Exploring Health Administration Career Opportunities

Health administration programs

Are you someone who wants to help people and positively impact the healthcare system without working in direct patient care? If so, then a career in health administration may be a good match for you.

Health administrators are professionals who combine business acumen with knowledge of the healthcare industry to help healthcare organizations run smoothly and deliver quality care.
Health administrators must be adept in business and management best practices, understand how health systems work, be familiar with laws and policies that affect healthcare, and demonstrate strong leadership and people skills.

If you’re a strategic thinker who enjoys working with many different people/teams and you thrive in fast-paced environments, you might find a career in healthcare administration exciting and fulfilling.

Below are insights into the various types of health administration jobs that are available as well as the type of education that is typically needed for these roles. Continue reading to explore some health administration career opportunities!

What types of health administration jobs are available?

While all health administration jobs tend to include some level of business planning and management within a healthcare organization, the scope and seniority of the role can vary widely.

Someone in this field may serve as a medical or health services manager who oversees a specific department, clinic, or a specialized area within health administration (such as health informatics), or they may be someone with a higher level of authority, such as an executive for a hospital or healthcare system. Executive roles can be obtained with a greater level of experience in the industry.

Here are just a few examples of common health administration roles:

Hospital Administrator

A hospital administrator plans, coordinates, and manages business activities within a hospital that allows operations to run efficiently and patients to receive optimal care. Some of their many duties typically include hospital budgeting and finance management, recruiting and training of new staff members, staff scheduling, review of hospital policies and practices to ensure legal compliance, review and improvement of patient care practices, and more.

Sometimes a hospital administrator will handle responsibilities that span far and wide, and other times they may specialize in a specific area such as finance management or health informatics.

Clinical Manager

A clinical manager typically oversees clinical and business practices at a medical facility or in a clinical department of a medical facility. A clinical manager often has previous clinical experience, which provides them with valuable insights for managing patient care practices, reviewing treatment plans, and serving as a liaison for medical staff.

A clinical manager may also handle other common health administration duties such as budgeting, recruitment and training, and compliance oversight.

Health Information Manager

According to the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), health information management involves collecting, analyzing, and safeguarding medical information (both digital and traditional) that is integral to the delivery of quality patient care.

Health information managers are familiar with the latest health information technology applications and they understand these systems’ workflows within different types of healthcare organizations, which makes them well-positioned for advising providers on best practices for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and securing patient and medical data.

Nursing Home Administrator

A nursing home administrator is responsible for managing the operations of a nursing home. There are also similar roles for assisted living facilities and retirement communities. Similar to other health administration jobs, nursing home administrators may have a wide range of duties, including overseeing daily operations of the nursing home, delegating assignments to nurses and other staff, monitoring supply inventories, ensuring that the facility’s care meets state and federal standards, and more.

Licensure is available through the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards, though specific requirements vary by state.

Education Requirements: What Degree Is Best for Healthcare Administration?

The education requirements for a healthcare administration job vary by role and organization. Most management positions within the field of healthcare require a bachelor’s degree at minimum, though some employers may require less or more education. Many hiring organizations also require a certain number of years of administrative or clinical experience within healthcare.

Individuals who are interested in a career in health administration may want to consider one of the following types of degrees:

Health administration programs usually focus entirely on training students for administrative roles within the healthcare industry whereas business administration programs provide training for administrative duties within all types of businesses and organizations with a portion of the program focused specifically on health administration.

Health administration program students may be able to choose a specialization for their education, which can include areas such as:

  • Financial management
  • Strategic management
  • Organizational leadership
  • Project management
  • Informatics

You can learn more about the differences in these educational paths in our post “Organizational Leadership Careers in Healthcare and Business.

Start Working Toward Your Health Administration Career

The first step in working toward your healthcare administration career goals is figuring out what type of degree you want to pursue and then researching programs available in your state. Make sure to choose a program that aligns well with your schedule and lifestyle.

West Coast University offers BSHA, MHA, and MBA programs that are 100% online, which can provide students with increased flexibility in their study schedules. WCU also provides multiple pace options, allowing full-time employees and/or parents to complete their degrees on a more manageable schedule.

Additionally, the business administration and health administration programs at WCU give students no-cost access to LinkedIn Learning so they can earn certificates in areas of study that interest them.

Learn more about the BSHA program, MHA program, or MBA program at West Coast University and apply today!

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.