Exploring Career Opportunities in Healthcare Administration
A career in healthcare is a popular choice as this industry continues to grow. The strong growth, which is expected to be 18 percent and much faster than average job growth through 2026, means that there are a lot of opportunities for people interested in any type of healthcare job. There will be thousands of new positions opening up now and in the coming years as the aging population demands more healthcare services.
If you want to get in on the healthcare boom as a way to enjoy a rewarding career that is also stable and allows you to earn a good income, administration is an option to consider. This is a great choice for someone who wants to be in healthcare but isn’t so sure about working with patients in a hands-on way. Administration is one of the many healthcare careers in demand now and all you need to get into the field is a degree in healthcare administration.
It may seem like a big commitment to get that degree, but once you do, there will be several choices for your future career in healthcare. From working as the manager of a small private practice with a few physicians to working behind the scenes at a large hospital to manage patient records or even becoming and assistant administrator to the person in charge of the entire medical center, this one degree gives you a lot of options.
Clinical Manager – Running the Show
A clinical manager is a broad job title that refers to healthcare administrators that manage a medical facility or department within a larger facility. The types of facilities they may manage include physician offices and private practices, residential care facilities, health clinics, hospitals, and departments within hospitals. The only educational requirement for working as a clinical manager is a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, although most managers need to get some experience in smaller departments or offices before landing jobs managing large facilities or hospital departments.
As a clinical manager you would be expected to ensure that a facility or department runs smoothly, develop and set goals and objectives for improvement, keep up to date with healthcare regulations, hire and train staff, manage finances and budgets, make the work schedules for staff, keep and manage records, and communicate regularly with physicians and other staff members.
Healthcare management is lucrative, with a starting salary range of $36,000 – $81, 000 and even more for top earners. This is also one of the most in demand health careers with 20 percent growth in coming years. This is a career for someone dedicated to healthcare and good at leadership. It requires managing a lot of people and knowing that the well-being of patients depends on that leadership.
Assistant Administrator – Entry-Level Management
If your dream is to become a top clinical manager, you may want to start out as an assistant administrator. Right out of college with a degree in healthcare administration, you are more likely to get this kind of position so that you can get more on-the-job experience in managing and leading in a healthcare setting. The responsibilities for an assistant administrator are similar to those of a clinical manager.
Just like clinical managers, assistant administrators work in a variety of settings, from small offices to large hospitals. The assistant, though, reports to a manager or administrator in larger facilities. An assistant administrator may be in charge of one office or department but still report to another administrator. The average salary for an assistant administrator is just over $63,000 per year.
Nursing Home Administrator – Protecting the Vulnerable
With a degree in healthcare administration you can find jobs in specific settings, like in nursing homes. As the population ages, nursing homes are becoming more important settings for healthcare. These facilities need educated and trained administrators to manage staff and budgets, to keep operations running smoothly, to recruit the best staff, and to ensure that they are operating within state and federal regulations and providing the best care to vulnerable residents.
Nursing home administration is a specialty field and there are a lot of regulations determining how these facilities operate. They are in place to protect patients and because of them states require some type of certification for administrators in nursing homes. A good degree program in healthcare administration should qualify you to get certified and land a job in this field.
Health Information Manager – Working with Data
Also known as a medical records or health information technician, a health information manager is a professional who manages and organizes all the data related to patients in doctor offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and other types of medical facilities. Some examples of the duties they are responsible for include:
- Organizing and managing the data in clinical databases.
- Keeping patient records safe and confidential.
- Recording data electronically.
- Collecting and storing patient data.
- Analyzing and reporting on patient information.
- Tracking the outcomes for patients to monitor and asses the quality of care.
- Monitor and review patient records, looking for errors or omissions.
- Communicating with nurses and doctors about patient records.
As with other healthcare careers, positions for health information managers are increasing in number. These professionals made an average salary of $38,040 in 2016 and those in the top tier earned nearly $60,000 that year. Most health information managers work in hospitals and physicians offices and work typical, full time hours.
Health and Social Services Manager – Working in the Community
With a degree in healthcare administration you can put your training to use managing, coordinating, and supervising social service and public health programs. They often work for the local, state, or federal government and for social service programs and community health organizations. These may include general programs or those that aim to provide services for specific groups, like veterans, children, or the homeless.
Social service managers work with community members and stakeholders to manage and develop programs and services, design and lead programs, monitor services and programs and analyze them for effectiveness, and plan outreach programs to help target and assist more community members. They write proposals to get grant money to fund services and assess the effectiveness and reach of programs, seeking to make improvements where possible. These healthcare professionals can earn up to $100,000 or more, but they typically have years of experience in healthcare before landing these lucrative jobs.
Other Options for a Healthcare Administration Degree
Working as a clinical manager, assistant administrator, records manager, or social services manager are just some of the opportunities you have with a healthcare administration. These are the positions that many people with this education choose, but your options aren’t limited to the obvious. There are some other jobs that your degree will prepare you for:
With a degree that trains you in both healthcare and business administration, you’ll be in high demand with health insurance companies. An underwriter reviews insurance claims and determines if they can be accepted or should be rejected according to the terms of the plan.
Like a nursing home administrator, this type of professional manages a specific type of healthcare facility. Hospice care is an essential and compassionate type of care that helps terminal patients enjoy a good quality of life.
Home healthcare administrator
Receiving healthcare in the home is a popular choice for people who can no longer be independent but do not want to go to a nursing home. Companies that provide these services need trained and educated healthcare administrators.
With your degree you will have all the skills needed to work in the human resources department of a hospital or medical facility, combining your knowledge of healthcare and managing staff.
Working in healthcare is a great choice if you want to contribute and have a career that is meaningful and helps people. Not everyone is cut out for the hands-on work that nurses and allied health professionals do, but with good management skills and knowledge of healthcare, you can make a real difference working as an administrator. These professionals are crucial for ensuring that medical facilities operate as they should and that patients get the benefit of high quality care.
To get into this field and have access to all these diverse career choices, all you need to do is earn your bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration. A good program will teach you about the U.S. healthcare system, finance, healthcare laws, marketing, information management, and more. You can find a program that offers all the training you need as well as affordable tuition and a flexible course schedule so you can learn while still working or taking care of your family. Check out the options you have for healthcare administration degrees in Florida.