For most, a great career means having a job that pays them an excellent salary, allows them to enjoy great professional benefits, and lets them know that they are helping others. That’s why the health field is such a popular choice when choosing a career path. But beyond just providing direct patient care, choosing to enter a leadership role as a health administrator is something that could hold a lot of potential and a lot of promise.
A health administrator position is something that takes effort and energy to achieve. It has several challenges, and plenty of rewards. It’s important to spend some time learning more about what the job offers and involves in order to determine whether or not it’s right for you. To find out more about this career opportunity, read on.
What Is a Health Administrator?
A health administrator is a highly skilled professional that serves in a leadership role in the health care field. These professionals serve in a position that is very similar to the management positions found in business, except instead of managing or overseeing a company or corporation they are in charge of the daily activities involved with running a health care facility. Common job duties include the following, but are in no way limited to them.
- Balancing operating budgets
- Developing marketing plans and strategies
- Helping oversee hiring and other HR duties
- Ensuring that the facility is in line with all federal and state regulation compliance codes
- Conduct meetings with staff to ensure that operations are moving forward properly
- Work on gaining grants from various sources
- Help ensure that employees are educated about various health oriented issues in the community
- Attend community events on a regular basis
In short, these professionals provide internal leadership that helps to move a facility into the future. They serve as the primary leader of the facility, and take on all of the different roles and tasks that the position comes with.
As with any position, having some personal traits that help enhance one’s ability to do the job is important. Those looking to become a health administrator should consider the following characteristics since they will have a big impact on your ability to excel in the job.
- Strong Communication – Communicating with patients, employees, policy makers, and others in the industry is a major part of the job.
- Good Organization – You’ll have a wide range of responsibilities. Being able to organize properly is important if you want to thrive in this position.
- Confidence – You’re in charge as a health administrator, and as such your decisions mean a lot. You’ll need the confidence that comes with that responsibility if you want to truly succeed as a health administrator.
Nature of the Work
The job is primarily office based, but you’ll also spend time within the facility meeting with different employees, conducting inspections, and making sure that the facility is working the way that it should. It’s also not uncommon to attend meetings, lectures, seminars, and conferences and the health administrator regularly attends community functions to ensure that the health facility has a strong public presence in the community. Specific job details vary greatly from position to position, and will largely depend upon the facility and what is needed.
A health administrator will find work in a variety of health care settings, most commonly in hospitals, nursing facilities, research centers, private physician practices, health clinics, and more. In some cases they may be in charge of the medical wing of a university or a nonprofit organization as well.
Education and Training
To become a health administrator, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in health care administration at the very least. However, most employers prefer to hire those who hold at least a graduate level degree like an MBA or a Masters of Health Administration degree. Experience is also important, and holding experience in the health care field will have a big impact on your ability to find employment as well. Usually, training involves management level issues that directly relate to health care and the health industry.
Those in the field usually earn an average of about $84,000 per year. In some cases it’s possible to earn well over $100,000 annually, and salary will depend on employer, experience, training, and location within the country.