Clinical Administrator: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for clinical administrators. Get the facts about job duties, education and certification requirements, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Clinical Research Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Clinical Administrator Do?

Clinical administrators manage healthcare facilities or departments. They oversee staff, handle finances and ensure regulatory compliance. Depending on whether they work in a small clinic or large medical institution, they may be in charge of the entire facility or a single department within it. Because clinical administrators are often involved in departmental goal development, it can help to have experience in the department's specialization area, such as surgery, pediatrics or oncology.

Take a look at the table below to examine the general requirements for a career as a clinical administrator.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree minimum
Education Field of Study Health administration
Key Responsibilities Manage healthcare office or facility, oversee staff schedules, manage records, maintain medical supplies
Certification Certification recommended for career advancement
Job Growth (2014-2024) 17% (for all medical and health services managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $94,500 (for all medical and health services managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is a Clinical Administrator?

If you were a clinical administrator, you'd be responsible for the day-to-day functioning of health and medical services at a clinic, private or group medical practice, hospital, rehabilitation center or nursing home. You could also work in an educational capacity for a consulting firm, health insurance company, public health department or health organization. A clinical administrator might have the alternate job title of assistant administrator, clinical manager, health information manager or nursing home administrator.

What Duties Might I Perform?

As a clinical administrator, your responsibilities could include quality improvement, billing, regulatory compliance, oversight of staff schedules, medical supplies maintenance or records management. Depending on the size and type of your facility, you might be in charge of one or several of these duties. Many clinical administrators also supervise staff and/or serve as a liaison to medical staff, specific departments or governing boards. If your job is in the public health or consulting arena, you may focus on providing general health information and education to the public or individuals, as well as emergency services during crisis situations.

Will I Need a Degree or Certification?

You'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree to become a clinical administrator; a major in health administration can be a good choice. Some employers now prefer applicants to have a master's degree in business or public administration, or in a health-related discipline such as long term care, public health or health services. If you already have a healthcare career, such as nursing, you may need to follow the master's degree pathway to advance into clinical administration. To find the right option, you could explore programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), which also provides continuing education and networking opportunities (www.cahme.org).

The Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (PAHCOM) indicates certification may increase your employment opportunities within this competitive career (www.pahcom.com). With that in mind, you may want to consider taking the Certified Medical Manager (CMM) exam, which measures your skills in 18 areas. Billing and collections, healthcare law, coding analysis, conflict management, payroll and systems analysis are just a few of the topics covered.

What Salary Might I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), your salary as a clinical administrator will depend on the type of facility you work for, as well as on your responsibilities. In general, the more physicians at your facility, the greater your salary could be. In 2015, the middle half of medical and health services managers earned between $72,510 and $123,740, with a median salary of $94,500.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are looking for a managerial position in the healthcare field, you could also think about becoming a health information manager. These professionals organize and secure patient data, and they often oversee lower-level staff like health information technicians. Alternatively, you could also get a job as an administrator at a social service program or community service organization. There, you would oversee social workers and make sure that the organization is successfully meeting is community development goals. You would need to obtain a bachelor's degree for these manager positions.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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