What Are the Requirements to Be a Hospital Administrator?

If you are interested in a job that has a lot of responsibility within the healthcare industry, you might consider becoming a hospital administrator. This career usually requires a health administration bachelor's degree, although some of these professionals hold a master's degree. Read on to find out more about educational requirements. Schools offering Finance and Health Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Hospital Administrator Do?

Hospital management requires expert skills in management, budgeting and human resources. As a hospital administrator, you'll be responsible for expensive machinery, managing employees, and the health and well-being of every hospital patient. The decisions you make and the management duties you undertake will affect how the hospital operates. In turn, you'll impact the care patients receive and the livelihood of employees.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensure Requirements vary by state, but nursing care facility administrators must be licensed
Key Skills Problem-solving, communication, analytical and interpersonal skills
Work Environment Hospitals, government, ambulatory health care facilities, nursing care facilities, group medical practices
Similar Occupations Social and Community Service Managers, Human Resources Manager, Insurance Underwriter

Education Requirements

To prepare for a job as a hospital administrator, you'll likely need a bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. Some employers may accept a degree in business, finance or in a medical-related area. Employers may prefer or require you to have a master's degree in a related field as well. During your degree program, you may get the opportunity to pursue a specialization, such as group practice management, mental health facility management or hospital management.

Bachelor's Program Overview

A healthcare administration bachelor's program combines traditional business courses with healthcare courses. The healthcare courses may be focused on business concepts or may be more scientific. In addition to completing courses, you usually complete an internship at a healthcare facility. A capstone course is another common requirement for these programs.

Common Courses

Some common courses in a healthcare administration bachelor's program include the following:

  • Financial accounting and finance
  • Healthcare economics
  • Healthcare information management
  • Healthcare quality management
  • Medical terminology
  • Healthcare human resource management
  • Healthcare strategic management
  • Healthcare law and ethics
  • Health and disease
  • Leadership communication
  • Healthcare history

Experience

Experience requirements to work as a hospital administrator usually include past work in a healthcare setting, including being in a role managing people, leading others, following a budget and interacting with a wide variety of people. Experience will show that you understand how a medical office works and the special situations that you may have to deal with on-the-job. It will also help you build your skills and knowledge in the areas of medical personnel, medical equipment, patient care and hospital budgets.

Job Duties

Overseeing the operations of a hospital involves creating goals, developing plans and monitoring all areas of the hospital. You may order new equipment, hire new employees and create campaigns to help the hospital gain more business. It's important to work closely with the hospital's board of directors and other administrators to design a budget and keep the finances on track. You may have to handle issues that come up, such as those with patients or staff. Other requirements include making decisions about how the hospital operates or deciding if the hospital should undergo renovations.

Legal issues are also something you'll deal with periodically. In the course of running a hospital, you'll have to conform to the regulations set forth by the government. You'll have to ensure equipment and employees meet legal regulations. Patient security and privacy is also a top priority.

Another aspect of your job is being the public advocate for the hospital. You'll interact within the community, ensuring a good public image for your hospital. Attending social functions and developing relationships with leaders throughout the community may also be required.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you can expect very good job opportunities in medical and health services management from 2012 to 2022 (www.bls.gov). Job growth is expected to be very fast at a rate of 23%. This growth will be driven by a demand for healthcare services, especially from the aging population. The BLS reported a high average salary of $103,680 for these managers as of May 2014. General medical and surgical hospital managers averaged $110,840.

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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