Understanding Health Care Administration Salary: Your 2022 Earning Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Health care administration salaries vary based on many factors. Find out how much professionals earn across the industry.

[Featured Image] Three medical professionals, one male and two female, sit around a conference table.

Health care administration is a fast-growing field in health care that involves managing the systems that keep a health care facility operational. This ranges from facilities management to staff training, including setting budgets, staffing facilities, and enforcing policies. You can find health care administration jobs in health care facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, or even pharmaceutical companies.

What exactly is health care administration?

Health care administration is the management of aspects that affect the daily operations of a health care facility, either of a department of the entire facility. This includes facility management, staffing, financial management, policies, and compliance with federal and state regulations. In health care administration you won’t work directly with patients, but you will still provide patient care indirectly by ensuring that the facility is safe and the providers are highly trained. 

Read more: What Is Health Care Administration? What You Need to Know in 2022

Health care administrator responsibilities

The responsibilities of a health care administrator are varied and dependent on the facility in which they manage; however, the aim and overall goal are the same: to keep a health care facility running safely and smoothly for patients, staff, and providers. As a result, you’ll find a variety of common duties across many health care facilities, including: 

  • Creating, implementing, adjusting, and enforcing facility policies 

  • Adhering to and enforcing federal and state laws, rules, and regulations specific to the facility in which they manage 

  • Setting and managing budgets for an entire facility or department 

  • Hiring and training staff members; set staff schedules 

  • Communicating policy changes to employees 

  • Listening to patient feedback and taking appropriate action 

  • Managing billing and coding systems 

  • Maintaining facility as needed 

  • Ensuring medical providers have the tools, equipment, and resources that they need 

  • Communicating with stakeholders in the facility

Academic degrees in health services administration

The most common degree for the majority of careers in health care administration is a degree in health care administration. However, there are other degrees specific to roles within health care administration. 

One of the good things about the field of health care administration is that you have many points of entry. The degree you earn can be in a field that leans more toward IT, business management, or health care, and you can later add certifications or even advanced degrees to move into other health care administration jobs. 

Consider these other academic degree options in health services administration beyond a degree in health care administration: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in health informatics, which cultivates the skills needed to manage health care-related systems, including IT, management, and health care skills

  • Master’s degree in nursing administration, which provides knowledge in a combination of executive-level nursing skills to oversee human resources, finance, and management of departments or entire facilities

  • Bachelor’s degree in health services management, which includes learning about leadership roles in health care much like health administration degrees do

  • Bachelor’s degree in business management, which provides skills in managing organizations, including business decision making, strategic planning, and supervising others 

Skills required to be a good health care administrator

Most jobs in health care administration will involve managing people as well as systems, so these are among the top skills of a good health care administrator:

  • Leadership and management

  • Communication

  • Organization

  • Teamwork

  • Problem solving

  • Adaptability

  • Strong ethical judgment

The technical skills you’ll need to be a good health care administrator will vary based on your specific role and job description, but a few common technical skills you will likely need to work in this field are:

  • Budgeting

  • Data analysis

  • Business administration

  • Quality control

  • IT skills

Outlook for health administration careers

There is an optimistic job outlook for careers in health administration according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS projects a 28 percent increase in health care administration jobs in the years between 2021 and 2031 and estimates 56,600 jobs to be added during these ten years [1]. A few reasons for this positive outlook are an aging population in need of medical care and nursing home facilities, increased demand for medical professionals, and advances in medical and health care technologies.  

It could also mean more job openings in more in-demand roles in health care administration. Another consideration when looking at this outlook for the field of health care administration is that schools and employers may offer more programs intended to help people with related degrees move into degrees required for positions in this field. 

Health care administration jobs and salaries

You can get a number of jobs with a health care administration degree. The jobs you are eligible for will be dependent on your level of education, any experience you hold, certifications you’ve gained, and your overall skills. Some positions may only be available in certain health care facilities, so where you live may also be a factor in the jobs you can get within this sprawling field of health care. 

These are some of the jobs you can get with a health care administration degree, and the average annual salary for each as of 2022: 

  • Health care administrator in a clinic or hospital: $58,343 [2

  • Director of managed care: $147,950 [3

  • Pharmaceutical project manager: $134,787 [4]

  • Clinical manager: $89,454 [5]

  • Nursing home administrator: $112,897 [6]

  • Health information manager: $53,022 [7

  • Assistant administrator: $53,855 [8

  • Federal, state, or local health care administrator: $58,343 [9]

  • Health care marketing manager: $78,503 [10]

  • Health insurance manager: $128,985 [11]

  • Chief nursing officer: $132,881 [12]

  • Health information technology specialist: $48,093 [13]

How to start your career in health care administration

You can start your career in health care administration by earning a degree right out of high school, progressing into an administrative role from an entry-level position or supporting in health care, or jumping careers within the health care industry from a clinical to non-clinical job. 

Option 1: Get a bachelor's degree.

To start your career in health care administration right out of school, enroll in an accredited bachelor’s program in health care administration or a related field. The Commission on Accreditation of Health care Management Education (CAHME) is the nationally recognized accrediting organization for health care administration programs. You can find a list of approved programs on their website.

If you’re already working in an entry-level health care support position like medical billing or coding, you will still need to earn your bachelor’s degree in health care administration or a related field to work in health care administration, but you may be able to use your professional experience on your resume to help you get a job after graduation. 

Option 2: Switch from clinical to administration.

Another option is to move from a clinical job like nursing into the non-clinical field of health care administration. If you start your career this way, you may be able to move into a job in health care administration by adding a certification or some additional coursework.

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree, you can also go ahead and earn a master’s in health care administration since you may have already met a portion of the requirements to earn a master’s degree.   

Read more: What Is the Master of Health Care Administration (MHA)?

Beyond education, networking is a great starting place. Build your network of professionals, particularly in the area where you want to work, or even the facility in which you’d like to work. 

Future career advancement in health care administration

Senior-level positions in health care administration will typically require a master’s degree or doctoral degree, along with quality professional experience. If you’d like to progress into one of these top-level positions, set your career pathway accordingly, gaining the education, professional experience, and any certifications you might need, to achieve your goal. Some senior-level career prospects in health care administration include:

  • Hospital executive 

  • Clinical manager 

  • Hospital director 

  • Hospital CEO 

  • Health information manager 

  • Executive director of a nursing home or medical facility 

  • Senior administrator 

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Article sources


US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Medical and Health Services Manager, Job Outlook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm#tab-6" Accessed October 25, 2022.

Written by Coursera • Updated on

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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