Healthcare Administration Jobs: 10 Career Paths to Pursue
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- Healthcare administrators usually need a degree, though the level depends on the field.
- Some positions may require professional certification or licensure.
- Career services and professional organizations help new and upcoming graduates find work.
- Internships and entry-level jobs provide learning and experience-building opportunities.
Healthcare degrees and careers feature some of the fastest-growing options available. The in-demand and broad field offers educational and professional diversity and flexibility. Healthcare careers also allow individuals to help others and make a difference in their communities.
Administration jobs in healthcare may not appear to have the same impact as those who treat patients, but these professionals ensure the healthcare system operates at its full potential. Learn more about these positions and discover the main healthcare administration job requirements.
How to Become a Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administration jobs differ in their requirements, though most require a degree in a healthcare discipline. Depending on their ideal career, prospective learners can earn an associate in healthcare administration, a bachelor's in healthcare administration, or a master's in healthcare administration. They can also earn a doctorate in healthcare administration.
Aspiring healthcare administrators can also pursue other healthcare-related disciplines. Some fields feature certificates, certifications, and licenses, which lead to alternative educational paths. For example, medical directors may need a doctorate and medical license for employment.
In addition to education, more advanced healthcare administration jobs may require experience. While professionals can build experience in entry-level jobs, they can also do so as students with co-ops or internships. College internships offer practical learning opportunities and mentorship as well, so consider applying for an internship as early as possible.
- Get a degree at the required level.
- Understand the certification and licensure requirements.
- Develop experience through an internship or entry-level position.
10 Types of Healthcare Administration Jobs
Healthcare Administration Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for office and administrative positions within the healthcare industry was $40,980 in May 2021. In this broad field, however, the salary expectations can vary widely. With experience, education, and certifications, however, professionals can access some of the highest-paying positions, such as medical, ambulatory care, and provider network director roles.
How to Find Healthcare Administration Jobs
Landing a job after college can be stressful and challenging, but it helps to start the process as early as possible. While still in school, you can start building your network with those around you and using the career services resources available. Online learners can also access remote career services, school mentorships, and job search sites.
Professional organizations in your discipline can help new and upcoming graduates find work. They provide access to job boards, educational programs, and networking events that could lead to jobs or prepare you to find a career yourself. You can also connect with other like-minded and skilled professionals and borrow ideas from your most successful peers.
When looking at potential employers, look at the opportunities they provide for growth and professional development in addition to the pay and hours.
Professional Healthcare Administration Organizations
American College of Healthcare Executives: The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) provides over 48,000 healthcare executive members with resources and learning opportunities to improve their leadership skills and healthcare systems overall.
The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM): The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) offers information, advocacy, and professional development opportunities to its membership of healthcare administrators and patient account managers.
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) connects professionals working in health information from various industries. The association offers access to industry resources, professional development, and certification.
Frequently Asked Questions About Healthcare Administration Jobs
What is the highest-paid healthcare administration job?
The highest-paying healthcare administration job belongs to medical directors. According to Payscale, the average base salary for these professionals is $228,220 as of July 2022. But medical and health services managers also make a high salary. According to the BLS, these workers made a median annual salary of $101,340 in May 2021.
BLS data also highlights the difference in salaries based on industry. Hospital managers, for example, earned median annual salaries of $119,450 in May 2021. The government paid $117,000, outpatient care centers paid $99,540, physician offices paid $98,230, and nursing care facilities paid $83,550.
What healthcare administration career is the most popular?
The most popular healthcare administration career depends on the perspective. According to the BLS, some of the largest workforces in this sector include managers, business and financial roles, medical records specialists, financial clerks, and administrative support occupations.
The fastest-growing careers may also be considered the most popular. In this category, the most popular positions include provider network directors, medical directors, and outpatient care supervisors. The BLS projects growth above 32% between 2020 and 2030 in each of these occupations.
Can I go into healthcare administration with an online degree?
Yes. You can access healthcare administration occupations with many levels of online education. An online healthcare administration degree covers the same materials and provides the same level of education as a traditional on-campus degree.
While employers may prefer certain types of instruction to others, online degrees do not indicate the type of learning used. Online degrees can make learning more flexible and affordable while also opening the door to programs that you might not otherwise have access to.
How much money can I make with a healthcare administration job?
The money available in a healthcare administration job depends on the position, the employer, and the location. According to the BLS, the annual mean wage for administrative support occupations within the healthcare industry was $40,980 in May 2021.
Industry can also make a big impact on wages. For example, the mean annual wage for medical secretaries and administrative assistants was $39,740 in May 2021, as per the BLS. Those employed by merchant wholesalers, however, earned an average of $72,410. Those who worked In legal services made $46,820 on average.
What is the fastest way to become a healthcare administrator?
The fastest way to become a healthcare administrator is to pursue a certificate program after high school. While these credentials may not qualify graduates for every field or position, certificate programs typically take less than one year to complete and can grant access to entry-level positions.
Two-year associate healthcare administration degrees also provide a quick route to the field. Once employed, professionals can even pursue a bachelor's degree or a certificate program to advance within their field.