Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes in hospital, nursing homes and outpatient care settings tracking trends in the dynamic healthcare arena and keeping abreast of cutting edge technologies that may benefit their facility. They also handle financial, quality, and personnel aspects of running a medical facility as well as participate in the writing and development of policies and procedures.
Healthcare administrators may be specific to a specialized department and answer to a chief operating officer, or they may be more global in their scope and oversee the running of multiple departments and even entire facilities.
Required Skills for Healthcare Administrators
To be successful in healthcare administration candidates must be able to supervise people and have excellent problem solving and decision making skills. They must be able to get along well with doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians, employees, patients, and the community at large. While they do not participate in procedures or conducting direct patient care at the beside, they must be familiar with all these aspects of the facility’s operation in order to make effective decisions regards the operation of the facility.
Another requirement of successful healthcare administrators is their ability to be leaders and to complete projects. They must have a sense of how to negotiate with people and how to earn the respect of colleagues. Excellent writing and communication skills are an essential part of a healthcare administrators toolkit.
Salaries in Healthcare Management
Entry-level positions for healthcare administrators will most likely require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and the successful candidate can expect to earn a minimum of $50,000 per year or more and work 40-50 hours per week. Persons moving up into mid-level management positions should have the necessary skills to manage facility budgets and have strong accounting skills. The typical mid-level salary can easily be $85,000 per year or more with a 45-55 hour workweek.
Senior level executives in healthcare administration earn base salaries of $150,000-$250,000 per year. These positions usually require a master’s degree and several years of management experience. One drawback that senior administrators face is the fact that they work 70 or more hours per week and may often be on call.
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Educational Opportunities in Healthcare Management
Educational opportunities for persons seeking degrees in healthcare administration are prolific, with both online and traditional degree programs available. Classes should focus on management, leadership, and accounting, with classes included for communication applications such as speech and computer technology.
Considering a healthcare management career can give a secure future while enjoying the benefits of an excellent salary combined with the satisfaction of knowing that much needed services are being provided to both the healthcare sector and the community.