With a bachelor's degree in health service administration it is possible to begin a career as a health services administrator, but a graduate degree may be necessary for career advancement. Medical and health service managers may work as hospital managers, clinical managers, or manage a nursing home or physicians' office.
Health services administration refers to the process of directing, supervising and planning the delivery of medical treatment to patients. Individuals working in health services administration must be comfortable with a range of professional duties that include government regulations, healthcare management and business administration. At least a bachelor's degree is required to become a health service administrator, a major in health administration is recommended.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||A degree in health administration is preferred, as is graduate-level education related to medicine|
|Licensure/Certification||Administrators in nursing homes need to be licensed; voluntary certification available for all managers and administrators|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||17%|
|Mean Annual Salary (2015)*||$106,070|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Options in Health Services Administration
Positions in health services administration have many different titles such as healthcare executive, health services manager and medical administrator. The overall responsibilities of a health services administrator vary based on the needs of individual employers. A health services administrator working in a private physician's practice might be in charge of clerical employees and billing issues. Larger healthcare facilities generally have many assistant administrators that oversee clinical departments, including surgery and nursing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that recent federal regulations requiring the electronic filing of patient records has led health services providers to hire health information management professionals.
Health Services Administration Salary Information
The wage expectations of health services managers exceed the national average for other occupations. Data from the BLS shows that medical and health services managers earned a mean annual wage worth $106,070 in May 2015. Pay rates vary substantially for health services administrators based on experience and responsibilities. In May 2015, medical and health services managers supervising general hospitals received a mean annual salary of $114,180, while pharmaceutical companies and medical manufacturing firms paid these managers an annual mean wage of $161,530.
Earnings for medical and health services managers can also vary between geographic locations. The BLS reported that health services facilities in Washington, D.C., New York, and Connecticut paid managers the highest mean annual wage in May 2015. Total employment in medical and health services management is expected to increase 17% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.
Education Requirements for Health Services Administrators
Employers tend to seek health services managers with graduate education in areas related to medicine, such as public health and health sciences. In addition to knowledge of science and health, desirable candidates for health services administration jobs will also have formal education in management and finance.
Private and public universities offer master's and doctoral degree programs in health administration for prospective health service managers. Advanced education in health administration includes courses in organizational behavior, financial management and information systems. Students in graduate health administration programs often focus on specific areas including health demographics or gerontology.
With a bachelor's or master's degree in health services administration, there are many career options to consider. Health service administrators work as hospital or clinical managers, or may oversee operations in a doctor's office or nursing home. Certification is voluntary for most job opportunities, although it is required for those who choose to work in nursing home administration.