How to Start a Career in Healthcare Administration

Updated on January 23, 2022

If you’re looking for a career that’s connected to the latest medical research, allows you to flex your organizational muscles, and gets you into that coveted six-figure salary bracket, then consider a career in healthcare administration.

Some people consider administration jobs a bit, well, boring. And that may be the case in the corporate world. However, healthcare administration offers variety since you can work anywhere from a large hospital to a small rural clinic, in a research facility, or teaching hospital.

Read on to learn more about what it takes to become a healthcare administrator in America.

Step 1: Study at Tertiary Level

While there are exceptions, almost everyone working in public health jobs has studied at the tertiary level. Whether you’re hoping to work in a medical equipment supply company or a busy city hospital, you’re going to need a bachelor’s degree.

Look for a degree focusing on healthcare administration, public health, or clinical studies. As a healthcare administrator, you’ll be dealing with the business side of the healthcare field, so you need skills related to accounting, business strategy, and marketing as much as health.

Step 2: Get Some Work Experience

Once you graduate with that hard-earned Bachelor’s degree in your hand, you might think it wise to hop straight back into study for your MHA (Master of Health Administration). However, career strategists often advise trainees to get some time working in the field before pursuing postgraduate studies.

This will help you better understand the duties of an administrator and work out which area of the vast world of healthcare administration you want to specialize in.

Step 3: Complete an MHA Program

Once you know where you hope to end up once you graduate from your MHA, it’s time to find the right program for you. Look for CAHME-endorsed programs to ensure you’re getting the best quality education for your money. You’ll be more attractive to employers with a CAHME certified degree, too.

Remember, you don’t have to quit your job to study, either. If you don’t want to come out of school saddled with debt, consider part-time online MHA programs you can do while you work. Alternatively, consider a program close to where you live and work so you don’t have to waste time traveling.

Step 4: Get Extra Certifications and a Job!

You’re now officially a health care master. Yipee! You’re ready to go out and get that well-paid job in the area of healthcare you’re passionate about.

Not so fast! There might be some health courses and additional industry certifications you need to undertake to ensure you get the most rewarding roles with the highest salaries.

Thankfully, many of these certifications are done online or part-time, so you can work while you advance your training in a specialist area.

Landing a Career in Healthcare Administration

Healthcare administration is best suited to organized project managers who love to keep busy. If you want a career in healthcare administration, you’ll need to be prepared to study at the tertiary level. However, you could also pivot into the healthcare industry from an administration role in another sector with just a little extra training.

For more advice on how to get into a new career or excel at the one you’re in, browse the other articles on our website.

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Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.