Health Administrator

Group of people gathered around laptop talking with a chart on a screen in the background.

Healthcare is a complex and rapidly changing industry, and its administration can be complicated with all of the industry’s moving parts. A career as a Health Administrator allows you to oversee the organizational side of health services, coordinate with the people their facility employs, as well as the people it serves. Health Administrators are also often an important part of fostering partnerships with the wider population and working with both the public and private sector in initiatives including policy and research.

As a health administrator, you will be responsible for ensuring medical facilities and operations are effective and efficient, which may include overseeing policy compliance, HR, finances, work processes, departmental strategy, and even data management. While you'll need a broad knowledge of many areas to effectively run an organization, there are also opportunities to specialize in areas that require a more direct focus such as health informatics, patient advocacy, or public policy.

  • Percent Change in Employment, Projected 2018 - 202818% Medical and health services managers

  • 6%Other management occupations

  • 5% Total, all occupations

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Outlook and demand

Demand for Health Administrators is currently growing at a staggering rate. There is currently a 17 percent growth in the employment levels of medical administrators in the United States through 2024. One of the most important influences on demand of this career is the aging of the generation of baby boomers. Thanks to more active lifestyles, they're projected to live longer; many will have increased need for nursing care facilities or hospital care.

Employers look for professionals who:

  • Provide both the advanced technical knowledge and the leadership skills necessary to run a large, multi-faceted, health organization.
  • Are competent in analysis, communication, and maintaining collaborative relationships.
  • Have a strong technical understanding and a detail-oriented approach that can effectively handle the healthcare industry’s nuances.

Paths that can lead to this career

The Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program provides the advanced management and financial skills necessary to run a large company. An MSHA is focused exclusively on health care and is a better fit for students that know they want to work in this industry. The UAB MSHA program culminates with the successful completion of a 9 – 12 month administrative residency at the end of the academic coursework.

Please note, this program is highly competitive and requires an application through the UAB Graduate School or the Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service. Admission is granted based upon a solid academic foundation, leadership experience, strong interpersonal skills, a capacity to work in teams, a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of those served in the field of health administration and an interview with faculty, alumni and current students.

High School

If you're currently in high school and interested in becoming a Health Administrator, you can do the following steps to prepare for this career:

Undergraduate

If you're currently an undergraduate and interested in becoming a Health Administrator, you can do the following steps to prepare for this career:

  • Complete any bachelor degree from an accredited institution or be on track to graduate prior to enrolling in the UAB MSHA Program.
  • Some exposure to accounting and finance will be helpful, but is not required. Experience with Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word is highly recommended.
  • Find opportunities to gain as much experience in health care as possible. You should show evidence of leadership, community service and any prior exposure to the healthcare industry as a volunteer, intern or paid part-time work experience.

Graduate

If you already have a bachelor's degree, the following courses will help you in this program:

  • Business Management
  • English Composition
  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Statistics

You may also be interested in learning about our graduate programs that prepare students to assume leadership positions across a variety of disciplines in health services administration:

Job titles and employers

Did you know?

The Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) program is ranked #1 health care management graduate program in the country by U.S. News & World Report (2019).

Medical and Health Services Managers

Places of work for this career:

  • Hospitals
  • Retirement homes
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Outpatient care facilities
  • Government agencies
  • Research laboratories

Health Informatics Specialist

Places of work for this career:

  • Hospitals
  • Government agencies
  • Medical software development companies
  • Insurance companies

Emergency Management Directors

Places of work for this career:

  • Government agencies
  • Nonprofits
  • Private companies

To find out detailed salary information and more information on this career, you can explore the Department of Labor's O*Net database.

Organizations to check out for this career:

Next steps

Explore

Find out more information about the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA).

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