Understanding Health Care Administration Salary: Your 2024 Earning Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

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

[Featured Image] A health care administrator stands in a hospital hallway.

Health care administration is a fast-growing field involving managing the systems that keep a 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 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 or the entire facility. This includes recruitment and development of professional and support staff, ensuring all patient documentation is completed accurately, and ensuring compliance with federal and provincial regulations. In health care administration, you won’t work directly with patients. However, you will indirectly provide patient care by ensuring the facility is safe, and the providers are highly trained. 

Health care administrator responsibilities

A health care administrator’s responsibilities vary and depend on the facility 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 provincial 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; setting 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

A degree in health care administration is the most common education for careers in health care administration. However, there are other degrees specific to roles within health care administration. 

One of the good things about health care administration is you have different points of entry. Your degree can be in a field that leans more toward business management or health care. You can later add certifications or 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: 

  • 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

  • Master’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 and 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

According to the Job Bank of Canada, there is a “Good” to “Very Good” job outlook for careers in health administration in many provinces and territories [1]. A few reasons for this positive outlook are an aging population needing 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 health care administration roles. Another consideration when looking at this outlook for health care administration is that schools and employers may offer more programs to help people with related degrees move into degrees required for positions in this field. 

Health care administration jobs and salaries

You can get many jobs with a health care administration degree. The jobs you are eligible for will depend on your education level, 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 health care field. 

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

  • Health care administrator: $73,890 [2

  • Health care consultant: $73,890 [3

  • Nursing home administrator: $48,702 [4]

  • Clinical manager: $89,735 [5

  • Health care manager: $68,930 [6

  • Health care project manager: $85,908 [7]

  • Health insurance manager: $89,809 [8]

  • Health information technology specialist: $72,002 [9]

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 secondary 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 a non-clinical job. 

Option 1: Get a bachelor's degree.

To start your career in health care administration right out of school, you can enrol in an accredited bachelor’s program in health care administration or a related field. 

If you’re already working in an entry-level health care support position, you may need to earn your bachelor’s degree in health care administration or a related field. You may be able to use your professional experience on your resume to get a job after graduation. You might also need to get certification from a regulatory authority. 

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 earn a master’s in health care administration since you may have already met some 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 where 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 and 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: $139,151 [10]  

  • Hospital director: $138,138 [11]  

  • Hospital CEO: $94,244 [12]

  • Director of clinical services: $118,248 [13]  

  • Director of nursing: $107,921 [14

Learn health care administration

Get started in a career in health care administration with Rutgers University's Healthcare Organization Operations Specialization. You'll learn all the core skills and knowledge needed to help run a health care organization. 


Article sources


Job Bank Canada. “Job outlooks for Managers in health care, https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/outlookreport/occupation/1509.” Accessed June 4, 2024.

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