Health Care Administrator

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1 Health Care Administrator At a Glance Health care administrators work behind the scenes at hospitals and other medical facilities, making sure they run smoothly. Search by Cluster Medical & Health Typical Range: 30K - 200K Level of Education University Core Tasks Develop policies and procedures and make sure they are followed Plan and coordinate departmental activities Handle budgeting and accounting and do fundraising Hire, fire, and train staff members Evaluate patient services and develop medical programs Attributes & Abilities Workplace Leadership abilities Decisive Communication skills Organized Hard-working Most work for hospitals Others are employed by long-term care or mental health facilities, health associations, and regional health authorities Work indoors in offices Often work more than 8 hours a day The work can be stressful Job Description Doctors and nurses are the workers we most readily associate with hospitals and other medical facilities. But have you ever wondered who makes sure that there are enough nurses working on Saturday nights, or that each medical department has enough funding to treat its patients? Health care administrators work behind the scenes to make sure everything operates smoothly. Administrators don t just work in hospitals, however. You ll also find them running outpatient clinics, drug abuse treatment centres, home health care agencies, and long-term care facilities, as well as doctors offices and clinics. It is their job to ensure that health service centres operate efficiently and provide proper care to patients. for administrators change from day to day, as they deal with a wide range of issues. Common 1/5

2 administrative duties include developing policies and procedures, ensuring that policies and laws are being followed, coordinating departmental activities, and planning and evaluating health programs. Other tasks include fundraising, budgeting, accounting and financial management, and the hiring, firing, and training of staff members. Some administrators may also be involved with evaluating patient services, developing and expanding medical programs, and community health planning. Duties for administrators also vary slightly depending on their position and the size of the organization. For example, the top administrators of large centres often known as chief executive officers, or CEOs spend a lot of their time making sure that governing boards, medical staff, and department heads are all working together for the good of the organization. They assign work to assistant administrators who operate departments such as personnel, training, or surgery. In small facilities, however, the administrator is usually in charge of all departments. Working Conditions Most health care administrators are employed by hospitals. Others are employed by long-term care and mental health facilities, health associations, and regional health authorities. Some work as consultants. Administrators usually work in offices and often work more than 8 hours a day. Some health care centres operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the administrative staff may be called on to solve emergency problems or attend late night meetings. Administrators might also have to spend extra time on the job when they are fundraising or participating in educational activities. In addition, they may travel occasionally to attend conferences and other work-related events. Health care administrators spend a lot of time attending meetings and interacting with other managers and supervisors in their organizations. At times, they may also deal with the media. For example, they may talk to newspaper and television reporters about programs or issues that affect their organizations. There are no real physical challenges associated with this job. However, having to work hard and be responsible for the effectiveness and success of their organizations can put administrators under a lot of stress. Administrators earnings vary depending on their level of experience and expertise, their education, the size of the health care facility they work at, and geographic location. Salaries vary widely, ranging from around $30,000 a year for assistants in small health care centres to over $200,000 a year for senior administrators in large facilities. The average salary for those in all management positions in health care is somewhere between $66,000 and $78,000 a year. In addition to their salaries, full-time administrators usually also receive benefits, such as paid vacation and sick days, pension plan contributions, and dental and health benefits. Education Educational requirements vary depending on the size and type of organization, and the particular area of health care administration that you want to work in. Those who want to work in the area of health information management can complete a bachelor s or master s degree in health information. For those interested in the financial or public relations aspects of health care administration, a bachelor s degree in health administration or management is a good starting point. Administrators in specialized departments are generally required to have training and experience in a particular area, as well as management experience. For example, the manager of a pharmaceutical department would likely be a pharmacist who also has management experience and training. 2/5

3 Though a bachelor s degree will give you access to entry-level positions in the field, a master s degree in health care administration is recommended for advancement. Master s degrees in business administration or public administration may also be acceptable. Post-graduate certificates and diplomas in health administration are available as well. These certificates allow candidates with training in another area to get the education they need to obtain a position in the health administration field. Related College & University Programs Health Administration Health Information Services Medical Office Administration Nursing Administration and Leadership Health Studies Commerce / Business Administration (Post-Graduate) Commerce / Business Administration (Undergraduate) Other Suggested Qualifications Health care administrators need to be good leaders with strong decision making and communication skills. It s also important to be organized and hard-working. High school courses in health, science, business, and accounting will prepare you for further studies in health care administration. Also, summer or volunteer work in a hospital or clinic will give you a good idea of what it is like to work in a health care setting. Voluntary certification is available through the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL). Successful applicants can use the designation Certified Health Executive (CHE). Suggested High School Subjects Grade 9 Grade 10 Science Creative Arts Business / Computers French Health & Physical Education Science Personal & Career Development Business Computers Grade 11 Grade 12 Probability & Statistics Biology Chemistry Accounting Business & Management Computers / Information Technology Algebra & Geometry Calculus Biology Chemistry Economics / Law / World Issues Accounting Business & Management Computers / Information Technology Important Check with your advisor to make sure that your course selections satisfy your graduation requirements. Courses available may vary from school to school. Sample Career Path 3/5

4 People take different pathways through their careers, but no one starts at the top. This is an example of how the earnings, education and experience requirements, and responsibilities might progress for someone in this occupation. Level 1 Administrative Assistant $30,000 to $40,000 a year Bachelor s degree Assisting a department of administrators; doing basic paperwork; becoming familiar with hospital policies and procedures. Level 2 Administrator $35,000 to $50,000 a year Some experience as an administrative assistant Working toward a master s degree Becoming more familiar with specific departments in the hospital; liaising with a variety of people inside and outside the hospital (doing public relations work); learning to develop policies and do budget plans. Level 3 Vice-President of a Health Care Facility $50,000 to $100,000 a year Master s degree in health administration or related field Managing several departments and a senior administration team. Level 4 President / CEO of a Health Care Facility $100,000 to $200,000 a year or more Several years of experience in senior management Responsible for an entire hospital; handling outside public relations; handling political and government relations. 4/5

5 Related Careers Here are some other occupations that you might be interested in. Click on an occupation name to learn more. Arts Administrator Bioethicist Doctor Epidemiologist Gerontologist Health Records Professional Human Resources Specialist Insurance Underwriter Legal Secretary Management Consultant Mental Health Nurse Medical Secretary Municipal Clerk Nurse Office Manager Post-Secondary Education Administrator Property Manager Public Policy Analyst School Superintendent Social Worker Volunteer Manager Career Clusters Career Clusters are groups or families of occupations that share common characteristics such as knowledge requirements, skill sets, and/or goals. Medical & Health National Occupational Classification NOC Code: 0311 Other Resources Healthcare Administration (US) This website provides helpful information about schools, careers, salary, and more for anyone interested in pursuing a career in health care administration. Click here to learn about the qualities needed in a health care administrator: Careers in Healthcare Management (US) This website, presented by the American College of Healthcare Executives, is a great resource for health care management students. InnerBody How to Become a Health Care Administrator (US) Some great information about the role of a health care administrator and about how to pursue this career. 5/5

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