In the United States, more than 314,000 people work as healthcare administrators, earning an average of $106,070 dollars per year in 2014, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, healthcare administrator jobs are expected to increase at a rate of 17% between 2014 and 2024. If you are looking to be a professional in a thriving industry that pays well, it is important to know what it takes in order to become a hospital administrator.
A. Skills Needed to Become a Hospital Administrator
There are many important skills and qualities that a hospital administrator should possess in order to be successful in this line of work.
Analytical skills are critical to ensuring patient safety and making sure that procedures and policies are in accordance with state and federal laws.
Communications skills are also important because administrators will deal with physicians, nurses, patients, insurance providers, government regulators and others.
You should also be detail-oriented and able to understand the minutia of billing, scheduling and rule-making. Organization is another key attribute every hospital administrator should have. If you’re organized, the employees under you will most likely be organized as well and your hospital will provide better, more reliable patient care.
B. Work Experience
Hospital administrators should have experience working in a hospital setting. This experience could be clinical, such as being a physician or nurse in the hospital. Analytical and technical experience such as information technology can also be helpful in hospital administration.
The way that hospitals are organized requires experience in the world of healthcare, especially if you’re the administrator for the entire hospital. Patients, doctors and other medical professionals need a competent individual to look up to that knows what they’re doing.
C. Earning a Degree in the Medical Field
A master’s degree in hospital administration is the preferred and minimum level of education that most employers require. For instance, online MHA programs allow you to achieve this level of education in an environment that is flexible enough to accommodate your day job and your family life. You can take classes at night and on the weekends at times that suit your lifestyle.
These programs allow you to connect with instructors and your peers for studying, projects and a greater understanding of the subject material.
D. Licensing Requirements for Hospital Administrators
To become a hospital administrator, you may need to take a state licensing exam or participate in a certification program. Some states and facilities require that the administrator hold either a nursing or medical degree or a license as a professional social worker. Each state has different requirements about licensure for hospital administrators.
Find out what licenses and certifications are needed to practice in your area, that way you will be prepared for any eventuality that comes your way.
Hospital administrators are experienced and highly trained and educated professionals. If you start an online healthcare administration degree program and gain the necessary experience and skills, you can join a network of professionals who are helping to ensure that hospital patients are receiving the best possible level of care.