administration certification, a candidate must pass the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management, AAHAM, exam. The exam costs $200 to take. To pass the test, one must receive a passing score on at least two of the four sections. Any failed sections have to be completed within one-and-a-half years, or the complete exam has to be retaken. The exam is composed of 100 multiple choice questions on different topics regarding healthcare administration.

Healthcare Administration Job Outlook

According to, healthcare administrators can expect a good job outlook. Healthcare administration positions are competitive, but good candidates are also in high demand. The number of medical administration positions are expected to increase by 22% over the next decade, which is faster than the average projected job growth for that time period.

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