Health care administration salaries vary based on many factors. Find out how much professionals earn across the industry.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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:
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 . 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.
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 
Director of managed care: $147,950 
Pharmaceutical project manager: $134,787 
Clinical manager: $89,454 
Health information manager: $53,022 
Assistant administrator: $53,855 
Federal, state, or local health care administrator: $58,343 
Health care marketing manager: $78,503 
Health insurance manager: $128,985 
Chief nursing officer: $132,881 
Health information technology specialist: $48,093 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Health information manager
Executive director of a nursing home or medical facility
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There is a high demand for health care administrators as the need for health care providers continues to rise. BLS projects a growth rate for this profession that’s significantly faster than average over the next ten years.
Health care administration is a good career choice for someone who wants to work in health care, but in a non-clinical, administrative role. Careers in this field can be fast-paced, rewarding, and pay well when compared to similar occupations in other fields
Health care administrators can move into senior positions like director or CEO, or they can move around departments or health care facilities. Some people come into health care administration from other non-clinical roles like medical billing or coding.
Health care administrators typically work traditional 40-hour work weeks; however, they may be “on-call” during other hours since the facilities they manage are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hours you hold will also vary by where you work and your job title.
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.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Healthcare Administrator (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/healthcare-administrator-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Director of Managed Care (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/director-of-managed-care-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Project Manager, Pharmaceuticals (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/pharmaceutical-project-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,30.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Clinical Manager (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/clinical-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,16.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Nursing Home Administrator (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/nursing-home-administrator-salary-SRCH_KO0,26.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Health Information Manager (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/health-information-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,26.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Assistant Administrator (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/assistant-administrator-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Healthcare Administrator (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/healthcare-administrator-federal-state-or-local-health-salary-SRCH_KO0,24_KE25,54.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Health Care Marketing Manager (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/marketing-manager-health-care-salary-SRCH_KO0,17_KE18,29.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Health Insurance Manager (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/health-insurance-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Chief Nursing Officer (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/chief-nursing-officer-salary-SRCH_KO0,21.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
Glassdoor. “Salary: Health Information Technology Specialist (July 2022), https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/health-information-technology-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,40.htm.” Accessed October 25, 2022.
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.