Medical Administrator: Salary and Career Information

Oct 25, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a medical administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about job duties and salary to find out if medical administration is the career for you.

Medical health administrators are highly trained professionals with at least a bachelor's degree in their field. They may be required to be licensed or certified. In 2018, medical and health service managers, including medical administrators, earned an average annual salary of $113,730, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Healthcare Administration Essential Information

Medical administrators, also referred to as healthcare administrators or medical and health services managers, are vital for the running of any healthcare business. Whether working in a hospital, a series of clinics, or a doctor's office, medical administrators manage areas such as finances, technology, facilities and human resources. Although it may be possible to begin a career in medical office work and gain enough experience over time to advance to the position of administrator, most medical administrators have completed a formal training program in the field. Some positions call for a nursing or medical background in addition to administrative training.

Required Education At least a bachelor's degree and in some cases a master's degree in healthcare administration or related field
Other Requirements Licensure and certification varies by state and employer
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 18% for medical and health services managers*
Mean Salary (2018) $113,730 for medical and health services managers*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Healthcare Administrator Salary and Job Outlook

According to May 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and health services managers, which include medical administrators, earned a mean annual salary of $113,730. A medical administrator's pay depends on her or his experience and education, as well as on the type of facility being managed. For example, the BLS listed medical and health services managers working in hospitals as making an annual mean salary of $122,460 in May 2018, while those managing outpatient care centers averaged $106,590 and those working for home healthcare services averaged $97,170 annually. The BLS reports that this profession is expected to see an 18% increase in jobs from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Healthcare Administrator Career Information

Medical or healthcare administrators are executives who oversee the non-medical facets of medical practices, hospitals, and nursing homes. Medical administrators may be generalists who manage a variety of areas, but in larger organizations, such as hospitals or large clinics, they may specialize in one area or oversee just one department or ward. Medical administrators who run nursing care facilities must be licensed in all 50 states.

Managers of large healthcare facilities such as hospitals or clinics have more responsibilities than their colleagues in smaller settings. But like medical administrators in smaller offices, healthcare managers in hospitals should be able to effectively multitask. They may also develop an understanding of multiple aspects of the healthcare industry.

Programs that offer degrees and certification in medical administration can be found through organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. Experienced medical administrators may wish to advance in the healthcare management field by pursuing a master's degree or graduate certificate in medical management, which can provide a pathway to a higher salary and more responsibility. Such graduate-level programs offer in-depth courses in medical management.

Medical Administrator vs. Medical Administrative Assistant

Though these two positions have similar-sounding titles, they have very different educational requirements, job responsibilities, and salaries. A medical administrative assistant, also known as medical receptionist, performs administrative and clerical work, often at the front desk of a clinic or doctor's office. These professionals answer phones, schedule appointments, and manage paperwork and insurance filings. Medical administrative assistants typically complete a non-degree certificate program, though some positions require only a high school diploma and provide on-the-job training. According to the BLS, medical assistants earned a median annual salary of $33,610 in May 2018 and can expect a 23% job growth from 2018 to 2028. Some individuals may begin their career as a medical administrative assistant and then obtain additional experience and education to move into the position of medical administrator.

Medical health administrators oversee their ward, department, or an entire healthcare facility. They are responsible for the non-medical aspects of daily operations. Some positions require a background in a medical field, a license, or certification.

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