How do You Become a Healthcare Administrator?

Are you interested in working in healthcare without the daily contact with patients? Does the idea of being in management and helping make a healthcare facility as good as it can possibly be sound attractive? If so, you may find working as a healthcare administrator to be the perfect fit. Continue reading and learn what it takes to become a healthcare administrator.

What Training is Required to Become a Healthcare Administrator?

To become a healthcare administrator, an individual must have at least a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position, although most employers prefer the candidate have a master’s degree in healthcare administration, public health, nursing administration or business administration. Bachelor degree programs take four years to complete with a master degree adding two to three additional years. Students in a healthcare administration program complete courses in hospital organization, management principals, health information systems, accounting, budgeting and health economics.

Individuals interested in this career should have strong leadership qualities, good analytical and problem-solving skills as well as strong communication skills. In addition to coursework, aspiring healthcare administrators must also complete internships to obtain hands-on training. The Princeton Review reports that candidates who specialize in specific areas of healthcare administration improve their career opportunities.

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Is Licensure or Certification a Requirement?

All the states require that healthcare administrators working in nursing homes be licensed, although licensure requirements may vary from state to state. Some may require the candidate to pass a national certification exam while others may require them to pass a state exam. Individuals interested in obtaining state-specific requirements can contact the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards. There are several certifications available to healthcare administrators, including the following.

• Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) – Offered through the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

• Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) – Offered through the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

• Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) – Offered through the American Hospital Association (AHA)

• Certified Medical Manager (CMM) – Offered through the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (PAHCOM)

• American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)

Career Outlook for Healthcare Administrators

Healthcare administrators, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes as medical and health services managers, are expected to see good job growth. The increasing use of electronic health records will continue to develop a demand for healthcare managers and administrators skillful with health information technology. The BLS projects that these workers could see an employment growth of up to 20 percent during the decade of 2016-2016.

According to the bureau, medical and health services managers earned median annual wages that ranged from about $56,970 to more than $172,240 as of May 2016 with the average wage at $96,540. Factors such as years of experience, education level, certifications and geographical location can all play a role in determining wages.

Healthcare administrators work in offices of healthcare facilities such as clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. Many find that working in a position where they can play a role in improving healthcare for patients to be extremely rewarding in many ways. The U.S. News & World Report ranks medical and health services managers #14 among best business jobs, #24 among best-paying jobs and #65 among the 100 best jobs.