How to Become a Health Care Administrator


If you want to become a health care administrator, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for work in this field:


Those who become health care administrators have very strong organizational skills, and are able to oversee multiple projects at one time. They typically posses strong leadership communication skills, and are able to direct the work of others. Health care administrators must be able to endure working long hours and ensure deadlines are met. They must pay attention to detail, and may be required to organize and maintain staffing and accounting information for very large facilities, such as hospitals.


Below, we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a health care administrator. We've also included helpful occupational information, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Health Care Administrator

Although educational requirements will vary by employer, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level job in this field. Undergraduate courses that are helpful for a career as a health care administrator often include:


• Hospital Organization and Management

• Healthcare Administration

• Accounting 

• Human Resources Administration

• Strategic Planning

• Law and Ethics

• Health Economics

• Health Information Systems


Having a master’s degree in an area such as health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration can be of great benefit, as it can allow you to advance to senior-level positions and qualify for a higher pay grade. Some graduate programs may involve up to 1 year of supervised administrative experience in a health care setting. 





General Job Description

Health care administrators act as a liaison between the board of directors of a health care facility and the facility itself. They are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day functions of the facility. Health care administrators may work in hospitals, clinics, specialized health care facilities and other facilities that provide health care services.



Typical Job Duties & Responsibilities

• Ensure each unit of the facility fulfills its function within the facility’s overall plan and purpose

• Act as a liaison among the many areas and departments in order to ensure they are working towards the same common goal

• Plan and implement policies and procedures for the facility

• Monitor the activities of personnel to ensure they are adhering to the policies and procedures

• Ensure the health care facility has a positive public image by overseeing public relations activities

• Oversee the requisition of supplies, materials and equipment

• Determine the staffing requirements of the facility

• Advise board of directors regarding facility and process improvements





Experience Needed to Become a Health Care Administrator

Some employers may deem that work experience in health care at various capacities is equally as, or more important than formal education specific to the role of health care administrator. For example, managers of nursing may be experienced nurses who may not have a graduate degree in administration but have administrative experience.



Typical Salary Level

The salary level of health care administrators can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, and many others.


Health Care Administrator Salary - Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, workers in the "Managers in Health Care" occupational group earn an average salary of $114,837 per year. And according to WorkBC (Province of British Columbia), the annual provincial median salary of workers in the same occupational group is $85,717.


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for workers in the "Medical and Health Services Managers" occupational group is $99,730 per year. 



Who Employs Health Care Administrators? Where Do They Work?

Health care administrators can work in various capacities for many different types of employers, ranging from large, public health care centres to small private rehabilitation agencies. Below are examples of the types of organizations that employ the skills, knowledge and competencies of health care administrators.


• Public health organizations and facilities

• Colleges and universities

• Specialty hospitals, such as acute care hospitals

• Ambulance services

• Multi-level healthcare facilities

• Continuing care facilities

• Mental health facilities

• Rehabilitation agencies and facilities

• Health planning, and other government departments

• Health associations

• Charities and foundations related to health

• Regional health authorities

• Consulting companies

• Military hospitals and clinics



Health Care Administrator Jobs - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "health care administrator" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Similar Occupational Profiles in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to "health care administrator", as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Human Resources Manager

Medical Records Specialist

Municipal Administrator

Public Administration Manager

Public Health Director




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a health care administrator.


Occupations in Alberta:Health Service Administrator.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

Management:Medical and Health Services Managers.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

Explore Careers:Managers in Health Care.” (July 5, 2018). WorkBC website. Retrieved December 19, 2019.

Career Center: Postgrad growth area: Health-Care Administration.” Rebecca A. Clay (n.d.) American Psychological Association website. Retrieved December 19, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Health Care Administrator

Scholarships listed for majors that are relevant to this profession can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page, by finding the pages that correspond to the majors listed on our "Relevant Fields of Study" section below. Any scholarships found within those pages will be suitable.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below can serve as an excellent educational foundation for this career:


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