Healthcare administration professionals, also called healthcare managers, have a wide variety of potential job titles. This is because there are positions available within all specialty areas and for individuals at every experience level. Many position titles also take the scope of responsibilities into account, so it’s not unlikely to find many different options during a job search. Some administrators may be in charge of overseeing the operations of a single medical practice, clinical area, or department, while others may manage multiple facilities at the same time. Titles will also vary depending on the type of facility that is hiring, as well as the area of expertise.

Some common examples of healthcare administration job titles include:

  • Chiropractic Office Manager
  • Clinical Manager
  • Dental Office Manager
  • Facility Project Manager
  • Facility Operations Specialist
  • Health Information Manager
  • Healthcare Administration Specialist
  • Healthcare Administrative Assistant
  • Healthcare Coordinator
  • Healthcare Support Specialist
  • Hospital CEO
  • Hospital CFO
  • Hospital Department Manager
  • Human Relations Personnel
  • Improvement Consultant
  • Lab/Testing Facility Manager
  • Medical Office Business Manager
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Nursing Home Administrator
  • Patient Services Representative
  • Regional Director of Business Development

It’s also common for employers to place additional and pertinent information within parentheses directly after the job title. This extra information may not be part of the official position title, but it’s intended to give candidates further insight into the job without requiring them to read the entire description. Examples include:

  • Practice Administrator (Hospital Medicine)
  • Administrative Assistant (Nursing Administration)
  • Improvement Consultant (Physician Services)
  • Physician Liaison (Medical Records Clerk)
  • Business Development Manager (Home Health Care)

Job Brief

Job briefs, or summaries, usually provide healthcare administration candidates with a broad overview of the available position and how it relates to the rest of the practice. In many cases, this is where information about the company can be found, including industry type, size, mission, and history. Healthcare managers are qualified to work for a variety of different companies, including:

  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Government Organizations
  • Home Health Care Companies
  • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
  • Nursing Care Facilities
  • Offices of Physicians
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturers
  • Scientific Research and Development Facilities
  • Specialty Hospitals

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most medical and health services managers work in hospitals, physician offices, residential care services, outpatient care centers, or government facilities. It’s also worth noting that private, local, and state hospitals employ the majority of healthcare administration professionals.

It’s important to pay close attention to the information provided about the company or organization in the job briefing, as this can give valuable insight into the practice’s job expectations and work environment.

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most medical and health services managers work an average of 40 hours per week. It isn’t uncommon, however, for some healthcare administration positions to require additional evening, weekend, and holiday hours. This is especially true for jobs with 24-hour facilities, like hospitals and nursing homes, that have an on-call emergency rotation schedule. In fact, about 33 percent of healthcare managers worked over 40 hours per week in 2016. Most job summaries will indicate hour expectations, so candidates can determine whether or not they are a good fit for the position before applying.

Because healthcare administration jobs are often multifaceted, the professionals are frequently responsible for several different activities. The most important of these are usually highlighted in the position brief. They often include activities like supervising staff, establishing workplace procedures and systems, managing facility financials, coordinating medical services, ensuring adherence to healthcare policies and laws, and creating educational programs.

Additionally, healthcare administrators must possess a number of valuable qualities and skills that may be mentioned in the job summary. Candidates can tell a lot about a company based on the traits they value most. Qualities that are commonly expected of healthcare administration professionals are:

  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Strong Judgement
  • Dependability
  • Forward-Thinking
  • Goal-Oriented
  • Highly Organized
  • Analytical
  • Exceptional Leadership Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Relationship Building
  • Ethical Judgement
  • Attention to Detail
  • Empathetic and Caring

Responsibilities

Not only do healthcare administration professionals work in a wide variety of diverse settings and require a number of valuable skill sets, they are also responsible for completing numerous tasks on a daily basis. While every position and corresponding job description is different, many are comprised of similar responsibilities.

While few healthcare administrators interact directly with patients, they do develop and maintain systems intended to enhance the overall health of the community in which they serve. They also regularly work closely with a number of other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and even insurance agents.

  • Oversee day-to-day management of healthcare services
  • Establish, share, and monitor department and facility budgets
  • Prepare and administer regular budget reports
  • Suggest potential ways to minimize facility costs
  • Inform staff of practice and patient financial goals
  • Maintain necessary medical and staff records
  • Plan and manage the delivery of healthcare services to patients
  • Direct daily department and facility operations
  • Track the use of medical and office supplies
  • Ensure medical and office supplies are continually stocked
  • Update patient healthcare admissions and insurance records
  • Provide administrative support to all medical departments
  • Effectively communicate facility goals to employees
  • Create staff schedules, as well as scheduling procedures and protocols
  • Ensure the needs of physicians, nurses, and other staff members are being met
  • Answer doctor, nurse, and patient questions
  • Work with staff to identify efficiencies in daily operations
  • Build and maintain relationships with key individuals and organizations within the community
  • Act as a liaison between departments, medical staff, and governing boards
  • Verify that the facility or department is providing consistent patient services
  • Establish practices and procedures that attract and retain talented healthcare professionals
  • Oversee the hiring and training of new staff members
  • Evaluate and record staff performance
  • Develop and oversee new marketing and advertising strategies
  • Ensure compliance with regulations at the facility, state, and national levels
  • Double-check patient records for accuracy
  • Improve department, facility, and/or company efficiency
  • Represent the assigned department or facility at investor meetings
  • Adapt to ever-changing healthcare laws, regulations, and technology

While few healthcare administrators interact directly with patients, they do develop and maintain systems intended to enhance the overall health of the community in which they serve. They also regularly work closely with a number of other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and even insurance agents.

Education and Experience Requirements

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Most healthcare administration jobs have minimum education and experience requirements. These can vary quite drastically from position to position, however. Additionally, most employers will indicate preferred skills, education, professional experience, certifications, technical skills, and even personality traits as well.

While there are some employers who will consider and hire healthcare administration professionals with associate-level degrees, the majority of companies require candidates to have an undergraduate education. A bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, public health, business administration, or a similar field will grant most individuals access to entry-level positions. These educational programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework and take four years for full-time students to complete.

The gold standard for healthcare administration professionals, however, is a graduate degree. Those who enroll in graduate programs are given the opportunity to hone their skills and develop a broader understanding healthcare management and its associate challenges. Professionals with a master’s degree in healthcare administration, business administration, public health, or a related field have access to higher-level positions, increased pay, and more advancement opportunities. These educational programs vary greatly, but most consist of 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework. Generally, full-time students can expect to complete their graduate education within two years, but fast-track options are sometimes available.

Doctorate degrees in healthcare administration are yet another option. Most employers do not require a doctoral education, but there are a few exceptions. Because these programs focus primarily on healthcare research and analysis, many policy researchers, fellows, and advocates find them helpful. Additionally, educators who wish to teach higher education must have a doctorate degree. These programs can range from 60 to 120 credit hours of coursework and can be completed in three to seven years, depending on individual circumstances.

In addition to education requirements, many employers want candidates to have prior professional experience working within the field. This will vary based on the job type and title but may be as little as two years or as many as five or more years working in hospital health care administration. Some companies may also indicate specific areas of experience, such as knowledge of and familiarity with healthcare regulations, medical law, medical terminology, administrative accounting procedures, databases, and spreadsheets.

Compensation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health services managers earned a median salary of $89,350 in 2017. This is significantly more than the average median wage reported for all professions that year. Even healthcare administration professionals at the bottom of the pay scale made median salaries of $58,350, a number still well above many other industries. Those with positions in the top 10 percent of the pay scale earned as much as $176,130.