Hospital Administrator Career and Salary Profile
Healthcare is a more complex business now than ever before – and it’s changing rapidly. Skilled hospital administrators are vital to ensure that medical facilities run efficiently and deliver quality patient care. Depending on its size, a facility may have one or several administrators. Pursuing a career as a hospital administrator can be a rewarding way of helping others; enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Healthcare Management is a great way to begin the process.
Job Outlook for Hospital Administrators
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of health services managers, including hospital administrators, will significantly increase in coming years. Job growth will occur as the healthcare field continues to grow, spurring demand for skilled administrators. Individuals with strong business management skills should have the best job prospects. The competition for jobs at the highest management level will be strong and candidates with experience and advanced degrees may have an advantage.
Hospital administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of a hospital, clinic, managed care organization or public health agency. To coordinate the actions of all departments and ensure they function as one, hospital administrators must hold a wide set of skills and knowledge.
Administrators need sharp business skills to handle long-term planning, development of operating objectives and budgets, and creation of an overall system for efficient delivery of medical services. These professionals also review financial reports, managed care contracts and major expenditures. They often establish and administer policies, and ensure they are uniformly understood.
Health care industry knowledge is essential for hospital administrators to successfully manage patient care and to serve as liaison between medical staff, department heads and governing boards.
A hospital administrator’s interpersonal skills come into use when supervising and mentoring staff, relating to the community and interfacing with governing boards. They are often involved in recruiting, hiring, and training physicians, nurses and assistant administrators.
Hospital administrators usually work in a private office; a 40-hour week is standard. Because healthcare is a 24/7 business, at times they may work flexible hours. Travel to conferences or among satellite facilities may be required.
According to BLS data from May 2009, the average annual salary for the occupation category including hospital administrators was $90,970. The middle 50% earned between $63,700 and $105,980 per year, while the lowest 10% brought in around $49,750. The top 10% of professionals in this occupation category were reported to earn approximately $140,300 annually. Salary levels are typically commensurate with education, professional credentials and experience; those holding advanced degrees often earn salaries at the top end of the range.
Not only do hospital administrators earn attractive salaries, but the occupation was named a Money magazine and PayScale.com “Best Job in America” for 2009. Factors such as pay potential, projected job growth and quality of life make it a high-ranking job.
Education and Training
At the administrator level, most healthcare employers generally require a master’s degree plus a number of years of experience. Candidates for hospital administrator jobs may have knowledge of health services administration, public health or long-term care administration.
When competing to land a hospital administrator position, individuals can stand out from the crowd by earning an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management. Coursework typically includes healthcare policy, information management in healthcare, managerial economics and financial management.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management are able to:
- Solve real-world challenges with modern theories of leadership, management and negotiation.
- Integrate marketing, operations, personnel and financial initiatives.
- Apply contemporary business principles integral to a medical organization.
- Assess risk using financial, statistical and economic data and create manageable solutions.
- Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a hospital administrator.
Your Path to a Hospital Administrator Career
Advancing to a hospital administrator position generally means more responsibility – and a higher salary. With the right combination of business acumen, interpersonal and public relations skills, and a knack for leadership, a hospital administrator position could be the perfect fit for you. Get the skills and knowledge top employers want by earning an MBA with a specialization in Healthcare Management. It can give you the boost of confidence and the education you need to pursue a rewarding hospital administrator career.