As the healthcare system in the United States expands to meet the growing demand for medical care, the demand is growing for administrators to manage healthcare facilities. Many people are choosing to get a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration so they can take one of many jobs in this burgeoning field.
What Is Healthcare Administration?
All businesses need skilled professionals to run them. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, clinics, and other health care facilities are no exception. Bachelor’s in healthcare administration jobs are available in all of these facilities.
A healthcare administrator ensures that hospitals run smoothly. They track trends and implement changes to improve patient care and the efficiency of the organization. They supervise employees such as doctors and nurses, ensuring that there is an adequate staff who are trained in key areas. They help to oversee hospital budgets, making sure there is adequate income to cover improvements needed to keep up with the latest technology. These health services managers have a diverse range of responsibilities. They make a meaningful contribution both to their medical facilities and to the communities.
Training in Healthcare Administration
Earning a degree in healthcare administration will require a variety of classes. It is important for a healthcare administrator to have strong skills in:
- fiscal management
Healthcare in general faces many businesses related challenges.
There is a wide range of things that a healthcare administrator needs to know. Most of these concepts are covered in the required classes for a bachelor’s degree in this field. People who enter health administration with a bachelor’s degree are well prepared for entry-level positions.
Certifications are another way for healthcare professionals to stand out. The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) offers five professional certifications for professionals in revenue cycle management. Other popular certifications include the Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) and the Certified Healthcare Administrative Professional (cHAP).
A Growing and Changing Field
With recent changes to healthcare in the United States, health administration professionals are more important than ever. They must run an efficient and cost-effective business that keeps patients both healthy and happy. Healthcare management professionals keep up with changes in both medicine and regulation. They ensure that their facility is offering the most modern care possible. They also ensure their organization remains in compliance with ever-changing laws and regulations.
There are also jobs for healthcare administration degrees in consulting. Healthcare consultants work with a facility to conduct research or identify problems and come up with effective solutions. They may also help with insurance or regulatory compliance tasks. Consultants may work on contract or be employed full-time by their organization.
What Can You Do with a Healthcare Administration Degree?
There are many different healthcare administration careers. Here are a few of the most common jobs with a healthcare administration degree:
- Hospital CEO
- Hospital department manager
- Hospital CFO (chief financial officer)
- Nursing home administrator
- Clinic administrator
- Medical office business manager
- Dental office administrator
- Chiropractor office manager
- Insurance company analyst
- Government policymaker
- Government lobbyist
- Human relations personnel
- Human resources manager
- Facility operations specialist
- Manager of healthcare staffing agency
- Hospital marketing staff
- Facility project manager
- Insurance contract negotiator
- Lab/Testing facility manager
In general, people do not graduate with a bachelor’s degree and become CEO of a large hospital immediately. Most are hired by a smaller facility or in a smaller role at a large one and gradually work their way up to more prestigious and higher-paying roles in health administration.
Average Workday of a Healthcare Administrator
Healthcare administrators who work in a hospital may not always work a typical 9 to 5 schedule. Hospitals are open 24 hours and usually have administration working at all times as well. Hospital administrators typically answer to a board of directors and spend their days working with:
- insurance companies
They also work closely with the people who are involved in the business operations of the facility.
Healthcare administrators who work at smaller facilities usually work a more typical business work week, which is five days a week in eight-hour shifts that end in the early evening. This is especially true if the facility closes at night and on weekends, such as a doctor’s office.
While at their jobs, the duties of people who have a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management vary widely. People who work at a large hospital or another large medical facility will often have a very specific role, such as working in personnel management or cost efficiency. Those who work at a smaller clinic or a private office will perform a wider range of duties, including:
- making and tracking goals
- hiring and managing personnel
Compensation for Careers in Healthcare Administration
A healthcare administrator earns a much higher-than-average salary. The median pay in 2021 was $101,340/year plus a very generous benefits package. Individuals working at hospitals and larger facilities may expect to see higher salaries. Entry-level BS in healthcare administration jobs will typically pay less. In addition, people who go on to specialize in a niche field of healthcare administration or to complete a master’s degree will earn more. There is ample room for promotion and career growth in this field.
Qualities of a Good Healthcare Administrator
There are a few personality traits that are important for anyone wishing to become a professional in healthcare administration. First, healthcare administration professionals must have a passion for healthcare and a deep desire to help others. This fast-paced is fast-paced and stressful at times; having passion and dedication is crucial to keeping up with this pace.
Second, a healthcare administrator must have exceptional social and communication skills. Healthcare is increasingly becoming a collaborative field where communication is essential. Healthcare administrators must be good at working with people in a variety of contexts and from a variety of backgrounds, including:
- support staff
- insurance representatives
Third, a healthcare administrator must have critical thinking and problem-solving skills. These professionals need to make important decisions quickly and choose options that are in the best interests of employees and patients. In addition, they have to identify problems in their facility and present solutions that are measurable, then implement these solutions and measure their success.
Healthcare administration degree jobs require a very specific set of qualities. However, a wide variety of personalities can be successful and fulfilled in this career. Because there is a huge range of different careers available, people who have a degree in this field can easily find a setting where they feel happy and fulfilled.
Demand for Healthcare Administration
As the Baby Boomer generation hits retirement age, the demand for healthcare is increasing. In addition, medicine is rapidly switching focus from treating disease to preventing it in the first place, which requires an increasing amount of administrators. These issues have contributed to rapid growth in the field of health administration. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for medical and health services managers will grow by 28% through 2031, much faster than average compared to all other occupations.
Not only is the number of people needed in this profession growing, but the types of jobs for healthcare administration degree earners are changing as well. Healthcare administrators were once used mainly by hospitals and larger healthcare corporations. They are increasingly being used to increase efficiency and improve patient care in even the smallest facilities such as doctor’s offices and chiropractic businesses.