Health care administrators, or health services administrators, have
varying roles and functions depending on the size of the facility they
oversee. Generally, health care administrators plan, coordinate, and
supervise the functions of health care facilities and the staff that work
there. There are two types of administrators, generalists and specialists.
Generalists are individuals who are responsible for managing or helping to
manage an entire facility. Specialists are individuals who are responsible
for the efficient operations of a specific department such as policy
analysis, finance, accounting, budgeting, human resources, or marketing.
Health care administrators are often called on to maintain and develop
professional standards, procedures, and policies for various institutional
activities. They are also responsible for developing and expanding
programs for scientific research, preventive medicine, medical and
vocational rehabilitation, and community health and welfare. To be
successful as a health care administrator, an individual needs to have
good leadership and managerial skills. They should also be well organized,
have good written and oral communication skills, and be attentive to
Most health care administrators work in an office environment. They are in
charge of managing hospitals, community health centers, clinics, private
medical group practices, managed care organizations, nursing homes, and
other health care facilities.
High School Preparation:
Students interested in a career as a health care administrator should take
high school courses in algebra, economics, government, accounting,
political science, health occupations/medical professions education,
English, geometry, psychology, sociology, and computer skills.
Students interested in becoming a health care administrator must have a
bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Most organizations,
however, require at least a master's degree in health services
administration, nursing administration, or business administration. For
some generalist positions and for all specialist positions, employers seek
an applicant who has had some clinical experience (as a nurse or
therapist, for example). Most baccalaureate and masters programs include
an administrative internship component.
interested in health care administration should contact schools for
information on admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
Employment for health care administrators and managers is expected to grow
between 21% and 35% through the year 2010. Opportunities will be
especially good in home health care, long-term care, and nontraditional
health organizations, such as managed care operations and consulting
firms. The best opportunities will be for individuals with strong business
and management skills and those individuals with a graduate degree. Many
services previously provided in hospitals will shift to residential care
facilities and practitioners' offices mainly because of technological
improvements. As hospitals become larger and more complex, health care
administrators with experience in these larger facilities will enjoy the
best job security.
Salaries vary greatly according to the size of the facility, education
level, and the level of professional experience.
Average Annual Salary
American College of Healthcare Executives
One North Franklin Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 424-2800
Fax: (312) 424-0023
American College of Health Care Administrators
300 North Lee Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 739-9900
Phone: (888) 88-ACHCA
Fax: (703) 739-7901
Health care Administrator brochure
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