Healthcare Administration

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healthWhen you start to think about a career in the healthcare field, you probably picture doctors and nurses. This is true but did you know there are also many other careers in the healthcare industry? Healthcare administration professionals are those who work behind the scenes as valued members of the healthcare team. There are about 100,000 people who work in the healthcare administration field today. If you enjoy making a difference in the community and ensuring that people receive the best possible healthcare available, this may be the perfect career for you.

Healthcare Administration Job Duties

The healthcare facility needs quality people running the organization. These people help the organization run smoothly, supervise and plan the delivery of services, and manage daily operations. A career in healthcare administration does not limit you only to a hospital setting, either. You are free to work in a multitude of places. Healthcare administrators play a key and essential role in the healthcare industry.

The type of work that you perform will depend on where you are working, and of course, the size of the facility where you are employed. Typically, there is an officer that oversees everything and makes the final decisions. The officer will report directly to the facility’s board of directors. Smaller facilities will typically have someone who is a generalist that oversees the work and functions. In a larger facility, a healthcare administrator directs and instructs other personnel, and oversees nursing activities, finance, and quality assurance.

Educational Requirements for a Healthcare Administration Program

It is possible to start your career in this industry with just a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (BS) degree. You can work and continue your education at the same time to earn a Master’s and move up into a management position. Requirements for entry into a Bachelor’s program vary, but typically include a good undergraduate and high school GPA, letters of recommendation, and specified prerequisite courses such as computer processing and business calculus.

Healthcare Administration Certification

The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM) offers certification for healthcare administrators. The credentials include the Certified Patient Account Manager (CPAM), the Certified Clinic Account Manager (CCAM), the Certified Patient Account Technician (CPAT), and the Certified Clinic Account Technician (CCAT).

Career Opportunities and Salaries for Healthcare Administration Professionals

Healthcare administrators earn competitive salaries in the industry. Many healthcare facilities are open all the time, so you may have to work overnight or on a holiday. Sometimes, this may involve traveling to attend meetings at a different location. People who work in the healthcare administration field find work at hospitals, long-term care facilities, physician offices, insurance companies, private institutes, research organizations, and rehabilitation units.

Salaries depend on your degree level, years of experience, worksite, location of employment, and other factors. Most web sources report that healthcare administrators earn anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics list the average salary for medical and health service managers at $84,300 per year. For administrative assistants, the average income is around $35,000 annually.

Resources

AAHAM (2013): http://www.aaham.org/
BLS (2013): http://www.bls.gov/
HCAA (2013): http://www.hcaa.org/

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