A Complete Guide to
Working in Healthcare Administration

One of the most lucrative and rewarding non-medical jobs in healthcare is healthcare administration. Healthcare administration is a function within an organization that manages its accounting, business development, human resources and medical records.  

In addition to hospital administrator, one of the most well-known careers for those with a healthcare administration degree, there are many opportunities in the industry. Here are a few:

Healthcare Administration Career Options

  • Medical Staff Directors: Responsibilities may include keeping track of minutes at meetings, ensuring all physicians’ credentials are kept up-to-date and performing job assessments of physicians and other healthcare workers.
  • Patient Advocates and Patient Care Coordinators: Administrators working in these areas must have excellent communication skills, empowering them to mediate patient cases with compassion. Some of the duties can include acting as a bilingual translator, following up with patients who have been released from a hospital or care facility, and handling patient complaints and concerns. Administrators are also tasked with fostering a smooth transition for patients and their families when they must transition between different levels of care or adjust to leaving a facility.
  • Social Media Manager: Duties may include keeping all social media information up-to-date, bringing awareness to hospital and its services, fielding public opinions and more. Reputation management is a huge part of this career and may require tracking patient satisfaction comments on websites like Yelp and Facebook.
  • Telehealth Program Managers: Job requirements may include managing and mitigating communications among nurses, patients and physicians including telephone calls, social networks, video conferencing and more.

Healthcare Administration Work Environments

learn about healthcare degreeCareers in healthcare administration can be found in all types of organizations ranging from small private practices to large hospitals and even government-operated healthcare facilities. A Students have many options when choosing their workplace environment, including:
  • Clinics: Clinics are available in many areas of the nation and can include group practices, practices dedicated to specific audiences including tribal clinics, public health centers and more.
  • Community-Based Healthcare Clinics:  These clinics are concentrated on specific areas of care including addiction and recovery services, free clinics, long-term illnesses, palliative or hospice end-of-life care and more.
  • International Healthcare Practices: These include specialty groups like the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the Peace Corps or other humanitarian relief organizations.
  • Senior Care Facilities: These may include assisted living, physical or occupational therapy facilities, rehabilitation facilities or more.
  • Telehealth: These include all remote medical care including nursing advice phone lines, Snap MD and more.

What to Expect When Working in Healthcare Administration

When entering any new career, it’s important to understand what’s expected. Here are a few insights:
  • Career Growth: Projected industry growth is estimated at 22 percent between 2010 and 2020.
  • Contribution to Society: Many healthcare administrators feel like they are providing a useful, appreciated and respected contribution to society.
  • Excellent Pay: Beginning administrators can earn between $84,000 and $90,000, with high-end pay potential that can approach $180,000 per year.
  • Job Satisfaction and Job Security: Healthcare administration employees regularly score highly in ratings for these two factors.
  • Personnel Management: For many, personnel management is challenging and may increase stress.
  • Professional Development: In this industry, it’s very important to be on top of new trends and understand competition within the healthcare industry.
  • Responsibility: For some, having a tremendous amount of responsibility might create a stressful work environment.
  • Travel: Healthcare administrators may be asked to travel to attend conferences, symposiums and seminars.

Specialization in Healthcare Administration

For many, focusing on specific areas of healthcare administration is an excellent way to develop desirable skills and potentially earn more income. Specialized areas might include information technology or a degree program that helps students to acquire a clinical background.

Attention to detail, business acumen, confidentiality and excellent communication skills are extremely helpful when it comes to decision making and strategic thinking. Additionally, leadership and public speaking are great skills to have in the event that a healthcare administrator is asked to represent the company in public settings.

A career in healthcare administration is a smart choice for students and is expected to be a strong career choice into the future.