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Healthcare Administrator Career Tracks

Health administrator shaking hands with a client

As a field, the healthcare profession enjoys sizable growth. As America’s aging population requires more services, care providers must fill their ranks to meet demand and require administrators to oversee their expanding workforce.

Healthcare administrators coordinate with peers in leading personnel and managing the resources required to deliver positive patient outcomes. Through the analysis of data, administrators create plans that serve the medical needs of individuals, groups and communities. Some administrators oversee preventative initiatives, such as patient education, to promote community wellness. While these professionals assume varying responsibilities depending on the setting, most manage similar tasks within their disciplines.

The following career tracks highlight career paths that aspiring healthcare leaders might pursue.

Nursing Home Administrator

Nursing home administrators develop strategies that determine how an organization will achieve its operational and financial objectives. [3] These professionals must have intimate knowledge of the concepts, policies and procedures that organizations commonly employ within specific medical fields. They direct and coordinate tasks related to the business side of delivering healthcare services such as developing and implementing change initiatives.

Nursing home administrator salaries vary depending on factors such as specialty and location. They earn a median wage of over $106,000 yearly, with salaries ranging from over $95,000 to nearly $120,000.

Service Line Administrator

Service line administrators manage functions that pertain to a specific discipline within an organization. [4] Disciplines might include:

  • Cardiac units
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Women’s health

They cultivate the strategies to deliver products and services and manage resources to produce the best possible patient outcomes. Service line administrators also establish operational and fiscal responsibilities to facilitate desired organizational outcomes. These tasks require detailed understanding of the disciplines that the administrators manage.

Many kinds of businesses employ service line coordinators. However, executives who work in healthcare earn the most among these professionals, with salaries averaging nearly $155,000 per year.

Operations Director

Operations directors manage organizational tasks that lie outside the scope of medical services and treatments. [5] They analyze policies, procedures and improvement plans as needed, using their experience in the medical field to lead and manage staff members. Operations directors are highly knowledgeable about the supporting roles involved with delivering healthcare services and treatments.

These executives earn salaries ranging from over $140,000 to nearly $185,000 each year while earning an average salary of nearly $162,000 annually, which lies near the middle pay rate for executives who assume this post among all business types.

Clinic Administrator

Clinic administrators perform several important functions such as developing, monitoring and maintaining annual budgets for healthcare organizations. [6] They also make sure that each organizational business unit complies with the regulations set forth by agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) as well as laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Clinic administrators work with other executives to encourage ongoing organizational progress by developing, implementing and monitoring change initiatives. They also coordinate with medical professionals to collect performance data and find opportunities for improvement.

Clinic administrators can earn up to $97,000 a year (plus bonuses, benefits and other incentives) depending on organization size and location. [7]

Healthcare IT Manager

Healthcare information technology (HIT) managers plan and oversee the frameworks used to store and retrieve medical data. [8] They manage the teams that complete tasks necessary to maintain the network, electronic security measures and software utilized by care provider organizations. These executives may also determine user security protocols, establishing what information patients and employees can access as well as the devices that can connect with the enterprise network.

Nationwide, health information technology manager salaries might vary from $50,000 to $130,000. On average, they earn nearly $84,000 a year.

In the modern healthcare marketplace, healthcare administrators have the ability to lead and succeed in a variety of lucrative positions. The rapidly evolving healthcare environment contains myriad career opportunities with continued growth in the future.

Learn More

Healthcare markets are expanding. The workforce is growing. That means demand for new leadership is rising, too. Through the online Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation at Adventist University of Health Sciences, you can learn to steer multifaceted health systems toward a culture of innovation, all in line with your core values. We believe furthering healthcare starts with advancing dedicated leaders like you.

Recommended Readings:

10 TED Talks about Healthcare for Healthcare Administrators
Job Outlook for Healthcare Administration Careers
Roles and Responsibilities of Healthcare Administrators

Sources:

[1] http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership/

[2] https://hbr.org/2013/08/tests-of-a-leadership-transiti

[3] http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/Nursing-Home-Administrator-Job-Description.aspx

[4] http://www1.salary.com/Service-Line-Director-Salaries.html

[5] http://www1.salary.com/Operations-Director-Salaries.html

[6] https://jobs.evergreenhealth.com/job/kirkland/clinic-administrator/437/4531907?source=Indeed.com

[7] http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Clinic_Administrator/Salary

[8] http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Information_Technology_(IT)_Manager/Salary

[9] http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/ahip-chief-marilyn-tavenner-looking-future-health-insurance