Nursing Home Administrator: Job Description & Career Info

Learn about what a nursing home administrator does. Find out about the education requirements, necessary skills, employment outlook and salary to see if this career appeals to you.

Career Definition

Nursing home administration is a specialized area of medical and health services management. Nursing home administrators work to supervise clinical and administrative affairs of nursing homes and related facilities. Typical duties of nursing home administrators include overseeing staff and personnel, financial matters, medical care, medical supplies, facilities, and other duties as specific positions demand.

How to Become a Nursing Home Administrator

Education Requirements

If you're looking to begin a career in nursing home administration, you'll need at least a four-year bachelor's degree and will likely need to pass a state licensing examination. Larger employers or more advanced positions may require a master's degree. While the requirements to become a nursing home administrator vary by place of employment and state, a four-year bachelor's degree in a field like health services administration, public administration, or long-term care administration is a standard credential for a nursing home administrator. More advanced positions or working for a large organization may require an additional two-year master's degree in these or related fields. Common courses in these programs include work in nursing home administrative practices, aging and long-term care, gerontology and aging, and health behavior. After completing a state-approved program, most states also require that nursing home administrators pass licensing exams.

Skills Required

Nursing home administrators work at the cross-section of the health care and business fields. To be successful, they should have skills and knowledge from both. Being able to absorb and interpret large amounts of possibly conflicting information and possessing good communication skills will help you to be effective as a nursing home administrator.

Employment and Economic Outlook

Nursing home administrators fall into the larger category of medical and health services managers. According to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,, there will be 22% growth in employment in this field from 2010-2020. Median annual earnings for nursing home administrators for May 2012 were $88,580, per the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Human Resources Manager

With at least a bachelor's degree and related work experience, these managers organize all aspects of hiring new employees for a company or organization. About as fast as average employment growth of 13% was anticipated by the BLS from 2010-2020, for this profession that offered an annual median salary of $99,720 in 2012.

Insurance Underwriter

Underwriters normally have bachelor's degrees, and certifications might be needed to advance within the profession. Underwriters evaluate insurance applications and decide which clients to cover and how much they should be charged. Employment growth was predicted by the BLS to be slower than average, at only 6%, from 2010-2020. In 2012, insurance underwriters earned an annual median wage of $62,870, per the BLS.

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