Given the growth of the healthcare field in recent years - which can largely be attributed to an aging population whose care needs must be met - and the high salaries associated with healthcare administration jobs, many people are now considering a career in the field.
If you've researched the field and decided that it's something you want to pursue, you're likely wondering about the qualifications, skills, and experience you'll need to find a job as a healthcare administrator. We've broken down the key things you need to know.
How to Become a Healthcare Administrator
If you're wondering how to get into healthcare administration, the first step is to earn a degree in healthcare administration (or in a related subject) to help you build relevant skills and essential qualifications for a role in the field.
Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration
A bachelor's degree in healthcare administration will give you a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare field, the strategic vision to enact change in the workplace, and the ability to create innovative solutions to address complex and systemic problems. You'll take courses that cover various aspects of the healthcare industry; these might include topics such as managing behavior in organizations, project management, finance, organizational development, healthcare law and regulation, performance and process development, principles of business, accounting, and more.
A bachelor's in healthcare administration is ideal for those interested in entering the field without healthcare experience or a bachelor's degree. Those already working in a healthcare role (for example, as a nurse or a technician) who want to move into the administrative side of the field, and who don't have a bachelor's degree, can also benefit from a B.S. in healthcare administration.
Master's in Healthcare Administration
A master's in healthcare administration will help you take your experience in the field to the next level, challenging you to think boldly while arming you with the technical knowledge, interdisciplinary strategies, and creative problem-solving techniques needed to become a change agent in your organization. You'll take courses designed to deepen your knowledge of the field; these might include healthcare system design and innovation, information systems, finance, healthcare law, leadership, talent management, project management, and more.
If you have a bachelor's and are determining how to advance your career in healthcare administration, a master's in the field is a sound option. You might also explore an MBA with a specialization in healthcare administration; this would be a good choice for those who want a more general business education that can be applied to other industries in addition to healthcare.
In-Demand Healthcare Administration Skills and Competencies
Through your education, experience, or a combination of the two, you'll need to build the following skills to find success as a healthcare administrator.
- Project management
Additionally, you'll need to build the specific skillsets associated with the type of role you're hoping to obtain. These might include:
- Finance, accounting, and budget management
- Talent management and organization development
- Performance and process improvement
- Information systems and security
- Human resources
What Kind of Jobs Can You Get With a Degree in Healthcare Administration?
You might be wondering, "what can you do with a healthcare administration degree?" As a healthcare administrator with a degree - whether it's a bachelor's or master's - and a set of specialized skills, you can pursue a variety of in-demand jobs in the field. Some of the most popular healthcare administration jobs for those with a bachelor's degree include:
- Administrative Medical Assistant
- Business Development Associate
- Financial Manager
- Healthcare Financial Consultant
- Hospital Administrator
- Human Resources Manager
- Information Technology Specialist
- Office Manager
- Program Reimbursement Specialist
Individuals with master's degrees can pursue even more specialized roles, including:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Operations Officer
- Clinic Manager
- Health Care Consultant
- Health Services Manager
- Hospital Administrator
- Nursing Director
- Program Manager
Regardless of the type of role you're hoping to pursue, you can be confident in knowing that healthcare administration is a growing field with plenty of demand for qualified professionals - and that investing in your education is a smart decision.