Medical Administration Majors: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in the medical administration field. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and salary information. Schools offering Health Care Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Career Options for Medical Administration Graduates?

Medical administrators direct medical and healthcare services in hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, and various health agencies. As managers of a medical facilities it is their goal to have the facility running as efficiently as possible while maintaining a high quality of health care and meeting government regulations. They often are in charge of creating department goals, hiring new employees, monitoring finances and representing their facility at governing boards. These jobs require them to communicate with medical professionals and staff, create work schedules and prepare budgets. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career in medical administration.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree, master's degree for advancement
Education Field of Study Health administration, human resource administration, health information systems
Key Skills Analytical skills, communication skills, detail oriented, interpersonal skills, problem solving, technical skills
Licensure Required Required for certain fields
Job Growth (2014-2024) 17% (for all medical and health service managers)*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $94,500 (for all medical and health service managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Types of Jobs Can I Qualify For With a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Administration?

A bachelor's degree program in medical administration prepares you for entry-level work planning, organizing and overseeing the delivery of service in various medical facilities. With your degree, you'll be able to pursue administrative and management positions, as well as staff positions, that require administrative skills. Medical administrators can be found working in a variety of healthcare-related facilities, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Physicians' offices
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Home health care services
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Public health departments
  • Health insurance providers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Government health agencies

Depending on your program and interests, you might become a general administrator or a specialist in charge of a specific department within a facility, such as surgery, nursing or pediatrics. Many graduates pursue careers as medical office administrators, hospital administrators and medical record administrators. Your degree will also prepare you for graduate studies in medical administration or a related field.

What Will I Need in Addition to My Degree?

Depending on the type of position and medical facility you work in, you may need to be licensed. For instance, all states require administrators working in nursing care facilities, as well as some assisted-living facilities, to be licensed. To obtain licensure, you must meet the eligibility requirements established by your state's licensing board, as well as pass the national licensing exam administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (www.nabweb.org). State requirements can vary, but may include a bachelor's degree, completing an administrator-in-training program and passing a state licensing exam.

Will I Need Certification?

Although not generally required, certification can enhance your credentials and employment opportunities within the industry. Many professional organizations in the medical and health care industry offer different types of certifications.

For example, the American Health Information Management Association offers seven types of certifications, including the Registered Health Information Administrator and the Certified Health Data Analyst (www.ahima.org). The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management offers the Certified Medical Manager credential, which demonstrates an individual's proficiency in skills related to medical office management (www.pahcom.com). Certification requirements vary across organizations, but generally include a bachelor's degree, a minimum amount of relevant work experience and passing an exam.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

As a medical administrator, you will help patients indirectly by managing activities in clinical areas, evaluating health service programs, and conducting a variety of tasks to help facilities run efficiently. In a nursing home, you may provide resident care while also managing personnel, finances, and patient admissions. As a medical record administrator, you'll be primarily responsible for maintaining and securing patient records.

Group medical practice administrators in physicians' offices work alongside physicians to manage the business operations and ensure medical staff have what they need to provide quality patient care. If you work as a hospital administrator or department manager, your duties may involve developing local policies, helping plan long-term goals and ensuring the organization or department's overall success.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn?

Your earnings potential will likely vary according to the type and size of the facility in which you work. For instance, administrators in facilities with a higher number of physicians tend to earn more than those working in smaller facilities with fewer physicians. Additionally, salaries can vary considerably across specialty physicians' offices, such as dermatology, obstetrics and cardiology, as well as by level of responsibility.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of medical and health services managers was $94,500 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Salary.com reported that the median salary for medical record administrators was $76,126 in 2017, and the median salary for nursing home administrators was $106,187.

Hospital administrators often have the most lucrative careers since they often work in larger facilities and tend to have more responsibilities. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for hospital administrators was $90,385 as of 2016.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Three alternative careers related to medical administration include human resources management, insurance underwriting and social and community service management. With a bachelor's degree in human resources, human resources managers are tasked with hiring new employees in a company and serving as the bridge between employees and top management. Insurance underwriters look over insurances applications and decide how much coverage and premiums should apply. Professionals in this career typically have a bachelors degrees in a business related field. Social and community service managers may also have a bachelor's degree in a business related field or social work. They plan and supervise social service programs and community organizations.

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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