Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $90,000
Job Outlook: Good
It is a hospital administrator’s job to keep hospital facilities running smoothly. They are responsible for planning and coordinating the delivery of health care and for the general management of facilities. This is a job which is changing rapidly, as hospital administrators must deal with technological innovations which are designed to make the delivery of healthcare more efficient. Many hospitals have undergone substantial restructuring, and the management is now frequently called upon to improve efficiency and quality of care. Typical tasks of a hospital administrator include managing personnel, overseeing finances and facility operations and making sure patient care is dealt with in the best way possible, both for the hospital and the patient.
The larger hospitals may employ assistant administrators, and it’s their job to help the hospital administrator in the day to day running of the hospital. These assistants may be directly involved in particular hospital departments, and will report back to the hospital administrator. Smaller hospitals will only need one hospital administrator to handle the daily decisions involved with running such an establishment.
A hospital administrator is often responsible for facilities and equipment worth millions of dollars, and can oversee hundreds of employees. It’s essential that anyone applying for this responsible position should be able to make effective decisions and to analyze information. They need to be able to understand information systems and finance and to be able to interpret data. They must also to have strong leadership skills combined with excellent communication skills as much of their time is spent interacting with others.
Education and Training Requirements
The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor’s degree, although most hospital administrators will hold at least a Master’s degree in health services administration, or business administration.
Getting the Job
Hospital administrators typically start out by becoming assistant administrators in order to get a thorough practical hands-on experience of the job. Some master’s degree programs give up to 1 years of supervised administrative experience in a hospital organization, but there is stiff competition for entry onto these programs. Most of the applicants have some experience in healthcare, and the majority have higher than average grades.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
Hospital administrators can quite often be considered to be at the top of their career tree, although some highly experienced administrators can go on to become chief executive officers of large healthcare establishments, or can become professors of healthcare management.
Working Conditions and Environment
Working conditions are usually very good for hospital administrators as for the most part they will have comfortable private offices, although some may be required to share space with other administrative staff. However anyone wishing to do this job must be prepared to work long hours, and they may have to be on call to deal with unexpected problems. They will also need to inspect hospital facilities which can sometimes be some distance away from the main building, and may have to travel to attend the frequent meetings required by this job.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary of a hospital administrator is around $90,000, although some hospital administrators will earn less than $50,000 while the top 10% will earn more than $145,000. Benefits for these senior members of staff are likely to be substantial, and to include paid vacations, comprehensive health and dental cover, and possibly contributions to retirement plans.
Where to Go for More Information
American College of Healthcare Executives
One N Franklin St., Ste. 1700
Chicago, IL 60606
Association of University Programs in Health Administration
2000 14th St. N, Ste. 780
Arlington, VA 22201
Medical Group Management Association
104 Inverness Terrace E
Englewood, CO 80112-5306