Hospital Administrator Education Requirements and Career Info

Hospital administrators require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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A great head for business, excellent communication and leadership skills, and a deep interest in health care are all assets to a career as a hospital administrator. This job requires a master's degree due to its complexity and senior-level responsibilities. Hospital administrators work in hospitals, of course, but also in clinics, care facilities, and doctor's offices.

Essential Information

Hospital administrators coordinate healthcare services in settings such as hospitals and outpatient clinics. They are ultimately in charge of every department in the hospital, and their duties can include diverse tasks such as hiring employees, working with fundraising campaigns and ensuring that regulations are observed. A master's degree, often in healthcare administration or health services administration, is required. These programs combine healthcare topics with business and leadership instruction through courses such as biostatistics and healthcare finance. Students generally must gain experience through an internship in a healthcare facility.

Required Education Master's degree in healthcare administration or related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 17% (all medical and health service managers)
Mean Salary (2015)* $114,180 (medical and health service managers in general medical and surgical hospitals)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Hospital Administrator Education Requirements

Hospital administrators are typically required to hold a master's degree. There are a number of Master of Healthcare Administration or Master of Health Services Administration programs that adequately prepare graduates for a career in hospital administration. These programs combine business administration and public health training, covering topics such as human resources management, biostatistics, health organization management, healthcare financial theory, epidemiology, healthcare policy development, financial management and public health administration. Health services or healthcare administration programs also typically require that students complete an extensive internship at a local healthcare center.

Practicing and experienced doctors who receive additional business training may also choose to pursue a role in the clinical side of hospital administration. For other individuals with adequate experience, other master's degree programs that could possibly lead to a career in hospital administration include business administration, public health and public administration.

Career Information

Hospital administrators manage healthcare facilities such as hospitals, community health centers, drug-abuse treatment centers, nursing homes, outpatient clinics and doctor's offices. Hospital administrators, who are also often called healthcare administrators or hospital managers, have a very demanding job. Because hospitals are open 24 hours, hospital administrators frequently have to work irregular and long hours.

Due to their administrative position, hospital administrators must possess leadership skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with hospital employees. They are charged with overseeing healthcare services to ensure hospitals and other healthcare facilities run efficiently and smoothly. Hospital administrators must also oversee activities so that patients receive proper medical care.

Job Duties

Hospital administrators may act as the go-between for department heads and medical personnel. Their other duties include budgeting and fundraising, hiring doctors and other medical staff, developing hospital policies, guiding public relations efforts and evaluating employees. While smaller healthcare facilities may have only one administrator, large hospitals often have multiple hospital administrators to oversee specific areas, such as medical records and nursing.

A hospital administrator coordinates and manages a wide variety of tasks and personnel. A master's degree in health administration is a must, although practicing doctors may come to the field by obtaining a master's in business administration as well. An internship can help you learn to apply your skills in a working healthcare environment.

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