Prerequisites for a Healthcare Administrator

by Kendall Olsen; Updated September 26, 2017
Healthcare adminstrators have extensive education and training.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare administrators, also known as medical and health service managers or healthcare executives, oversee many of the operations of hospitals or clinical health departments. These individuals plan, coordinate and oversee delivery of healthcare services. Larger facilities, insurance companies or big departments may have several assistant administrators supervising some aspects of services while smaller hospitals, or businesses may have one administrator handling all aspects of administration including budgeting, hiring and insurance compliance.

Formal Education

According to the Princeton Review, those interested in careers in healthcare administration should pursue a graduate course of study. While some entry-level administrative jobs are offered to those holding bachelor's degrees in business or hospital administration, most top-level positions require a master's degree in public health, business administration or hospital administration. Most graduate programs in these areas usually last two to three years and require candidates to prepare for employment with courses in accounting, management, health information systems and economics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many hospitals and health facilities offer postgraduate residencies and fellowships to interested candidates; some college programs require students to complete one year of supervised administrative experience and coursework during the course of study.

Licensure and Certification

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most healthcare administrators are not required to complete special training programs or hold licenses. However, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require administrators of nursing care facilities to complete training programs, hold licenses and pursue continuing education. Some states require assisted-living facility managers to be licensed, and some healthcare corporations or organizations may require employees to complete their own training or education programs.

Formal Experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most employees in the field of healthcare administration advance by moving into higher-level positions with added responsibilities. Many individuals in entry-level administrative positions serve as department-level managers or supervisory staff and become executives in administration after successfully working in several different supervisory capacities.

Leadership Qualities

Successful healthcare administrators often possess leadership skills to help make them successful in their positions. Required leadership skills include the ability to communicate well with individuals and departments, the ability to motivate staff and the ability to analyze information and and make decisions. Good administrators are also able to be flexible, interpret data correctly and be diplomatic when necessary.

2016 Salary Information for Medical and Health Services Managers

Medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $96,540 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical and health services managers earned a 25th percentile salary of $73,710, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $127,030, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 352,200 people were employed in the U.S. as medical and health services managers.

About the Author

Kendall Olsen has been writing for more than 20 years She is a University of Missouri-St. Louis Gateway Writing Project Fellow and has published instructional materials with the McDonald Publishing Company. Olsen holds an Ed.S. in educational technology, an M.Ed. in secondary English curriculum and instruction, a B.S. in elementary education and a B.A. in art history.

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