Are you interested in a career as a healthcare administrator but aren’t sure what to expect?
Healthcare administrators are the backbone of the healthcare industry, working closely with patients, frontline workers, and other administrators to ensure safe, efficient, and quality care. Today’s healthcare administrators must be fast learners, well-organized, technologically savvy, and adaptable as they navigate a constantly evolving industry. Jobs in healthcare administration can be found throughout healthcare, including positions at the entry, mid, senior, and executive levels.
What is a healthcare administrator and what do they do?
Healthcare administrators are healthcare professionals who oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of healthcare organizations. Healthcare administrators can be found working for small organizations with one or two providers, to medium and large health networks employing thousands of providers across multiple specialties and care focuses.
One of the many reasons to consider a career in healthcare administration is in part due to the multitude of different career opportunities available to incoming administrators. Healthcare administrators can find career opportunities in generalized focuses like office management or patient concierge to more specific career choices such as working in human resources, finance, legal, compliance, or technology.
What skills will I need to know as a healthcare administrator?
With so many careers in healthcare administration available, it may be difficult to pick a specific area or focus. Healthcare administration degree programs prepare students to meet current industry needs by preparing them with a foundational understanding of common healthcare administration skills, and concepts. Here are a few of the many skills you can expect to learn:
- A strong understanding of the healthcare system
- A foundational understanding of human resources, finance, accounting, technology, office administration and management, and customer service as it relates to healthcare.
- A foundational understanding of ethics, compliance, and legal issues related to healthcare.
- Strong skills in communication, critical thinking, and relationship management
- A foundational understanding of leadership practices and concepts for healthcare.
While specific skills can be obtained through concentrations, professional certificates, and additional education certifications, those who seek a career in healthcare administration should expect to have a strong command of these skills when beginning to look at career opportunities.
What types of jobs are available with a career in healthcare administration? What job titles could I hold?
As with most industries or disciplines, careers in healthcare administration vary depending on educational achievements, individual skills, industry experience, and current labor and job market trends. Careers in healthcare administration can be found at the entry-level, mid-level, and senior levels. Here are some of the job titles you can expect to hold across these different career levels:
Entry-Level Positions (Associate Degree)
- Medical Records Specialist
- Health Informatics Technician
- Administrative Assistant
- Human Resource Assistant
- Patient Representative
Mid-Level Positions (Bachelor Degree)
- Case Manager
- Health Information Manager
- Department Manager
- Office Manager
- Human Resources Supervisor
Senior-Level Positions (Master Degree)
- Executive Director of Website Operations
- Team Lead of Patient Financial Services
- Senior Compliance & Project Implementation Coordinator
- Regional Director of Claims
- Director of Inpatient Nursing
What are the different educational paths available to those interested in healthcare administration work?
There are multiple educational paths available to those seeking a career in healthcare administration. In addition, academic certifications, professional certifications, and additional workforce training and development can combine with a degree to help increase an administrator’s marketability or help you get started in a healthcare administration career. Learn more about degree opportunities:
- Associate Degree: Typically earned in two years, can help prepare students for entry-level positions in healthcare administration. Recipients of an associate degree can enter the workforce sooner, build real-world experience, and then return to school for additional skills a
- Bachelor Degree: Typically earned in four years, it prepares students for mid-level roles in healthcare, including managerial and supervisory roles. Recipients of a bachelor degree in healthcare administration enter the workforce with more diverse and refined skills.
- Master Degree: Typically earned in one to two years, prepares students for senior-level positions in healthcare. Recipients of a master degree in healthcare administration go on to accept high-level positions for medium to large healthcare institutions, take on consulting positions in healthcare, or go on to start their own small businesses related to healthcare.
In addition to these degree opportunities, healthcare administrators can earn academic certificates as a way of showcasing additional skills, breaking into new and growing fields, receiving a specialization in a particular area or focus, and building skills without returning to school for an extended period. Some certificates available to healthcare administrators include:
- Community Health Investment: offered at the post-bachelor level, community health investment offers a glimpse into how healthcare administrators can better identify and address the social determinants of health to provide better preventative, continuing, and post-visit care.
- Health Justice: offered at the post-bachelor level, health justice offers a strong understanding of medical-legal partnerships, and how connecting these two industries can help better advocate for patient care, guide healthcare policy, and break away at the social determinants of health.
- Applied Informatics: offered at the undergraduate level, health informatics not only provides students with a strong understanding of medical records and data collection but how data can be leveraged to drive better decision-making and improve patient care in healthcare.
How can I get started In healthcare administration?
The University of Providence offers three-degree programs and two certificate programs designed to guide current and future healthcare workers in their journey toward becoming healthcare administrators. Our programs offer in-demand skills taught by industry-experienced faculty in a format designed to meet the needs of busy working professionals to recent college graduates. Learn more about our programs by visiting our Healthcare Administration page.