Health Administrator

Health administrators must lead and inspire others. They manage hospitals, doctors' clinics, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare services. Health administrators also manage public health departments, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, consulting firms, and medical supply companies.

Some health administrators work for federal government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease Control. They can also manage or work for non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross.

More than 100,000 professionals currently work as health administrators. They typically specialize in certain fields, such as surgery, pediatrics, or obstetrics or work as generalists. Specialists usually manage the departments for which they specialize.

Working Conditions

Health administrators typically do not interact with patients daily. Rather, they develop and implement policy, hire employees, make organizational changes, and handle other administrative issues.

Health administrators typically work long days. Healthcare facilities operate 24 hours year round, so health administrators are often required to handle problems during all hours of the day. Administrators who manage multiple clinics are required to travel frequently.

Career Training and Education

Healthcare administrations hold either bachelor's or graduate degrees in healthcare administration.

Healthcare administrators can specialize in business or public administration, health sciences, health policy, or public health. Many graduate students earn joint master's in healthcare and business administration degrees.

It takes about 2 years to earn a master's degree in healthcare administration. During graduate study, students will be required to complete courses in human resources, finance, organizational behavior, marketing, law, and healthcare policy. Many students also complete fellowships, residencies, or internships.

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