What Jobs Are Available in Healthcare Administration?

As with any career, knowing what to expect as you begin in the healthcare administration field is important. You need to know about the various jobs in the field, what salary you can expect to earn, and you need to know what kind of qualifications are required to get your foot in the door. That means the questions of education, experience and job titles are intertwined.


Specialist or Generalist?

Healthcare administrator jobs typically fall into one of two categories: specialists or generalists. Specialists work with specific clinical departments or services, like diabetes programs, and generalists have broader responsibilities in managing and leading, perhaps an entire facility or system.

Job Titles in Healthcare Administration

Because each organization will have its own take on job titles, the possible titles in the healthcare administration field are infinite. Take a look at some common titles and roles below and see how some of them would be specialists and others would be generalists:

  • Account executive
  • Account manager
  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounting manager
  • Administrative assistant
  • Administrator
  • Admissions clerk
  • Admissions director
  • Analyst
  • Assistant administrator
  • Billing manager
  • Billing specialist
  • Business analyst
  • Case manager
  • Chief financial officer
  • Claims examiner
  • Claims specialist
  • Clerk
  • Coder
  • Coding educator
  • Computer analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Consultant
  • Coordinator
  • Customer service representative
  • Director of operations
  • Executive director
  • Executive assistant
  • Financial analyst
  • Health facilities surveyor
  • Health services manager
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Healthcare management
  • Healthcare specialist
  • Hospice administrator
  • IT specialist
  • Medical administrator
  • Medical receptionist
  • Medical billing specialist
  • Medical claims specialist
  • Medical coder
  • Medical manager
  • Medical office assistant
  • Medical office manager
  • Medical records clerk
  • Medical records director
  • Medical records technician
  • Medical sales
  • Medical secretary
  • Nursing home administrator
  • Office assistant
  • Office clerk
  • Office manager
  • Operations manager
  • Patient access supervisor
  • Patient care advocate
  • Patient services representative
  • Program director
  • Program manager
  • Quality coordinator
  • Receptionist
  • Regional sales manager
  • Safety surveillance associate
  • Sales associate
  • Sales manager
  • Sales representative
  • Senior programmer analyst
  • Software developer
  • Software engineer
  • Staffing coordinator
  • Supervisor

Entering the Healthcare Administration Profession

LP Icons_avg startng salaryIt’s possible to enter the healthcare administration field with a high school diploma (or GED) or a two-year associate degree. More commonly, though, individuals working in healthcare administration possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree. While it’s true that the more advanced degrees earn more money, it is interesting to note that the average entry-level salary for someone with an associate degree is similar to that of someone with a bachelor’s degree at around $40,000 annually. The average starting salary for someone with a master’s degree, however, is about $60,000 per year.

Learn more about choosing the right degree level for you.

With a High School Diploma
A look at job-search sites like Indeed.com show that a high school diploma is the education requirement for jobs with titles like entry level medical office administrative assistant, medical records clerk or healthcare shift supervisor.
With an Associate Degree

An associate degree is the preferred education requirement for jobs such as practice manager, credentialing coordinator, administrative assistant - performance improvement, assistant practice manager or disability form specialist.

More broadly, an associate degree may open doors to positions like medical secretary, medical assistant and medical records technician.

With a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor’s degree is shown to be the preferred education level for positions like healthcare claims resolution specialist, associate admissions coordinator and business analyst.

Other job titles available to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration include clinical manager, health information manager, hospital administrator, medical office manager, medical practice manager, nursing home administrator and practice administrator.

With a Master's Degree

A master’s degree is preferred or required for jobs like program director, behavioral health administrator, human resources generalist, healthcare administrator and more.

An applicant with a master’s degree in healthcare administration may be in good position to compete for jobs like medical and health services managers, health care social workers, medical records and health information technicians and administrative services managers.

What Does a Career in Healthcare Administration Pay?

LP Icons_median salary-projected growthThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 2017 median pay for healthcare administrators is $98,350 per year. In contrast, the median annual wage for all workers in May 2017 was $37,690.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that in 2016, there were 352,200 healthcare administrator jobs in the industry, and it projected a 20 percent growth in those jobs through 2026.That is much faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations of 7 percent.

How Does Where You Work Impact What You Make?

Healthcare administrators may be employed by many different types of facilities. Here's a glimpse at median salaries at six different types of employer: 

  • Hospital -- Median Salary: $92,000
  • Doctors' Office -- Median Salary: $72,000
  • Hospice or Elderly Care -- Median Salary: $68,000
  • Medical Equipment -- Median Salary: $98,000
  • Insurance Company -- Median Salary: $122,000
  • Public Care Facility -- Median Salary: $115,000
Projected High-Growth Careers in Healthcare Administration

The following are expected to be high-growth careers in the next five to 10 years:

  • Health Insurance Specialist -- 22 percent growth; median salary $37,710
  • Social and Community Service Managers -- 21 percent growth; median salary $65,750
  • Practice Manager -- 23 percent growth; median salary $87,862

Salaries Increase With Experience

As with all careers, experience matters. According to PayScale.com, the average salary for a healthcare administrator is $61,414 annually. PayScale.com also reports that an entry-level administrator with fewer than five years of experience earns an average of $50,000, including bonuses and potential overtime pay. However, the average jumps to $63,000 for those with 5 to 10 years of experience. And for those with 10 to 20 years’ experience, the average increases to $71,000. Finally, with more than 20 years of experience, the average climbs to $87,000.