Your Ultimate Guide to Healthcare Administration


By Bennett Floyd Published on March 3, 2017

If a busy healthcare facility is like a symphony orchestra, a healthcare administrator is like the conductor, helping all the players work together harmoniously.

So, what do healthcare administration professionals do? Where do healthcare administrators work? In America today, more than 333,000 healthcare administrators help run hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, group medical practices, and other facilities. These professionals play vital roles in the healthcare industry. Maybe it’s the right career for you!

Are jobs available in healthcare administration?1 Yes! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, the healthcare industry as a whole will see an increase in the demand for medical services.”

If this career appeals to you, you probably have some questions: What are typical healthcare administration duties? What does it take to prepare for a career in healthcare administration? Is healthcare administration right for me?

What Healthcare Administration Professionals Do

As a healthcare administrator, you could be responsible for numerous key functions in planning, directing, and coordinating medical services for patients. Professionals in this field continually strive to improve their healthcare facility’s efficiency and quality.

Healthcare administrators often recruit, train, and supervise medical personnel, including arranging their work schedules. Healthcare administrators work with nurses, physicians, surgeons, and laboratory technicians, not only guiding them to set objectives and goals but also helping them keep up with the healthcare industry’s constantly changing policies and technologies. Healthcare administrators also interact directly with patients.

Additional responsibilities of healthcare administrators may include records and finances. They oversee the process of billing patients and dealing with insurance companies. Healthcare administrators establish budgets and monitor their facility’s spending. As representatives of their facilities, healthcare administrators may interact with investors or a board of directors. Some healthcare administrators specialize in using the latest technology to maintain and protect patient records.

If you’re wondering where to start in healthcare administration, your pathway could include serving as an assistant administrator. These professionals “work under the top administrator in larger facilities and often handle daily decisions,” according to the BLS. “Assistants might direct activities in clinical areas, such as nursing, surgery, therapy, medical records, or health information. They also handle administrative tasks, such as ensuring that their department has the necessary supplies and that equipment is operational and up to date.”

For a personal take, here’s an interview with a healthcare administration professional. For information on healthcare administration salaries and what healthcare administrators make, visit the BLS.

How to Become a Healthcare Administration Professional

As with many good jobs, education is key to getting involved in the field of healthcare administration. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration provides a good foundation for beginning a career. Some bachelor’s degrees are available as online programs. To increase your potential as a healthcare administrator, you could also consider getting a master’s degree in healthcare administration.

So, what is a healthcare administration major? What does this degree entail? A good healthcare administration bachelor’s degree program will help you gain the fundamental business, accounting, medical, and human-resource skills you need to find entry-level employment in healthcare administration.1 As a student in a healthcare administration degree program, you could gain valuable knowledge and skills,2 such as:

  • Health facility operations/management
  • Healthcare finance
  • Healthcare policy
  • Insurance
  • Long-term care administration
  • Medical billing/coding
  • Medical clinic administration
  • Medical lab procedures
  • Patient care
  • Pharmacy technician applications

How long does it take to get a degree in healthcare administration? Some bachelor’s programs can be completed in as few as 36 months. If you’re interested in getting your Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, you could finish it in only 15 months.

With the right degree, you could help improve care for the elderly. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration with a gerontology emphasis could expand your opportunities when you enter the workplace. Students graduate with the ability to lead in a healthcare center and directly help the elderly get the care they need.

Why study healthcare administration? If you still wondering about pursuing your future in healthcare administration, check out these insights on choosing a career in health administration. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration could potentially lead to several rewarding healthcare careers,1 such as:

  • Clinic administrator
  • Director of hospital admissions or billing
  • Healthcare facility human resources manager
  • Hospital administrator
  • Long-term care manager
  • Medical office manager

With campuses in Idaho and Utah as well as online programs,3 Stevens-Henager College offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in healthcare administration. Financial aid and scholarships4 are available for those who qualify. New classes start every month. For more information, visit Stevens-Henager College.

  1. The college does not guarantee a job. Gaining employment is the graduate’s responsibility.
  2. Program subject material is subject to change. For up-to-date details, see the current version of the student catalog.
  3. Online programs are offered by our affiliated institution, Independence University.
  4. Scholarship awards are limited and only available to those who qualify. See www.scholarshipshc.com for details.

 
Stevens-Henager College admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. For graduation rates, the median debt of graduates, and other data, see www.stevenshenager.edu/student-information.